USC had an opportunity in South Bend on Saturday to put an underwhelming first half of the season behind itself. Instead, the Trojans fell flat on their faces, and the Pac-12's reputation took a hit as a result. Here are the latest Pac-12 power rankings for what is quickly turning into a disappointing season for the conference on the national stage.
1. Stanford (5-2 overall, 4-1 Pac-12): The Cardinal move into the top spot despite not playing this week thanks to USC’s humiliating loss at Notre Dame. Stanford started off slowly this season, but over the past month it has been the conference’s best team. It also has a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate in Bryce Love.
2. Washington (6-1, 3-1): Washington was also idle this week and has UCLA and Oregon to play before it travels to Stanford on Nov. 10.
3. Washington State (7-1, 4-1): Luke Falk broke the school record for career wins by a quarterback (25) and became the Pac-12’s all-time leader in total offense as Wazzu bounced back from last week’s disaster in Berkeley with a 28-0 win against Colorado.
4. USC (6-2, 4-1): The Trojans are still in a good spot to qualify for the Pac-12 title game, but this is not anywhere close to a playoff team. A loss to Arizona State this week would essentially make for a lost season considering the lofty preseason expectations.
5. Arizona State (4-3, 3-1): No team in the conference has improved more from Week 1 to now. The Sun Devils’ defense has allowed just 17 total points over the past two weeks in wins against Washington and Utah.
6. Arizona (5-2, 3-1): Quarterback Khalil Tate is appointment viewing and has helped turned the Wildcats into a factor in the Pac-12 South. On his seven touchdown runs in the past three weeks, he has averaged 57.1 yards per carry.
7. Utah (4-3, 1-3): After coming thisclose in losses to Stanford and USC, the Utes lost by 20 at home to ASU. Quarterback Tyler Huntley returned from injury but struggled against the first good defense he’s seen this season.
8. California (4-4, 1-4): The Bears couldn’t build off last week's dismantling of Washington State in a double-overtime loss to Arizona. The good news: Colorado and Oregon State await, which should take the Bears to bowl eligibility with two games to spare.
9. UCLA (4-3, 2-2): Hosting Oregon wasn’t a must-win game by definition, but it probably felt like it for the Bruins -- and they came through. Still, two more wins and bowl eligibility isn’t a lock with games at Washington, at Utah, home against Arizona State, at USC and home against Cal remaining.
10. Oregon (4-4, 1-4): Without quarterback Justin Herbert, the Ducks are lost on offense.
11. Colorado (4-4, 1-4): The Buffs expected to have one of the best offenses in school history, but it was so bad at Washington State on Saturday that coach Mike MacIntyre benched starting quarterback Steven Montez at halftime. It didn’t help.
12. Oregon State (1-6, 0-4): It’s more likely than not that OSU will finish 0-9 in the Pac-12.