Posted on November 8, 2022
Oregon continued to dominate, while UCLA, USC, and Utah did what they needed to do.
The four-way race for the Championship Game is coming down to the wire, with a de facto elimination weekend just over the horizon.
The predictable results sent our Writers and Broadcasters back together to produce a new power ranking.
The list below is a composite of each voter’s lists, while the individual rankings appear in the table at the bottom.
1. Oregon (8-1, 6-0) ◄►The Ducks handled Colorado in a dominant fashion that should boost their College Football Playoff ranking.
Margin of victory will remain pivotal throughout the rest of the year, with the committee respecting larger wins over close victories.
And with Bo Nix emerging as a Heisman favorite, the sky is the limit in Eugene.
2. UCLA (8-1, 5-1) ◄►Without Zach Charbonnet, the Bruins still put up 50 points in the desert.
The road victory is a positive sign for the depth the program has built on offense and the interchangeable pieces within Chip Kelly’s scheme.
UCLA has respectable wins in the Pac-12, but likely has too soft of a nonconference resume to secure a Playoff appearance without outside help.
3. USC (8-1, 6-1) ◄►
Something is not right in L.A.
The Trojans were unable to put California to bed, allowing the Bears to claw back into the game with a 21-point fourth quarter.
Combined with the 24 points allowed in the second half to Arizona, USC does not pass the eye test.
And while the strength of its brand may continue to keep it in the Top 10 of the CFP rankings, the Trojans do not appear to be a Playoff-caliber team.
4. Utah (7-2, 5-1) ◄►In cold torrential rain, the Utes dominated Arizona.
Shutting down one of the most explosive offenses in the country, Morgan Scalley’s group has seemingly returned to form.
There are countless scenarios remaining to determine the Pac-12 Championship game matchup, but the Utes likely need to win out to make it back.
5. Washington (7-2, 4-2) ▲1Pac-12 After Dark took on new meaning at Husky Stadium after the lights when out in the fourth quarter on Friday night.
After the delay, Michael Penix Jr. led the Dawgs on a 92-yard drive to kick the game-winning field goal, converting three third downs in the process.
The win put Washington back into the AP Top 25 and sets the expectation for a nine-win season, at minimum.
6. Oregon State (6-3, 3-3) ▼1Ben Gulbranson threw for just 87 yards and the Beaver defense couldn’t get a stop when it mattered.
The 262 yards of total offense was underwhelming considering the struggles Washington’s defense has battled through this year.
The defeat in Seattle opens the door for Chance Nolan to regain the starting quarterback role moving forward.
And facing two challenging games to end the year, a seven-win regular season is a growing possibility.
7. Washington State (5-4, 2-4) ◄►
Nakia Watson may be the key to the entire Coug Raid.
The running back returned to the field against Stanford, putting together 166 yards rushing and 29 yards receiving with a touchdown.
The absence of his speed and power was felt in the two games he missed, resulting in an ineffective one-dimensional offense.
But Watson’s return revitalizes the WSU scheme and sets the table for a strong finish to the year.
8. Cal (3-6, 1-5) ▲2Despite having one of the worst offensive lines in the Pac-12 in front of him, Jack Plummer continues to fight to the end.
The grad transfer had one of the most productive games of his career on Saturday, throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns.
The close defeat is arguably more of a reflection on USC, but the Bears should take some momentum from the game.
9. Arizona State (3-6, 2-4) ◄►Falling short in a late comeback attempt against UCLA, the Sun Devils showed their merit.
Trenton Bourguet took hit after hit, yet still managed to put up 349 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Still, very few teams can overcome conceding 50 points and 402 yards rushing.
With three capable opposing offenses remaining on the schedule, the ASU defense must step it up, or a three-win season might be unavoidable.
10. Arizona (3-6, 1-5) ▼2The Wildcats took a step backward in Salt Lake City.
The poor weather at Rice Eccles Stadium played a role, but four turnovers and plethora of fumbles is inexcusable.
To make matters worse, Jacob Cowing suffered an injury and his status is questionable moving forward.
On the positive side, Tetairoa McMillan once again proved why he is one of the top freshman receivers in the nation.
11. Stanford (3-5, 1-5) ◄►At any other school, David Shaw would be shown the door.
But Stanford is a different animal and Shaw has substantial accomplishments to his name.
Injuries have played a role once again, a constant theme that has burdened the program over the past few years. Still, the Cardinal offense is uninspiring and has been for almost half a decade.
The question is: How much more can the administration tolerate before making a move?
12. Colorado (1-7, 1-4) ◄►
Kicking off their brutal stretch to finish the year, the Buffs were taken to the shed by Oregon.
The 10 points scored was the third-fewest of the year, while the 49 points allowed tied for the most.
It’s a lost season for Colorado that is on path to go down as one of the worst in program history.
How our Senior Football Writers and Broadcasters Voted
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