Posted on October 19, 2022
BYU was trounced by Arkansas, Fresno State secured a surprise upset over San Jose State, and Utah came from behind to beat USC.
Stanford surprised everyone with a win on the road at Notre Dame.
With Boise State, San Diego State, Oregon, and UCLA coming off byes, this Week 8 Power Ranking is a true snapshot of the status quo at midseason.
The list below is a composite of our Senior Writers’ and Broadcasters’ votes. If you’re curious on each voter’s views, the table at the bottom contains all the individual lists.
1. UCLA (6-0, 3-0) ▲1Moving up to No. 9 in the AP Top 25, UCLA secured its highest ranking in the media poll since the 2015 season.
Nobody has been able to stop Chip Kelly’s offense this year.
The Bruins are No. 12 in the nation in scoring offense, putting up 41.5 points per game. But the surprise of the season has been Bill McGovern’s defense.
McGovern’s group is the No. 5 scoring defense in the Pac-12, holding opponents to 22.6 points per game.
2. Oregon (5-1, 3-0) ▲1With an extra week to prepare for UCLA’s offense, the Ducks are ready for College GameDay and one of the top matchups in the Pac-12 this season.
Oregon holds a seven-game win streak over the Bruins at Autzen Stadium and hasn’t lost to UCLA in Eugene since 2004.
But Dan Lanning’s defense faces a difficult task in slowing down Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Chip Kelly’s scheme.
Yet, with UO’s Playoff hopes still alive and well, the crowd at Autzen promises to make life difficult for the Bruin offense.
3. USC (6-1, 4-1) ▼2For the seventh-straight game, the Trojans fell short against a team ranked in the AP Top 25.
The last time USC beat a ranked opponent was on September 20, 2019, and the most recent true road victory over a Top 25 program was all the way back in 2016.
The losing streaks are evidence of the remaining hurdles Lincoln Riley faces to return SC back to its glory days.
Entering a bye week, injuries to star wide receiver Jordan Addison and linebacker Eric Gentry are the focus.
4. Utah (5-2, 3-1) ◄►Morgan Scalley’s defense wasn’t able to contain a high-powered offense for the second game in a row, but the Utes still secured the win in Salt Lake City.
Kyle Whittingham’s decision to go for two paid off and the largest crowd in Rice-Eccles Stadium history rushed the field.
The victory saved Utah’s season and put it back in contention for a New Year’s Six Bowl.
With a bye week ahead of it, the UU staff can focus on recruiting and beginning early preparation for the road test at Washington State.
5. Oregon State (5-2, 2-2) ▲2The Beavers shut down Cam Ward and the Washington State offense.
Expected to be a close battle, Oregon State forced the Cougars into an inefficient one-dimensional passing team.
The victory sets the table for a strong finish to the year.
Matched up with Colorado this weekend, OSU is likely to reach bowl eligibility for back-to-back years for the first time since the 2012-2013 seasons.
6. Washington (5-2, 2-2) ◄►Facing a weak Arizona defense, Washington lopped 49 on the scoreboard and appeared to return to form.
Still, the victory covers up a growing problem that must be addressed. Over the past three games, the Husky defense is allowing 41.3 points per night.
That’s unsustainable and indicates the need for changes on the defensive staff. Kalen DeBoer may wait until the offseason to make changes, but the writing is on the wall for moves to be made.
7. BYU (4-3) ▼2Changes need to be made to BYU’s defense.
Whether that is staff, scheme, personnel, or play-calling adjustments is up to Kalani Sitake.
But after Arkansas put up 644 total yards of offense and went 12-for-15 on third down, the status quo can’t remain. Jaren Hall is too talented under center to squander games away due to poor defense.
Sitake is reported to be considering taking over play-calling duties, but it will likely take numerous additional steps to address all of the Cougars’ defensive issues.
8. Washington State (4-3, 1-3) ▼2The absence of starting running back Nakia Watson was on full display in Corvallis.
Unable to run the ball, the Coug Raid became one-dimensional and was shut down by Oregon State’s secondary.
Cam Ward was sacked six times and completed a season-low 46.3 percent of his passes, despite throwing for a season-high 54 attempts.
The defeat throws the remainder of the season into question.
Needing two more victories to reach bowl eligibility, the games against Stanford, Arizona State, and Arizona are no longer viewed as easy wins.
9. Boise State (4-2, 3-0) ◄►Coming off a bye week at the midway point of the year, Boise State is at a crucial point in its season.
The program struggled through a quarterback controversy in the first half of the year, eventually leading to the departure of Hank Bachmeier.
Now with Taylen Green at the helm, the Bronco offense has converted to a run-heavy RPO attack that puts up points. Interwoven within the offensive changes has been a consistent and elite defense.
Sitting No. 22 in the nation in points allowed per game, the BSU “D” puts the program into position to contend for a Mountain West championship.
10. Stanford (2-4, 1-4) ▲5Snapping an 11-game losing streak to FBS opponents, Stanford shocked the College Football world with a victory on the road against Notre Dame.
The win recasts the remainder of the Cardinal’s season in a new light.
A daunting schedule remains, yet the matchups with Arizona State and Washington State at home are suddenly viewed as winnable.
The turnaround is primarily attributable to an improved defense, as the Tree have held their opponent to fewer points than the game prior for the second weekend in a row.
11. Arizona (3-4, 1-3) ◄►The Wildcat defense is an unmitigated disaster. Johnny Nansen’s 4-2-5 base scheme isn’t effective with Arizona’s personnel, putting the players in a position to fail.
Contrasted with a potent offense that has taken several leaps forward, the defense has regressed despite returning a majority of its talent and adding productive pieces.
The common denominator is coaching and the first-year coordinator is rightly on the hot seat. Results on the field matter and Nansen isn’t getting the job done.
12. Arizona State (2-4, 1-2) ◄►There’s a quarterback controversy brewing in Tempe.
Despite what interim head coach Shaun Aguano states publicly, there’s little doubt that Emory Jones’ hold on starting role is up in the air.
Trenton Bourguet played too well against the Washington defense to keep him sidelined. If Jones struggles in the first half against Stanford this weekend, Bourguet will likely get another opportunity.
And facing a must-win for bowl eligibility, Jones may only get a couple of drives to keep the job.
13. Cal (3-3, 1-2) ▼3The defeat at winless Colorado was one of the worst losses in modern California history. The offensive game plan was dramatically inadequate and the loss puts Justin Wilcox on the hot seat.
The CU defense was dead-last in the nation at defending the run and the Bears have one of the top running backs in the Pac-12 in Jaydn Ott.
Yet, for reasons unknown, Cal didn’t focus on running the ball.
It’s too late to change offensive schemes at this point in the season, but Wilcox has brought in former Cal and Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood as an offensive analyst to provide a new perspective.
14. Fresno State (2-4, 1-1) ◄►The Bulldogs may have finally turned a corner.
Logan Fife did enough in the second half to secure his first win as a starter, primarily due to a strong performance by the Fresno State defense.
Jeff Tedford’s group held San Jose State to just 37 yards rushing, forcing the Spartans to become one-dimensional and ineffective.
The victory re-establishes hope for the remainder of the year with the return of Jake Haener growing closer.
15. San Diego State (3-3, 1-1) ▼2Despite the bye week, San Diego State remains in dire straights.
Reports out of practice indicated Braxton Burmeister was running routes as a receiver, signaling a change under center is forthcoming.
And this week Jalen Mayden was announced as the starter.
The converted safety adds a passing element to the SDSU offense that’s been missing, but the new direction is a substantial gamble.
Still, the risk is worth it considering the struggles the Aztecs have encountered on offense this year.
16. Colorado (1-5, 1-2) ◄►The Buffs’ surprise upset over California was exactly what Colorado Football needed.
Coaching changes occasionally have a rallying effect on a program, and Mike Sanford took full advantage. With new life injected into the team, the rebuild for the future can begin.
The home crowd at Folsom Field was impressive considering the state of the program, indicating a sleeping giant in Boulder.
Winning on the road this season is probably unachievable, but the home game against Arizona State is undoubtedly circled.
How our Senior Football Writers and Broadcasters Voted
|Fresno St||SDSU||BSU||SDSU||ASU||Fresno St||Stanford|
|SDSU||Fresno St||Colorado||Fresno St||SDSU||SDSU||Colorado|
—More from Dane Miller—
- Dane Miller’s Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews for Dec 9-10
- Dane Miller’s Week 4 Pac-12 Hoops Players of Week Votes
- Dane Miller’s 2023 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews for Dec 2
- Dane Miller’s 2023 Pac-12 Championship Game Preview
- Dane Miller’s 2023 Week 14 Pac-12 Football Power Rankings
- Dane Miller’s Week 3 Pac-12 Hoops Players of Week Votes
- Dane Miller’s 2023 Week 13 Pac-12 Football Previews
- Dane Miller’s 2023 Week 13 Oregon-OSU Football Preview
- Dane Miller’s Arizona-Michigan State Men’s Hoops Preview
- Dane’s Miller’s UCLA-Gonzaga Maui Invitational Preview
- Dane Miller’s 2023 Week 13 Pac-12 Football Power Rankings
- Dane’s Miller’s UCLA-Marquette Maui Invitational Preview
- Dane Miller’s Week 2 Pac-12 Hoops Players of Week Votes
- Dane Miller’s 2023 Week 12 Pac-12 Football Previews
- Dane Miller’s Week 12 Colorado-Washington State Preview
Dane Miller’s Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews for Dec 9-10The top-ranked Wildcats face No. 23 Wisconsin while UCLA, UW, and CU face brand-name foes - December 8, 2023
Dane Miller’s Week 4 Pac-12 Hoops Players of Week VotesOur senior men's basketball writer gives us his weekly men's hoops selections with explanations - December 4, 2023
Dane Miller’s 2023 Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Previews for Dec 2Half of the Pac-12’s teams are in action and two of them face ranked opponents at neutral sites - December 2, 2023