Pac-10 Football Power Rankings 10/13/10

October 13, 2010

With talk of agent Josh Luchs giving money to former Pac-10 players, and debates raging over how to geographically divide the conference's 12 teams next year, it is easy to overlook the fact that conference play is in full swing.

Here are our latest power rankings:

1. Oregon (6-0, 3-0)

Oregon clearly is the class of the conference, and perhaps the entire NCAA as well. Blessed with team speed, a high-powered offense, and a burgeoning superstar at tailback in LaMichael James, the Ducks could very well steamroll through the league undefeated. James is coming off a 25-carry, 136-yard effort last week against Washington State.

Thus far, the only question mark has been the health of quarterback Darron Thomas. Thomas has made everyone forget Jeremiah Masoli with his stellar play, but then injured his throwing shoulder in last week's game. Fortunately, Oregon has a bye this week, giving him extra rest before UCLA comes to town.

2. Stanford (5-1, 2-1)

Stanford rebounded from a tough road loss to Oregon, producing a clutch 37-35 win against USC in a high-scoring shootout at home. The physical Cardinal ran for 193 yards against the Trojans D, while star quarterback Andrew Luck continued his chase for the Heisman with a superb 20-24, 285-yard, 3-touchdown performance. Included in those numbers was Luck's final drive down the field for a game-winning field goal in the final seconds.

3. Oregon State (3-2, 2-0)

The Beavers were dealt a tough blow when star senior wideout James Rodgers was lost for the season to a knee injury. Despite that loss, this team remains capable of beating any team in the conference, as they have been battle-tested in hostile environments against TCU and Boise State, and still feature the duo of running back 'Quizz Rodgers and QB Ryan Katz.

Katz in fact had one of his better games last week, throwing for 393 yards and 2 TD's against Arizona in a 29-27 road victory. Up next: A potentially tough road game at Washington.

4. Arizona (4-1, 1-1)

At this point the Wildcats are a bit of an unknown. They beat Big 10 power Iowa at home, and were fortunate to defeat Cal in a 10-9 nail-biter. Now fresh off a loss to the Beavers, the jury perhaps is still out as to whether this is indeed a top 3 team in the conference.

Nevertheless, there is no disputing the effectiveness of Arizona's conference-leading passing offense and QB Nick Foles , who continued his excellent play with 440 passing yards and three touchdowns in last week's losing cause. Expect more big numbers from Foles, as the 'Cats take on conference doormat Washington State this weekend.

5. California (3-2, 1-1)

Cal finally erased any lasting nightmares of Nevada's pistol offense by shellacking UCLA and its version of the pistol last week, 35-7. Shane Vereen gashed the Bruins defense for 151 yards on 25 carries in the winning effort, showing why he is one of the better backs in the conference.

But for once, the real story in Berkeley this year is the Bears D, which is giving up a conference-best average of only 254 total yards and 15 points per game. That defense will be put to the test this week against USC's red-hot Matt Barkley.

6. USC (4-2, 1-2)

The Trojans' defense is a mess right now and for the second week in a row managed to give up a game-winning drive in the final seconds. Fortunately for USC, the offense is really coming along nicely, as quarterback Matt Barkley and frosh wideout Robert Woods both had breakthrough efforts last week.

Barkley threw for 390 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions, while Woods hauled in 12 passes for 224 yards and 3 touchdowns. Both will need to come up big again this week, as the Men of Troy take on Cal's tough D at the LA Coliseum.

7. UCLA (3-3, 1-2)

After three straight wins, the Bruins regressed, falling apart on the road last week at Cal. The 35-7 whupping exposed the Bruins' one-dimensional rushing attack, as quarterback Kevin Prince was unable to move the ball through the air once UCLA fell behind.

Now with Coach Neuheisel issuing one-game suspensions to F-Back Morrell Presley and big-play wideout Josh Smith, expect the Bruins' league-worst passing offense to struggle that much more versus conference powerhouse Oregon on October 21st.

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

After a series of competitive near-misses, the Sun Devils finally came through in a close one, taking down the Huskies on the road, 24-14. QB Steven Threet rebounded from a rough outing the previous week to throw for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Thanks to a bye this week, Arizona State will have an extra week to prepare for its road game against Cal on October 23rd. A win against the Bears could be an indication that the Sun Devils indeed have turned the corner.

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

Much like their inconsistent star quarterback Jake Locker, the Huskies followed up a tremendous, last-second road win over 'SC with a letdown home loss to Arizona State.

This team remains a work a progress, but at least Coach Steve Sarkisian has a great equalizer in the talented Locker: When he plays outstanding and mistake-free, the Huskies are capable of beating just about any team in the conference, including this week's opponent, Oregon State.

10. Washington State (1-5, 0-3)

The Cougars are winless in league, but have been competitive in their last two games against UCLA and Oregon, respectively. Unfortunately, things will not get any easier, as Nick Foles and the Arizona Wildcats come to town this week. The rebuilding continues.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for


  1. Kiffin looks like a fool week after week with his incompetent clock management. Trojans fans need to wake up & realize that in 2 years they will be closer to the Paul Hackett era than the Carroll era.

  2. Kiffin has been a disaster at each job he has taken. I dont know why programs continue to give him coaching opportunities at elite schools.


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