Pac-12 Week 11 Power Rankings: Oregon, Washington State rising

Here are your Week 11 Power Rankings. They are a mess. If you don’t like where you’re ranked, play better. Here are last week's rankings.

1. Stanford Cardinal: Yes, the Cardinal lost. But they still have the best record in the league (7-1, while four teams are 5-2) and are still in the driver’s seat to win the North Division. We all figured a Pac-12 team running the table in league play would be a pipe dream. Stanford’s one league loss is still better than the field.

2. USC Trojans: They didn’t look great in the first half against Colorado, but they held serve and kept pace. At this point in the season, with more drama to come in the final two weeks, it no longer matters how you win. Winning ugly is still winning.

3. Washington State Cougars: The Cougars are 7-2 since losing to Portland State in the season opener and are off to their best start since 2003. The days of “you-know-what-ing” it are long gone. This team knows how to finish. A nine-win season is very possible.

4. Utah Utes: The only thing keeping the Utes ahead of the Ducks right now is they have the better overall record and won the head-to-head matchup. But their one-game lead in the South is gone, and the door is open for the Trojans -- who still need to beat Oregon and UCLA. Speaking of the Bruins, the Utes get them next week in a must-win game for both teams to stay alive in the South race.

5. Oregon Ducks: This team appears to finally be peaking. Which is great. But it might have happened a little too late. The Ducks hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinal but need Cal to knock Stanford off next week -- and, of course, the Ducks have to win out to win the division. That USC game next week has become very intriguing when, just a couple of weeks ago, it appeared to have lost some luster.

6. UCLA Bruins: No time to cry. The Bruins still have a win-out scenario for the division. Time to put the last-second loss to Washington State in the rearview mirror and gear up for the Utes. The South is a three-team race. And the Bruins are in the fortuitous position to play the teams that stand in their way.

7. California Golden Bears: The Bears snapped a four-game losing streak and are going bowling. They can’t win the division, but they can do everything in their power to spoil things for their rival. A win next week in the Big Game would elevate their bowl status and put the Ducks in position to win the North. A loss would clinch the division for the Cardinal.

8. Arizona State Sun Devils: Apparently the Sun Devils had been doing it wrong during their three-game losing streak. Who knew the secret was not to score first and not to have a halftime lead. With two games left to play, the Sun Devils need one win to lock up bowl eligibility. And how sweet it would be for them to do it next week against Arizona in the Territorial Cup.

9. Arizona Wildcats: It took nearly a month, but the Wildcats finally picked up that sixth win. That, and knocking off a top-10 team at home in double overtime with your backup quarterback on senior night, should help take some of the sting out of what has been a tough year. Beating ASU couldn’t hurt, either. Hang in there, Wildcats, the bye week is coming.

10. Washington Huskies: Washington needs to win out against Oregon State and Washington State to make the postseason. If the Huskies play the way they did in the first half against Arizona State, that’s very possible. If they play the way they did in the second half against Arizona State, it’s not. Inconsistency comes with a young team that’s learning how to finish. I'm still convinced this team will be really, really good in the coming years.

11. Colorado Buffaloes: The Buffs were well on their way toward notching their first signature win since joining the Pac-12. But they let the Trojans back in the game in the second half, and here we are, still talking about what could have been. There have been a lot of those this season.

12. Oregon State Beavers: It’s been a tough season. We’ll leave it at that for this week.