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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Make Or Break Weekend For Conference Of Champions

Nov 7, 2023, 11:31 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – We are heading toward what might be the most anticipated football weekend in the history of the Pac-12 with two big games slated that could make or break some title hopes.

No. 5 Washington and No. 6 Oregon appear to be by far and away the two best teams in the Pac-12 in 2023 but they have to play host to the No. 13 Utah Utes and now unranked USC Trojans who could play season wreckers if they aren’t careful.

Here is how the Pac-12 shook out in week 10.

Pac-12 Power Rankings 2023 Season: Week 10

There was a lot of buzz heading into the 2023 football season for the Pac-12 and rightfully so. The league looks as strong as ever after having finished the previous season with six ranked teams. At week 10 the Conference of Champions has five ranked teams with Arizona making their first appearance in the polls this season while USC and UCLA dropped out. Those teams returned most of the same talent, while others went to work stepping up their game.

Those efforts have showed well the past 10 weeks leaving Pac-12 fans feeling good (and admittedly a little sad) about where things are heading during the league’s “farewell season”.

 

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1. Washington (9-0, 6-0)

Washington 52 | USC 42

Washington remains the only unbeaten team in the conference but has been showing some “chinks” in the armor as of late. They eventually put some space between themselves and USC but it didn’t feel like they took as much advantage of the Trojans bad defense as the woulda, shoulda, coulda. The have another big game this weekend against one of the Pac-12 “disrupters” in Utah who regained their confidence over the weekend in a big way.

This week: at home against Utah, 1:30 pm MT, FOX

2. Oregon (8-1, 5-1)

Oregon 63| Cal 19

For a hot second Cal made it interesting and then that was all she wrote. Oregon turned on the after burners and absolutely smoked the Golden Bears. It feels like the Ducks are peaking at the right moment and they have a big opportunity to show that this weekend hosting USC.

This week: at home against USC, 8:30 p.m. MT, FOX

3. Utah (7-2, 4-2)

Utah 55 | ASU 3

Talk about playing mad. The message at Utah all last week was to not let Oregon beat them twice. Mission accomplished and then some. ASU’s record in conference is dreadful. The Utes absolutely should have beat this team, but beat the breaks off of them after they have managed to hang around teams like UW, USC, etc. before they pulled away? Not exactly what we saw coming. Utah now has a prime opportunity to help mess up Washington’s season, but it will take a near flawless effort to make it happen. We will know soon enough if they have it in them.

This week: at Washington, 1:30 pm MT, FOX

4. Oregon State (7-2, 4-2)

Oregon State 26 | Colorado 19

3-5 is so hard to rank at the moment and are all pretty interchangeable. The Beavs slide into the No. 4 spot because they got the W, but it maybe wasn’t the most impressive effort, but it also feels like this team is just waiting in the wings, bidding their time. This coming week’s game probably won’t be the most exciting, but in two weeks? That has some potential.

This week: at home against Stanford, 3:30 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

5. Arizona (6-3, 3-3)

Arizona 27 | UCLA 10

This team is another one that feels like it’s peaking at the right time. Not quite to the level of Oregon. The Wildcats are maybe a year or two away from that still, but to be a disrupter? To throw the conference race into mayhem? Absolutely this team can do that.

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

6. UCLA (6-3, 3-3)

UCLA 10 | Arizona 27

I really like this UCLA team. They are in a bit of a rebuild, but they have some nice pieces to work with and they play hard. Last week they met up with a team in a similar-ish situation and it didn’t work in their favor. That sometimes happens.

This week: at home against ASU, 7:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

7. USC (7-3, 4-2)

USC 42 | Washington 52

This team feels like it’s in a tailspin. They have all of the talent in the world but struggle to play as a team win or lose. For the record, there is zero shame in losing to UW. The Huskies are a very good football team, but it’s the attitudes and how things have been handled that have dropped the Trojans down the rankings this week. There has been a real lack of accountability from this group from various parties and it’s hurt them in inexcusable ways. Some action was taken over the weekend moving on from defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, but was the move too little, too late? The Trojans will prove it one way or the other this weekend.

This week: at Oregon, 8:30 pm MT, FOX

8. Colorado (4-5, 1-5)

Colorado 19 | Oregon State 26

The Buffs struggles continued this past weekend after their hot start earlier in the season. Losing to Oregon State, much like losing to UCLA the week before isn’t the worst thing in the world. They are solid teams, but it does paint a true picture of where Deion Sander’s team actually is and where they still need to get to. This week will not give much reprieve either.

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

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

Washington State 7 | Stanford 10

The wheels have completely come off for the Cougars after a really strong start. This is Wazzu’s second loss in two weeks to the two worst teams in the Pac-12. It doesn’t inspire much confidence.

This week: at home Cal, 2:00 pm MT, ESPN2 

10. Cal (3-6, 1-5)

Cal 19 | Oregon 63

Cal made this game interesting for a minute, but Oregon is so dang good right now. Outside of Arizona State, no one suffered more to a lopsided score.

This week: at home against Washington State, 2:00 pm MT, ESPN2

11. Stanford (3-6, 2-6)

Stanford 10| Washington State 7

Congrats Stanford, you got your second Pac-12 win over the weekend for the second week in a row. Perhaps things are starting to trend the right way for the Cardinal to finish the season? This week won’t be so easy though.

This week: at Oregon State, 3:30 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

12. Arizona State (2-6, 1-6)

Arizona State 3 | Utah 55

This was just a complete and total annihilation for the Sun Devils. It’s hard not to feel bad for this team between their injuries and the mess the previous coaching staff left behind. It’s going to be a long road to recovery. Thankfully it does feel like they have the right guy in place to make it happen in Kenny Dillingham.

This week: at UCLA, 7:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

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: Make Or Break Weekend For Conference Of Champions