Pac-12 Week 12 Power Rankings: The North remembers

Welcome to the Week 12 power rankings. If you don’t like where you’re ranked, play better. You can see last week's rankings here.

1. Stanford Cardinal: They finished their Pac-12 slate with just one conference loss, they locked up the North Division and they are headed to the league title game for the third time in four years.

2. Oregon Ducks: The only Pac-12 team to beat the Cardinal, the Ducks are one of the hottest teams in the country right now. That doesn't do much for the national landscape, but they are going to make some bowl team unhappy (and probably Oregon State, too).

3. Washington State Cougars: Regardless of what happens in the Apple Cup, Luke Falk (who of course we hope is going to be OK) should be the league’s offensive player of the year and Mike Leach should be the coach of the year. An improved defense is as much a reason as the high-flying offense.

4. UCLA Bruins: For all the injuries and all the ups and downs of this season, the Bruins are mostly (not exactly) where they wanted to be ... playing for the South title. UCLA is perfect against the Trojans in the Jim Mora era.

5. USC Trojans: The same can be said for the Trojans, who have certainly weathered their share of adversity. That they are still in a position to play for the division speaks to the job Clay Helton has done keeping the team together. Though a big loss to Oregon has to be a shot to their confidence.

6. Utah Utes: Pretty clear just how important running back Devontae Booker is to this team. A solid defensive effort Saturday against UCLA, but the Utes weren’t able to create turnovers. And this offense -- especially sans Booker -- needs extra opportunities. Instead, Utah gave the ball away twice.

7. Arizona State Sun Devils: A victory over Arizona in the Territorial Cup and a bowl berth will go a long way toward softening the blow of a disappointing season. The Sun Devils have played really good football the past six quarters and can strengthen their bowl position with four more good ones Saturday at Cal.

8. California Bears: No time to cry over the axe that got away. A hot Arizona State team comes to town, and a seventh victory for the Bears would certainly build upon what has already been an improved season.

9. Washington Huskies: When the offense doesn’t put the defense in a hole, this is a solid football team. The Huskies will need the offense to be on point Friday in the Apple Cup if they hope to become bowl eligible.

10. Arizona Wildcats: Offensively, Arizona is just a different team without Anu Solomon at quarterback, and that was evident in the loss to ASU. The Wildcats' regular season ends with a 6-6 mark and a lot of lingering “what-ifs” after they were gutted by injuries.

11. Colorado Buffaloes: All that’s left is a “rivalry” game with Utah. The good news for the Buffs is that this has been a drama-filled contest since both teams joined the league in 2011, with all four games being decided by one possession.

12. Oregon State Beavers: For the second time this season, the Beavers gave up 45 points in the first half. That pretty much sums up how things are going in Corvallis.