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Pac-12 Week 7 Power Rankings: Utes hanging tough

Here are this week’s power rankings. Surprisingly, the top three haven’t changed. Shocking! If you don’t like where you’re ranked, play better. You can see last week's rankings here.

1. Utah Utes: The special teams failed against ASU. The run game failed (for about 58 minutes). And yet the Utes keep on winning. Still, don’t think a Pac-12 team is going to run the table. But these Utes are getting a lot of the bounces that seem to go the way of championship teams. And they may have been a little lucky, but they're also finding ways to make their own luck.

2. Stanford Cardinal: Another dominating performance in the win over UCLA. An argument can be made for the Cardinal as the No. 1 team in the conference. Really, the only thing that is separating them from the Utes is the overall record. But for now, we have some separation in the two divisions.

3. California Golden Bears: A good time for a bye after a tough loss. Now it’s back on the road against a vulnerable UCLA team.

4. Washington State Cougars: No, this isn’t a misprint. Why not the Cougs? Everyone ahead of them from last week lost and they dominated a team they were supposed to dominate. They have enough of a run game to make the Air Raid that much more efficient, and the defense, although still not elite, is at least forcing turnovers. Tough to make an argument for anyone behind them.

5. Oregon Ducks: The Ducks got a much-needed win against a better Washington team than people give the Huskies credit for being. And they are a much more efficient team with Vernon Adams Jr. back in at quarterback. Oregon isn’t elite anymore, but it is still a team no one wants to play.

6. Arizona State Sun Devils: Considering the Sun Devils were in a position to beat the No. 4 team in the country on the road late in the fourth quarter, we didn't ding them too hard. Their run defense is really, really tough. Offensively, they struggled against Utah’s defense. But it’s unlikely they’ll see a defense of that caliber the rest of the season.

7. Arizona Wildcats: The Wildcats get a bump because a couple of teams ahead of them lost. But Colorado gave them all they could handle. Still, after the back-to-back blowout losses to UCLA and Stanford, the Wildcats have won two straight games against teams they were supposed to beat, and there’s something to be said for that.

8. Washington Huskies: The Huskies' time will come, but this isn’t it. They played Oregon tougher than they have in years, but youth and inexperience -- especially on offense -- is going to be a hindrance. There are absolutely three more wins on the schedule to get this team to a bowl game. There are also, potentially, five or six more losses.

9. UCLA Bruins: The Bruins and Trojans are basically interchangeable at this point, although for different reasons. UCLA isn’t devoid of leadership, it's just really, really banged up, and that has shown the past couple of weeks on defense. UCLA’s schedule down the stretch might be a little more forgiving, but right now the team looks completely discombobulated.

10. USC Trojans: The Trojans fell to Notre Dame in their first of three straight games against ranked opponents. And while their effort against Notre Dame was admirable, you have to wonder what this team has in the tank. Many of the players have been through this awkward interim-coach transition before, but it’s different this time around because the conference has gotten tougher. It’s hard to imagine the Trojans missing the postseason. But when you go down the schedule, you can see that it's not out of the question.

11. Colorado Buffaloes: Same story, different week. So close, but not there yet.

12. Oregon State Beavers: Head coach Gary Andersen was quoted on the Pac-12 Networks broadcast game Saturday as saying that the fact that his team is young and inexperienced shouldn’t be an excuse. Well, it kind of is. And they really are.