clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pac-12 Baseball Power Rankings: UCLA looks to clinch conference championship this week

The Bruins are looking good for a College World Series trip

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

There's going to be very little drama with the Pac-12 title this year, as UCLA has pulled out to a three-game lead over everyone.

The real battle's going to be for second, where there's almost a four-way tie (Utah's travel schedule ruins everything). You'd have to think that the battle for second might result in a regional host bid for whichever team pulls it out at the end.

It's going to be an interesting final two weeks for those four teams. Here's a look at how my power rankings stack up heading into the final couple weekends.

1. UCLA Bruins (36-12, 18-6 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 1

The one problem for UCLA is if they run into a team with a few left-handed pitchers. That shortcoming reared its head on Sunday against ASU's Brett Lilek, who threw his first career complete game, and only gave up three hits to the Bruins. They should be solidly locked into a national seed spot at this point, and with a three-game lead in the Pac-12, could clinch this weekend while hosting Arizona.

2. Oregon State Beavers (32-14-1, 14-9-1 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 3

OSU has won each of its last four series, and miss out on the 15-9 tie for second because of Utah's travel schedule, ending Sunday's game in a 2-2 tie after 15 innings. In the first two games of the weekend, OSU didn't even give up a run to the Utes. The Beavs are definitely getting hot at the right time. They'll go to Stanford this weekend before hosting Cal in the final weekend of the season.

3. USC Trojans (34-16, 15-9 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 2

It was a very low-scoring weekend for the Trojans, winning games against Stanford 1-0 and 2-0, and losing the Saturday game 3-2. USC has a tough road to a second-place finish, travelling to Cal this weekend before hosting ASU next weekend. Or you can look at it and say they control their own destiny in a way.

4. California Golden Bears (31-16, 15-9 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 5

The Bears got a couple of nice wins at Campbell, but now look to finish second by taking on two of their challengers in USC and Oregon State. It seems that this team has turned it around since their three-week skid in April. Sort of like USC, Cal controls its own destiny for a second-place finish.

5. Arizona State Sun Devils (30-17, 15-9 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 4

A 17-inning game against UCLA with a bench-clearing incident is pretty legit for ASU:

Good on the Devils for coming back with a win on Sunday, but that 9-0 loss on Friday is my main reason for moving them down, as it was the biggest loss in the conference of the weekend. They really need to dominate Washington State at home this weekend to put themselves in good position heading into the final weekend at USC.

6. Oregon Ducks (29-22, 11-13 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 6

Oregon took two-of-three from WSU to continue the push back to .500. The Ducks travel to Utah this weekend, where they'll need a sweep. They then finish the year hosting UCLA.

7. Washington Huskies (26-22, 11-16 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 10

UW continued to be good on the road by taking the series against Arizona. The Huskies are 14-7 in true road games this season. But they are done travelling as they host Cal State Northridge this weekend, and Utah next weekend. UW lost a lot of close games this year. It could have been a much different result for them.

8. Arizona Wildcats (28-20, 12-15 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 7

Have to move Arizona below Washington after this past weekend. Now they'll head to UCLA to finish out conference play, which I can't imagine ending well for the Wildcats. A season that started so promising has become a huge disappointment.

9. Washington State Cougars (26-23, 9-15 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 8

It looked for a while like WSU could make a late-season run, but now with back-to-back series losses to Arizona and Oregon, those thoughts are gone. They can spoil ASU's season this weekend though when they come to Phoenix.

10. Stanford Cardinal (21-28, 7-17 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 9

Just a few pitches here and there cost Stanford the series against USC. Now they'll get Oregon State and Washington State, where they'll have the chance to finish off a disappointing season with a strong finish.

11. Utah Utes (16-29-1, 7-16-1 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 11

Not only is Utah not good at baseball, their travel schedule may have a huge impact on the final standings after Sunday's tie against Oregon State. Utah just can't stop failing at everything related to the game of baseball.

12. New Mexico Lobos (27-23, 16-11 Mountain West, 2-1 Pac-12)

This is mostly to honor the recently announced basketball series between Arizona and UNM, but the Lobos also host ASU on Tuesday afternoon. UNM has two wins against Oregon State this year, and a loss to ASU. This past week, after losing to New Mexico State 22-8, the Lobos outscored San Jose State by a combined 52-20 in a three-game sweep.

The series of the week is definitely Cal/USC, as one of those teams will position themselves in a good place to take second place in the conference, and the other team possibly falling to fifth. The games will be on Pac-12 Networks beginning Saturday at 1, Sunday at 4, and Monday at 7.