Posted on October 11, 2022
Already facing an uphill battle, Utah was unofficially knocked out of contention with the defeat at the Rose Bowl. But one team’s loss is another’s gain.
UCLA’s win elevated it into a legitimate contender—and a dangerous-looking one at that.
Oregon maintained its standing with a convincing win over Arizona, and USC did what it needed to do against Washington State.
The results sent our writers and broadcasters back together to re-rank the 12 teams.
The list below is a composite of each voter’s picks, while the individual lists appear at the table near the bottom.
1. USC (6-0, 4-0) ◄►The Trojans took care of business in the second half against Washington State.
Holding the Cougars scoreless in the final two quarters, USC secured its first 6-0 start since 2006.
Alex Grinch’s defense forced five sacks and produced nine stops on third down.
SC’s Playoff hopes are on the line this weekend with a matchup against No. 20 Utah in Salt Lake City.
2. UCLA (6-0, 3-0) ▲2Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins are arguably the most complete team in the Pac-12.
For the second weekend in a row, Bill McGovern’s defense held a high-powered offense in check, while Chip Kelly’s system scored in the 40s for the fifth time this season.
DTR and Zach Charbonnet embarrassed the well-respected Utah defense with six combined touchdowns.
Entering a bye week, UCLA has forced its way into Playoff consideration.
3. Oregon (5-1, 3-0) ◄►Kenny Dillingham’s offense was unstoppable against Arizona.
The strength of Oregon’s offensive line was on full display, producing 306 yards rushing and seven-straight touchdown drives.
The Ducks looked like a varsity team playing the JV squad, sending the sellout crowd in Tucson home by the middle of the third quarter.
But the Wildcat defense is one of the worst in the country and UO faces a much stiffer test against UCLA and Bill McGovern’s group next week.
4. Utah (4-2, 2-1) ▼2Playing from behind for most of the game, Utah’s defense was embarrassed.
The 42 points allowed were tied for the highest surrendered by a Utes team in a Conference game since the 2016 season, matching the 42 given up to Oregon State last year.
Morgan Scalley’s group allowed more third-down conversions than stops and forced just two punts all game.
With the trajectory of the season on the line, the Utes face a must-win against No. 7 USC this weekend.
5. Washington State (4-2, 1-2) ▲1Jake Dickert’s game plan to contain Caleb Williams had mixed results.
The USC quarterback posted his second-fewest yards passing and yards per attempt on the season, but Travis Dye took full advantage.
Hyper-focused on Williams, the Cougar defense gave up 5.3 yards per rush to Dye on 28 carries.
Left to regroup, Washington State travels to Corvallis in a test that could indicate the trajectory of the remainder of the year.
6. Washington (4-2, 1-2) ▼1Once considered the strength of Washington Football, the Husky defense has become a liability.
It’s one thing to give up 40 points to a fifth-year senior like Dorian Thompson-Robinson. But it’s downright embarrassing to allow a backup quarterback playing the first meaningful snaps of his career to rack up 45.
Arizona State’s Trenton Bourguet looked like he was playing in a glorified practice, connecting on 15 of his 21 throws for three touchdowns.
The problems in the secondary could be magnified again this Saturday, with Arizona’s Jayden de Laura coming to Husky Stadium.
7. Oregon State (4-2, 1-2) ◄►Ugly wins still count. At the end of the season, a “W” will appear next to the Stanford game regardless of how the tape looks.
The Beavers escaped a damaging loss with last-minute heroics, connecting on a 56-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left to secure the win.
The high from the victory should be cut down quickly, however, as the underlying cracks begin to show.
Needing Chance Nolan to return as soon as possible, OSU’s season appears to be at a turning point.
8. Cal (3-2, 1-1) ◄►Like an echo in the distance, the California media’s drumbeat is slowly growing louder.
Becoming frustrated with treading water in the Pac-12, the questions about the program are becoming more focused on Justin Wilcox.
Taking care of the teams they were expected to beat, the Bears enter another game that’s projected to end in a win.
The margin of victory and the eye-test will be the primary storylines in Boulder, with any struggles only adding to the angst.
9. Arizona (3-3, 1-2) ◄►Jedd Fisch may have made a mistake in hiring Johnny Nansen.
The first-year defensive coordinator was a downgrade from Don Brown, brought into the program as a recruiter to build the program for the future.
But the results on the field can’t be ignored. Unwilling to make adjustments to a scheme that doesn’t fit his personnel, Nansen leads the third-worst Power Five scoring defense.
Incapable of stopping the run, Arizona’s opponents have a clear game plan for the remainder of the year.
10. Arizona State (2-4, 1-2) ◄►Shaun Aguano has masterminded a resurgence in Tempe.
In a de facto tryout for the head coaching position, Aguano has rallied local high school support and focused recruiting on the State of Arizona.
By chance, or perhaps a divine destiny, a local backup quarterback entered the game and led the Sun Devils to a victory over a Top 25 program.
Hailing from Tucson, Trenton Bourguet made the Washington defense look like the 3s and 4s of a fall camp practice.
Facing Stanford, Colorado, Oregon State, and Arizona over the remainder of the season, a bowl game suddenly appears to be an achievable goal.
11. Stanford (1-4, 0-4) ◄►At any other program, David Shaw would be let go by the end of the year.
But Shaw’s historic achievements at Stanford provide him additional leeway to overcome an 11-game losing streak to FBS opponents.
Still, the state of the program can’t be denied and the future is murky with the expected departure of Tanner McKee after this season.
And with a daunting schedule ahead of it, it’s fair to wonder if Stanford will win another game this year.
12. Colorado (0-5, 0-2) ◄►With much of the pressure removed after the termination of Karl Dorrell, the Colorado roster might play like a new team.
There’s no longer anything to lose and a sense of fun should be returning to the players.
Nobody is expecting CU to beat California, arguably making the matchup a trap game for the Bears.
If Owen McCown continues his development and the Buffaloes’ defense contains Jaydn Ott, anything can happen at Folsom Field.
How our Senior Football Writers and Broadcasters Voted
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