USC has all but locked up the Pac-12 South, while Washington holds a slight edge over Washington State and Stanford in the North. Here's an updated look at the Pac-12 power rankings:
1. Washington (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12): It was a good week for the Huskies, who beat Oregon 38-3, and their College Football Playoff hopes. They still need a lot of help (and to keep winning, obviously), but No. 6 Ohio State and No. 7 Penn State both losing sets up a greater possibility for a two-loss Big Ten champion. (Wisconsin is still undefeated.) That would be one fewer hurdle for the Huskies, who debuted at No. 12 in the first CFP rankings, to jump should they win out. Now they need the same type of attrition in the ACC and Big 12 to really start feeling good about their chances.
2. USC (8-2, 6-1): Thanks to the emergence of its running game, USC’s offense has finally been clicking for the past two weeks. The Trojans, who beat Arizona 49-35 on Saturday, can clinch the Pac-12 South with one more win. They have games at Colorado and at home against UCLA remaining.
3. Washington State (8-2, 5-2): Quarterback Luke Falk had one of his best games of the season (34-of-48, 337 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) in the Cougars' 24-21 win over Stanford, in which he became the Pac-12’s all-time leading passer (13,806 yards). It’s hard to have the Cougars ahead of Arizona, but their overall body of work is better.
4. Arizona (6-3, 4-2): Khalil Tate finally proved to be human with a costly late interception, but the job he did bringing the Wildcats back to tie the score at 35 with USC is another example of why the future is bright in Tucson.
5. Stanford (6-3, 5-2): Running back Bryce Love returned for the Cardinal, but he still didn’t look at full strength -- outside of a 52-yard touchdown run. On his other 15 carries in the game, Love gained just 17 yards.
6. Arizona State (5-4, 4-2): An 8-4 regular season is still very much in play for the Sun Devils, who rebounded nicely after their loss to USC last week.
7. Utah (5-4, 2-4): Things finally clicked offensively for the Utes as their 48-17 demolition of UCLA ended a four-game losing streak. Coach Kyle Whittingham is good for a bowl win just about every season, and that’s the expectation again this year.
8. Colorado (5-5, 2-5): The Buffaloes held a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter against Arizona State where a win would have meant a bowl berth. Instead, they lost by 11 and now need to either beat USC in Boulder this week or at Utah in the season finale to reach the postseason.
9. Oregon (5-5, 2-5): In its past five games, Oregon has played well once, and now the defense has to prepare for a visit from Tate in two weeks. If QB Justin Herbert can return, it will be a showcase game for the conference's quarterbacks of the future.
10. California (5-5, 2-5): The Bears beat Oregon State 37-23 and have already exceeded expectations for the season. They can punch their bowl ticket with a win at either Stanford or UCLA. The latter seems more likely, but don't count out Cal on its trip to the Farm in two weeks.
11. UCLA (4-5, 2-4): The Bruins are one of just two teams in the conference with a losing record. They were having a hard-enough time winning games with QB Josh Rosen -- without him, it feels like a lost cause.
12. Oregon State (1-8, 0-6): At this point, the only question worth asking is: Who will be the next head coach?