Pac-12 Power Rankings: UW, Oregon Continue To Lead Conference Charge

Oct 3, 2023, 3:50 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Pac-12 power rankings continued to sort themselves out in week five with Washington and Oregon separating themselves from the rest.

The “Conference of Champions” is off to the strongest start they’ve had as a conference of 12 making it all the more ironic this will also be its last as we know it. Six teams in the Pac-12 are currently ranked in the AP Top 25 and three are within the top 10.

The sample size is still small but will continue to get clearer as league play continues. Here is how the Pac-12 shook out in week five.

Pac-12 Power Rankings 2023 Season: Week Three

There was a lot of buzz heading into the 2023 football season for the Pac-12 and rightfully so. On paper the league looks as strong as ever after having finished the previous season with six ranked teams which is where they sit right now. Those teams returned most of the same talent, while others went to work stepping up their game.

Those efforts have showed well the past five weeks leaving Pac-12 fans feeling good (and admittedly a little sad) about where things are heading during the league’s “farewell season”.

Washington and Oregon continue to roll, looking like well-oiled machine machines. Washington State and Oregon State are playing with a lot of controlled rage making them dangerous opponents in 2023.

Utah is all defense and no offense- mostly due to injuries while Colorado and USC are all offense and no defense- mostly due to design.


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1. Oregon (5-0, 2-0)

Oregon 42 | Stanford 6

The Ducks jumped Washington this week due to having a bit of a better grasp over their opponent, but as this point these two are 1A and 1B. The reckoning will be coming soon, however.

This week: BYE

2. Washington (5-0, 2-0)

Washington 31 | Arizona 24

The Wildcats pushed the Huskies more than I think most anticipated, but ultimately, Washington got the job done. I still think they along with the Ducks may be the best teams in the conference at the moment. Two weeks from now we’ll see who is the best out of the two head-to-head.

This week: BYE

3. Washington State (4-0, 1-0)


Washington State has perhaps been the most pleasant surprise of all early on in the season. I believe people expected them to be a good team, but they’ve been rather “lights out” thus far. We’ll see how they continue to fare out of their BYE week break for the rest of the season.

This week: at UCLA, 1:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

4. USC (5-0, 2-0)

USC 48 | Colorado 41

We all knew this Trojan offense would be a points machine, but what happens when they meet a team with defense and an ability to put up some points? We sort of got a glimpse at that against Arizona State two weeks ago and may likely get an even better answer this after this weekend.

This week: at home against Arizona, 8:30 p.m. MT, ESPN

5. Oregon State (4-1, 1-1)

Oregon State 21 | Utah 7

The Beavers, much like Washington State are fueled on rage (understandably so) and are going to give teams in the Pac-12 some troubles. Co-signed, Utah football.

This week: at Cal, 8:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

6. Utah (4-1, 1-1)

Utah 7 | Oregon State 21

Utah could easily be top three in this conference with Washington and Oregon if the injuries would cooperate. The fact is, however, in this very moment the injuries are not cooperating which makes this Utah football team a mid-conference team at best. Fingers crossed for some lucky bounces in the second of half of the season for a crew that have definitely taken their lumps early and often in 2023.

This week: BYE

7. UCLA (3-1, 0-1)


This Bruins team is an interesting mix of really great up-and-coming talent and veteran talent. I for one am very curious to see how exactly things come together for this team for the remainder of the season. Another big test for UCLA out of their BYE.

This week: at home against Washington State, 1:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

8. Colorado (3-2, 0-2)

Colorado 41 | USC 48

This is another team that has been a pleasant surprise, but quite honestly has more work to do before they are a true threat and that is ok considering where they are coming from. Give Deion Sanders another year of recruiting and the Buffs will likely be looking like a very complete team in 2024.

This week: at ASU, 4:30 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

9. Arizona (3-2, 1-1)

Arizona 24 | Washington 31

Color me impressed with what the Wildcats were able to do against Washington last week. No one has really been able to slow their roll yet, but Arizona did as good a job as anyone thus far of mortalizing them. They have another interesting test this week.

This week: at USC, 8:30 p.m. MT, ESPN

10. Cal (3-2, 1-1)

Cal 24 | Arizona State 21

While perhaps not the prettiest game, I felt this matchup had the potential to be one of the better ones over last weekend and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve said it before, Cal is not a great team, but they keep out-punching their weight more than I expected.

This week: at home against Oregon State, 8:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

11. Arizona State (1-4, 0-2)

ASU 21| Cal 24

Close, but no cigar for the Sun Devils again this week. Kenny Dillingham has his work cut out for him in 2023.

This week: at home against Colorado, 4:30 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

12. Stanford (1-4, 0-2)

Stanford 6| Oregon 42

I realize Stanford played the Ducks last weekend, but based off of that score I would swear they were Roadrunners. Meep. Meep.

This week: BYE

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Pac-12 Power Rankings: UW, Oregon Continue To Lead Conference Charge