Pac-10 Power Rankings: Week 15

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

1. Oregon: The Ducks spent the entire season here. But will the best season in program history end up with a great big "No. 1" beside it?

2. Stanford: The Cardinal have come a long way under Jim Harbaugh. The biggest stress before the Discover Orange Bowl: Will Harbaugh be back in 2011? (Jim, there's no Pac-10 blog in the NFL, so make your decision carefully).

3. Arizona State: The winner of the Territorial Cup may be the front-runner for Year 1 of the Pac-12 South. Hey, Sun Devils, what are you going to do between now and August to get better?

4. Arizona: That. Was. Excruciating. And now the Wildcats ride a four-game losing streak into the Valero Alamo Bowl against a potent Oklahoma State team. Think Brother Bob might have some notes to give Mike?

5. Washington: The Huskies didn't turn out to be as good as we thought they'd be in the preseason. But they may have been scrappier. First bowl game since 2002 is meaningful. Bad news is those Cornhuskers really did a number on the Dawgs in September.

6. Oregon State: This just wasn't the Beavers' year. The downturn actually started when two defensive starters quit during the offseason and continued with injuries -- James Rodgers! -- and players not living up to expectations. It also might help to not play two top-10 teams in nonconference play.

7. USC: So was Lane Kiffin's first year a success? Under the circumstances, there were more encouraging aspects than worrisome ones. And there's grounds for hope going forward, though fans need to understand there will be no return to 2004 over the next three years.

8. California: The direction of Cal is hard to read. Not much was expected of the Bears in the preseason, and that's what they delivered. When Cal fan's chief hope is seeing Harbaugh no longer on the Farm, that's a bit dreary. At the same time: Find a quarterback, rediscover your mojo.

9. UCLA: There are plenty of valid excuses for the Bruins' flop this season, starting with injuries. But, as every coach says, that's part of the game. Coach Rick Neuheisel has some tough choices to make with his staff this offseason. And he will enter 2011 on the hot seat.

10. Washington State: Athletic director Bill Moos made the right call bringing back coach Paul Wulff for his fourth season. The Cougars should be much improved in 2011. But that means Wulff must deliver.