Pac-12 Power Rankings: Oregon, Washington Gear Up For Conference Showdown

Oct 10, 2023, 2:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Pac-12 power rankings are about to get interesting as Oregon and Washington gear up for the conference’s first big showdown of 2023.

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. Seven teams in the Pac-12 are currently ranked in the AP Top 25 and three are within the top 10.

The sample size is continuing to get clearer as league play continues. Here is how the Pac-12 shook out in week six.

Pac-12 Power Rankings 2023 Season: Week Six

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 while currently sitting with seven ranked teams. Those teams returned most of the same talent, while others went to work stepping up their game.

Those efforts have showed well the past six 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 though they were on BYE this past week. Washington State suffered their first loss of the season to a scrappy UCLA team. Oregon State is playing with a lot of controlled rage making them dangerous opponent 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)


This week is a big one off of a BYE.

This week: at Washington, 1:30 p.m. MT, ABC

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


This week is a big one off of a BYE.

This week: at home against Oregon, 1:30 p.m. MT, ABC 

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

Oregon State 52 | Cal 42

I think this Oregon State team is pretty well-balanced. Certainly not perfect, but they are capable of making a lot of teams pay in 2023. Very interested to see how they do with a common opponent between Utah and Washington State this week.

This week: at home against UCLA, 6:00 p.m. MT, FOX

4. USC (6-0, 2-0)

USC 43 | Arizona 41

Here is the thing about USC. We all see the glaring problems with this team. Those problems are flying down the highway like a runaway Mac truck heading straight for the Trojans, and yet, they currently sit 6-0 and undefeated in conference play so it’s hard to justify placing them lower at the moment. It does feel inevitable that wreck is coming however with the second half of their schedule coming up unless something drastically changes.

This week: at Notre Dame, 5:30 p.m. MT, NBC

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

Washington State 17 | UCLA 25

After flying high the first five weeks of the season, the Cougars got smacked around in week six by what is proving to be a pretty tough UCLA team.

This week: at home against Arizona, 5:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

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

UCLA 25 | Washington State 17

If this team wasn’t breaking in a freshman quarterback they would be an even bigger problem for this conference than they currently are. That defense has been pretty impressive. Their game this week is going to be another very interesting one.

This week: at Oregon State, 6:00 p.m. MT, FOX

7. UTAH (4-1, 1-1)


There is plenty to like about this Utah team in theory, however, reality has had a very different idea for the 2023 Utes thus far. Hopefully the BYE week allowed Utah to rest up, get some guys back and figure out how to be a bit more productive on offense regardless of whether Cam Rising suits up or not.

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

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

Arizona 41 | USC 43

This Arizona team is on to something. They have played two of what we believe to be some of the best teams in the Pac-12 tough in back-to-back weeks. They were also right there with Mississippi State at the beginning of the season. A little more experience and some of those close losses to bigger opponents turn into wins.

This week: at Washington State, 5:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

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

Cal 40 | Oregon State 52

Cal is in an oddly similar situation to Arizona. They played Oregon State tougher than I think most anticipated and Washington too to a certain degree. They also were right there with Auburn to start their year. They are close to having a few things break their way, but not quite there yet.

This week: at Utah, 1:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network

10. Colorado (4-2, 1-2)

Colorado 27 | Arizona State 24

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. That’s where Colorado is currently at in their season. There is a lot that I appreciate that is happening in Boulder, but there are some things going on that are very unnecessary and they reared their head in this game. Not every moment deserves flash, especially escaping one of the worst teams in the conference by the skin of your teeth.

This week: at home against Stanford, Friday @ 8:00 p.m. MT, ESPN

11. Arizona State (1-5, 0-3)

ASU 24| Colorado 27

Close, but no cigar for the Sun Devils once again. This team may not be very good, but they sure do try to put up a fight every week.

This week: BYE

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


Stanford will be back in action this weekend on the road in Boulder to face Colorado.

This week: at Colorado, Friday @ 8:00 p.m. MT, ESPN

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: Oregon, Washington Gear Up For Conference Showdown