Last week was quite the week in the Pac-12, with both of the teams ranked in the top 10 getting beat.
For the first time this year, the Pac-12 doesn’t have any teams in the Associated Press Top 10 rankings. Yet, several teams are still playing good football.
Heading into week No. 8, here’s a look at my updated Pac-12 rankings.
1. USC (6-1, 4-1; last week: 3): Trojans stopped a late 2-point conversion attempt by Utah to survive, 28-27. That was good enough to vault to the top after a tough week for the front-runners.
2. Washington (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12; last week: 1): The Huskies’ offense disappeared in a 13-7 loss at Arizona State. Their defense is still top-notch, though.
3. Stanford (5-2, 3-1; last week: 4): The hottest team in the conference has won four in a row, including 49-7 against Oregon last week.
4. Washington State (6-1, 3-1; last week: 2): A 37-3 loss to Cal was beyond ugly last week. Cougars are still one of the best in the conference and likely won’t play like that again.
5. Arizona (4-2, 2-1; last week: 8): The Wildcats lost to Utah, so in theory, they should be below the Utes. However, it’s not a stretch to say that if Khalil Tate had played against Utah, Arizona would be 3-0 in the conference and likely in the top spot.
6. Utah (4-2, 1-2; last week: 5): The Utes have had back-to-back losses to Stanford and USC by a total of four points.
7. California (4-3, 1-3; last week: 10): The Bears have been, without question, the most surprising team in the conference. Their win against Washington State was stunning.
8. Arizona State (3-3, 2-1; last week: 11): It’s been an up-and-down season for the Sun Devils, but they are the only team in the Pac-12 that’s defeated two ranked opponents this season. The win against Washington could be a springboard for a strong second half.
9. Oregon (4-3, 1-3; last week: 6): The Ducks have been blown out by a combined score of 82-17 the past two weeks with QB Justin Herbert injured.
10. UCLA (3-3, 1-2; last week: 7): Coming off its bye week, the Bruins were unable to stop Tate and Arizona.
11. Colorado (4-3, 1-3; last week: 9): The Buffs won last week – 36-33 – at Oregon State, but dropped two spots in my rankings. Thank ASU and Cal for that. Of course, it doesn’t help that they struggled to beat the Beavers.
12. Oregon State (1-6, 0-4; last week: 12): The Beavers have yet to defeat an FBS team this season.
Week 8 predictions
Colorado at Washington State: Tough assignment for the Buffs to go on the road against a team that’s motivated after getting routed in Berkeley. Prediction: Washington State.
Arizona State at Utah: Great win for the Sun Devils last week, but they come into this week with a nine-game road losing streak in the Pac-12. Utes find a way to snap their two-game skid. Prediction: Utah.
Oregon at UCLA: Justin Herbert is still out for Oregon, and Josh Rosen could have a lot of fun against the Ducks’ defense. Prediction: UCLA.
USC at Notre Dame: Trojans venture out of conference play to face the No. 13 Irish. Although the Trojans moved to No. 1 in my rankings this week, Notre Dame is playing better football. Prediction: Notre Dame.
Arizona at California: Two months ago, this was supposed to be a bad matchup of last-place teams. Now, it’s one of the more intriguing games in the Pac-12, featuring the two most surprising teams in the conference. Nobody has stopped Khalil Tate, but being at home could help the Bears. Prediction: Cal.
Bye week: Oregon State, Stanford, Washington
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.