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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Stanford benefits as South goes south

No, the Pac-12 South won't make it easy on gauging the conference hierarchy.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Not much has been rearranged since last week's power rankings, but that's probably about to change as teams kick back up after byes and the Pac-12 South attempts to get itself off the mat.

1. Oregon Ducks -- : It's the Ducks on top yet again. They had a little issue with Wyoming through one quarter, but that had more to do with the Cowboys having a good looking football team than it did about Mark Helfrich's prep. There was bound to be a little sluggish start following the Michigan State victory, so I'll give them a pass.

2. Stanford Cardinal ↑↑: Maybe I'm looking finicky about what I think of the Cardinal. They fell to No. 3 last week after losing to USC, but this week's disappointing show from the Trojans bumps Stanford back up. Cleaning up against Army, 35-0, was a solid rebound.

3. UCLA Bruins ↑↑: They haven't lost, at least. There are issues that make one pause after watching three games this year, but Jim Mora's team sure doesn't lack for guts. Brett Hundley's injury obviously leaves some big questions, and the Bruins will probably fall down this list if he's out for any length of time. Little Neuheisel playing hero bumps them to third on this list and will keep them there until they lose.

4. USC Trojans ↓↓: There was nothing in the tank against Boston College. That's bad news, because the Eagles, as seen last year against Arizona, aren't exactly a team that should be pelting a top-10 squad. The win against Stanford showed the potential for USC, but the low point against BC doesn't give me much trust in them. Sark is going to have to earn in back over the next several weeks.

5. Arizona State -- : Something tells me Taylor Kelly's injury status is a little more serious than Hundley's. Still, it's hard to gauge how good this new defensive unit is having played Weber State, New Mexico and Colorado. There's a bye week and UCLA the weekend after -- expect a shakeup in this middle tier after that game.

6. Arizona Wildcats -- : Indeed, RichRod's crew could have played a lot better against Nevada. It should have been a bigger win, but hard to have anybody jump the Wildcats at this point. Against an improved Cal team upcoming, it'll be a little more telling.

7. Washington Huskies -- : Washington beat Illinois 44-19 and had two Shaq Thompson defensive touchdowns to thank for it. Is that good or bad? Who knows? All we know is that Illinois had previously only beaten Youngstown State and Western Kentucky by an average of 9.5 points.

8. Utah Utes -- : Utah had a bye, but it of all teams in this lower tier seem poised to move up if Arizona, ASU or Washington falters.

9. Oregon State Beavers -- : OSU also had a bye week and thus remain steadily at No. 9.

10. California Golden Bears -- : Cal also had a bye. The Golden Bears gave Arizona some trouble last year and have two weeks to prepare against a team that looks wobbly on the defensive side of the ball.

11. Washington State Cougars -- : Portland State isn't the best opponent, but it did give Oregon State a game to open the year. So a 59-21 victory for the Cougs was needed medicine following two bad losses to open the year.

12. Colorado Buffaloes -- : If Washington State had struggled with Portland State at all, I may have broken one of my general rules and moved the Buffs ahead of a team that still won. Colorado is inching toward respectability. The Sefo Liufau and Nelson Spruce connection kept them chasing after the Sun Devils for a little more than a half.