Pac-10 Power Rankings: Week 8

If you don't like where you are in the power rankings, play better.

1. Oregon: The Ducks are No. 1. In the nation. Only for the first time ever. By the way, the correct Shakespearean reference is "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."

2. Stanford: The Cardinal continues to lurk. Washington State visits on Saturday. Then a matchup at Washington looms large -- the guess here is lots of NFL scouts will be there to see Lucker vs. Lock. Er, Locker vs. Luck.

3. Arizona: So how come the Wildcats rise to here after a blah win at Washington State in which they lose quarterback Nick Foles for at least a few weeks to a knee injury after -- oh, by the way -- losing at home to Oregon State. Because that win against Iowa continues to look better, and because if a supernatural force threatened to put me through some sort of cosmic torture unless I correctly identified the Wildcats ranking in the Pac-10, I'd close my eyes and say, "No. 3 ... please don't make me watch 'Jersey Shore!' "

4. USC: Did you see what the Trojans did to Cal? Let's just put it this way: The teams that already have played USC might be happy they did. Someone will e-mail this week -- as someone does every week -- asking if I think Lane Kiffin is a good coach. My answer to that is now a heavy "yes" lean.

5. Arizona State: Oregon State beat Arizona State. Arizona State beat Washington. Washington beat Oregon State. The Huskies have a quality win at USC. The Beavers have a quality win at Arizona. The Sun Devils played Wisconsin and Oregon tough (quality losses? hey, we've got to use every tool we have for distinctions). Nos. 5, 6, 7 are just sort of, "Hey, my boss wants me to post the power rankings so just type something, will 'ya."

6. Washington: See above. By the way, if Jake Locker and the defense play like they did against Oregon State, the Huskies are going to a bowl game and Locker will still end up a first-round NFL draft pick. Some of those throws versus the Beavers were just special.

7. Oregon State: Quarterback Ryan Katz came back down to earth and so did the Beavers. Here's a guess the bye week comes at a good time after five consecutive tough foes.

8. California: Oh, Cal, I wish I knew how to quit you.

9. UCLA: The Bruins visit Oregon for a Thursday night ESPN clash. Will they bring the curse of the No. 1 ranking with them? Or will they just get their brains beat in?

10. Washington State: Over the past two years, every time I typed in the Cougars in last place, I always thought of Nigel Tufnel telling me that the power rankings should go up to 11. That was not the case today.