Some weird things happened in the Pac-12 this weekend, and the conference is more than definitely out of the College Football Playoff. But, we're seeing Washington State make a move to the top and that's awesome. Arizona also won, and that's pretty cool too.
Stanford lost, but I still think they're the best team in the conference, and the gap seems to be fairly large. They've still managed to score 30+ points in every game this season, aside from their Northwestern loss in week one.
Stanford dropped that game against Oregon with two costly fumbles. They were still a two-point conversion away from tying that game up and sending it to overtime. While they have taken the Pac-12 out of College Football Playoff contention, they still have a chance to soil Notre Dame's shot at a top-four spot, while still winning the Pac-12 North.
Washington State is a really good team, and they need to be capturing the respect of the nation. They've cracked the top 25 in the coaches poll for the first time in years.
Looking back at their schedule, their game vs. Portland State was inexcusable, but it seems as if they just caught California at the wrong time, playing them during their hot streak. Since then, the Bears have taken a tumble in the ranks.
3. Utah Utes
Utah was in control of the Pac-12 South up until this week. Now, they need to pray for a USC loss in order to take back control of the Pac-12 South. USC hasn't been playing up to par, and they have Oregon and UCLA remaining, so the Utes aren't totally out of this thing yet.
This is a Utah team that is strong in all three phases, with experience and explosiveness in their backfield in Travis Wilson and Devontae Booker. The defense is pesky and will get their turnovers in their man defense, and the special teams unit is one of the best in the nation. Utah will definitely surprise people in their bowl game.
4. USC Trojans
The Trojans have been playing down to their opponents these past two weeks, and if they're not careful these next two weeks, they could surrender the Pac-12 South lead back to Utah. This was a close one between USC and Oregon here, especially with Oregon coming off a Stanford win, but next week will tell the tale.
USC plays so well under interim head coaches, and Clay Helton is still getting the W, but with Oregon and UCLA on their remaining schedule, they'll need to make some big time adjustments if they want to represent the Pac-12 South in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
5. Oregon Ducks
Remember when we all thought Oregon was a dumpster fire and we all loved it? Well now they're 7-3, and those three losses are all to ranked teams. They're turning it on at the right time, and while it's still just a bit late to make a run for the Pac-12 North, they're still looking at an upper-tier bowl game, which is something that no one saw coming after that loss to Washington State earlier this season.
6. UCLA Bruins
UCLA is still 7-3, but they've lost games they shouldn't have lost. That's just going to be the problem when you play a true freshman quarterback, and have a banged up defense. I'm sure there's some crazy way that UCLA can still win the Pac-12 South, considering the fact that they still have Utah and USC still on their schedule.
Is it likely? Probably not. But crazy things have happened in the Pac-12 this season, so they're not completely out of this right now.
The Golden Bears are finally bowl eligible. After starting the season 5-0, and then going 0-4, it was looking bleak for Sonny Dykes and his squad.
They have Stanford and Arizona State remaining on their schedule, but those are some tough games to close out the season. I'd be surprised to see California win another game, but even if they don't it's hard to see them drop any further than 7th for the most part. Unless Arizona can get a big-time win at ASU this weekend. That would change some things.
For as bad as this season was going, Arizona still has a winning record. Now, 6-5 isn't exactly what you would have hoped for going into the season, but after getting blown out by UCLA and Stanford earlier this season, things weren't looking good.
It might be a reach, but Arizona still has a chance at another 8-win season, which gives Rich Rodriguez four-straight at Arizona, which is also something hard to believe. But this team is peaking at the right time now, playing one of their best games at USC, and then knocking off No. 10 Utah in double over time. That's some big time momentum heading into this weekend, even if they might be without Anu Solomon and definitely without Scooby Wright.
After losing three straight, ASU is back on track after their win vs. Washington. I decided to swap the two Arizona schools this week, simply because that Utah win is one of the more impressive wins in the Pac-12, and Arizona seems to be getting hot right now.
With their backs against the wall, ASU needs one more win in the next two games. Senior day, at home, this is going to be a great game this weekend.
The Huskies have been playing tough, but haven't been closing it out. They had chances vs. both Utah and Arizona State, but couldn't finish the job.
UW is a young team, and they have a lot to look forward to next season.
Colorado has been competitive all season long, but can't close it out, much like Washington. They're a year away from being a solid 6 or 7-win team, but then again, they'll be losing Nelson Spruce, and that's pretty much their entire offense. But somehow, they've been able to land some recruits these last two years, and will bring in 4-star safety Craig Watts, who I think will be an absolute stud.
Oregon State is just really bad. They haven't moved from No. 12 all season, and they probably won't move for the remainder of the season.