UCLA took any drama out of the Pac-12 Championship this weekend by dominating Arizona, and clinching the outright title.
But the race for second place is on, and luckily for all of us, the four teams in the hunt are all playing each other!
Here's a look at how I have the power rankings heading into the final weekend before Regional play starts, with some shifting around from last week's rankings.
1. UCLA Bruins (40-12, 21-6 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 1
All UCLA's playing for this week is national seeding as they have wrapped up the conference title. And the Bruins added a special moment to this season by tossing a 10-inning no-hitter Friday night against Arizona, the first no-hitter in program history. If they want to help the conference, they'll let Oregon win at least two games this weekend, to maybe give the Ducks a shot at the postseason. Maybe.
2. Oregon State Beavers (36-14-1, 17-9-1 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 2
OSU went out and swept Stanford pretty easily to continue their recent surge. All of the sudden, we may be looking at a regional in Corvallis after five-straight series wins, and a record of 13-3-1 over that span. The Beavs host Oregon on Tuesday, followed up by a weekend series against USC in Corvallis. OSU seems to have the inside track for second place.
3. California Golden Bears (33-17, 17-10 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 4
Cal, just like Oregon State, used Arizona as a way to propel themselves to a lengthy hot streak. The Bears have now won four-straight series, and looked very impressive in the final two games of this past weekend's series against USC. Win two at Oregon State, and finish second.
Also, shoutout to this guy for shaving during the middle of the game.
4. Arizona State Sun Devils (32-19, 17-10 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 5
ASU didn't look particularly great against Washington State, but did win the series, moving them up a spot before they travel to USC.
The highlight for the Sun Devils:
I still don't think it counts as a catch by trapping it in his armpit, but whatever.
5. USC Trojans (35-18, 16-11 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 3
I have not been impressed by USC of late. Since sweeping Arizona, the Trojans have a 10-12 record, and have fallen out of a regional hosting spot. They really need a series win against ASU this weekend in L.A. to get back on track before heading into Regional play.
6. Oregon Ducks (34-22, 14-13 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 6
I can't believe that Oregon is above .500 in conference play, and has a realistic shot of playing themselves into the postseason if they can get at least three wins this week against OSU and UCLA. It's crazy to see how they've turned it around, especially after how pathetic they looked when they came to Tucson and got swept.
7. Washington State Cougars (28-25, 10-17 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 9
They had a really good chance to take the ASU series in extra-innings on Saturday night, but couldn't quite close the deal. Still, this team overall has looked better than say Arizona and UW throughout the season, and can still finish with a strong series win by hosting Stanford.
8. Arizona Wildcats (28-23, 12-18 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 8
I don't even know what to say about this team, and can't even imagine what the lack of effort will look like in meaningless games against Abilene Christian and Hawaii this weekend. Something's gotta change.
9. Washington Huskies (28-25, 11-16 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 7
Man, talk about an embarrassing non-conference performance. UW got swept at home by Cal State Northridge this weekend, and didn't even score a run in the final two games. That's some serious mail it in mode.
10. Stanford Cardinal (22-31, 7-20 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 10
Nice little sweep at the hands of Oregon State keeps Stanford in the ten spot, and puts them over the 20 loss mark. That's crazy.
11. Utah Utes (16-33-1, 7-19-1 Pac-12)
Previous ranking: 11
Just now realizing Utah could finish ahead of Stanford in the standings, especially if the Utes get the same Washington team that showed up against CSUN. Get a sweep and get to ten wins Utes!
12. Grand Canyon Antelopes (32-22, 19-7 WAC)
GCU's been on here a couple of times before, but it's time to recognize their outright WAC regular season title. Now the Lopes are done for the season because they're still not eligible for NCAA postseason play for two more years, but man, in their second year at D-1, they won a conference title outright. Props to them. I will be spending time at the WAC Tournament this weekend in Mesa, where I wish GCU was playing. They're the true WAC champs.
Even though there still isn't a Pac-12 tournament, the way the scheduling worked out, the top six teams are all playing each other this weekend anyway, so there's a lot of drama, and a lot on the line throughout the top half of the conference. Here's hoping to a lot of #Pac12AfterDark and some extra-inning thrillers.