Pac-12 Week 8 power rankings: Stanford rises to No. 1

McCaffrey, Stanford handle Washington (0:47)

Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey accounts for over a 100 rushing and receiving yards respectively and two touchdown as the Cardinal beats the Huskies 31-14. (0:47)

Welcome to this week's power rankings. If you don't like where you're ranked, play better. (Warning: Nos. 4-8 are a mess). You can see last week's ranking here.

1. Stanford Cardinal: Congrats, David Shaw and Co. I believe you're the fifth different team to occupy the No. 1 spot in the power rankings this season. Get comfy. I'm sure nothing will change in the next few weeks. Joking aside, Stanford is simply rolling right now. It's still too early to draw the 2014 Ohio State comparison ... isn't it?

2. Washington State Cougars: A three-game winning streak in conference play means it's time to officially start taking the Cougars seriously. No, seriously. Say the defense is inconsistent. Say the special teams is suspect. But they can put up points, and they can do it quickly and they can eat up yards in chunks. In a league where parity (parody?) reigns, that makes them awfully dangerous each week.

3. Utah Utes: No one was going to make it through the Pac-12 South undefeated. And anyone who thought otherwise was embracing illusions. That said, Utah got beat in the worst way possible -- they got out-muscled, something that doesn't happen often to a Kyle Whittingham team. The good news is they are still atop the division and control their own destiny. As Whittingham said after the game, “All is not lost.”

4. USC Trojans: Beat the No. 3 team in the country and you're going to enjoy a nice bump in the rankings. The Trojans are so full of potential. The question has been consistency and execution, not talent. The team that showed up Saturday night against the Utes was not the team that lost to Washington. That said, they are still 4-3 and 2-2 in conference play. Their placement in these rankings is not without hesitation.

5. UCLA Bruins: The same can be said for USC's cross-town rival. They, too, enjoy a nice bump for beating a ranked team. But which team shows up week-to-week continues to be a mystery. If it's the team that showed up against Cal, then the Bruins still have a legitimate shot at the division. If it's the team that showed up against Arizona State and Stanford, they'll quickly fall again to the bottom half of these rankings.

6. Oregon Ducks: No question, Oregon is a better team with Vernon Adams Jr. in the lineup. And the schedule sets up nicely for the Ducks to still make a run in the division and possibly get back into the rankings at a later date. Next up is Arizona State on a national spotlight, followed by Cal, Stanford and USC before the Civil War.

7. Arizona State Sun Devils: ASU drops a bit since the LA schools both had big wins against ranked opponents while the Sun Devils were on bye. Fear not, ASU fans. Win next week at home against Oregon and you'll move back up. Scoring an offensive touchdown would help as well.

8. California Bears: The Bears have come back to earth slightly after back-to-back losses. Priority No. 1 is getting that sixth win and getting back to the postseason. And with USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and Arizona State left on the docket, you have to imagine at least one win is out there. Are there more?

9. Washington Huskies: Next week is going to be a huge swing game for the Huskies when Arizona comes to town. A win keeps Washington in position for a bowl game. A loss forces them to win three of their last four against Utah, Arizona State, Oregon State or Washington State. That might be a lot to ask.

10. Arizona Wildcats: Next week is equally important for the Wildcats as they make their way to Seattle trying to lock up bowl eligibility. If it's not next week, they'll have to beat either USC, Utah or Arizona State down the stretch. And since they have struggled against teams with winning records, that could be a tall order.

11. Colorado Buffaloes: Anyone who saw Mike MacIntyre's reaction after beating Oregon State on Saturday night understands exactly what breaking a 14-game losing streak in conference games means to the coach and the Buffs. They probably aren't going to get to the seven-win mark and a bowl game (remember, they have 13 regular-season games), but getting that first conference win in almost two years is a tangible sign of improvement this team can build on.

12. Oregon State Beavers: The good news is the Beavers have five games left to find a conference win. The bad news is four of those five teams have a winning record. The team that doesn't -- Washington -- has one of the best defenses in the league.