Are there tiers to this conference any more? More like a smoothed out scale that adjusts each week. From 1 through 9, who knows what's going on? The Pac-12 is drunk.
1. Oregon Ducks -- : Like the polls, I'm having trouble dropping Oregon below Arizona. I do think Arizona clearly has the Oregon's number, but until anyone else takes a brain scan of Rich Rodriguez (or maybe they can just watch the tape) and hands the Ducks a second loss, this is on paper the best team in a conference that's pretty even across the board. Here's the basic reasoning: Oregon has a better shot of winning out than Arizona does.
2. Arizona Wildcats ↑↑: It's easy to understand the three hottest teams in the Pac-12 by looking at last week's power rankings by yours truly. Remember, the only perfect team in the Pac-12 got here by a lot of luck. No. 2 is plenty complimentary -- Arizona isn't even the second-best team on paper, but its flaws haven't burned it just yet.
3. Stanford Cardinal ↓↓: The most one-sided team in the nation looked great on defense against a very good defensive team in Notre Dame. Stanford lost 17-14 to the Irish and could be arguing for No. 1 in the conference if it had any offensive muscle whatsoever.
4. Utah Utes ↑↑: I moved Utah up in the rankings last week despite a weird loss to Washington State. I didn't move them above ASU. Now I'm really confused. I weight wins as much as I do on-paper expectations; Arizona is No. 2 because it's perfect, but Utah is No. 3 and moves ahead of the Sun Devils this week because the Utes are the most well-rounded team in the Pac-12.
5. UCLA Bruins ↓↓: They have Brett Hundley, but aside from an illusive thrashing of ASU a week ago haven't produced anything extremely inspiring. A 30-28 loss to a good Utah team isn't backbreaking (a missed field goal decided it), but it wasn't great news after last week's win.
6. Arizona State -- : The Sun Devils are surviving with Mike Bercovici leading the way (oddly there are talks of a quarterback controversy) and proved their offensive firepower. D.J. Foster is coming back down to earth after a fast start and the defense is still yeesshh. A Hail Mary for a 38-34 win against USC is still a win.
7. California Golden Bears ↑↑: I am very confused and feel bad about this. The Golden Bears' only loss came against the undefeated Wildcats. They move up two spots from last week and have a killer offense, but until they play a team with a defense confirmed to be solid (no offense, Arizona) they won't be up there. They needed every one of their 60 points to beat WSU.
8. USC Trojans ↓↓: Well this isn't going well for Coach Sark. An inexplicable Hail Mary from the Sun Devils brought the Trojans down in a different sort of embarrassing way from a loss to Boston College a few weeks back.
9. Washington Huskies ↓↓: The Huskies had a bye but fall because of Cal's rise. They showed well in a loss to Stanford two weeks ago and have a fine chance of shaking things up next week against Cal.
10. Oregon State Beavers -- : A slim win against Colorado isn't bad, but it's not enough to move them out of where they were.
11. Colorado Buffaloes ↑↑: The Buffs lost, 36-31, to Oregon State. WSU lost, too. But Colorado's quarterback didn't set an FBS record in passing yards and still lose by giving up 60 points and allowing two kick return touchdowns in a row.
12. Washington State Cougars ↓↓: This team probably shouldn't be ranked below Colorado because both its offense and its defense are capable. Yet, the Cougs can't spoil an incredible offensive night by Connor Halliday with miscues and expect to get any pity.