Pac-12 football rankings heading into Week 10 of the 2016 season. Utah tried to shake up the conference rankings when it hosted Washington.
Washington came into the week with seemingly a clear path to the College Football Playoff should it run the table. Utah wanted to earn the respect it felt it deserved by upsetting the Huskies. What transpired in Salt Lake City was an instant-classic.
Washington State, probably the Pac-12’s most surprising team considering its rough start, fought like hell to remain unbeaten in conference as it visited Oregon State.
Now that the dust has settled, here’s a look at the rest of the Pac-12 heading into Week 10.
Week 10 Pac-12 Football Rankings
12. Arizona (Last Week – 12)
Arizona is very, very bad. The fact that this was still a game deep into the third quarter shows just how unlike itself Stanford is this year. For the sake of visualization , here’s Arizona’s second half:
- Punt (3 plays)
- Punt (3 plays)
- Field Goal
- Punt (3 plays)
- Punt (3 plays)
That is not the offense we’ve come to expect from Rich Rod in Tucson.
11. Oregon State (11)
Ryan Nall (202 total yards) and Victor Bolden Jr. (140 total yards) were excellent against Washington State. But, man, those penalties – 13 for 110 yards – were murderous, especially against such a high-caliber offense. Four three-and-out series during the second half buried the Beavers.
10. Oregon (10)
The rapid ascent of Justin Herbert might just be enough to save Mark Helfrich’s job. Herbert has now thrown 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions over his past three games. Each game he shows improvement, and against Arizona State Herbert had his most yards (489) and highest completion percentage (73.8).
9. Arizona State (7)
Arizona State has now lost four of its last five games, and is staring down the barrel of two more defeats, as Utah and Washington loom. The Sun Devils rank last in the nation in pass defense, which is a recipe for disaster in a conference that boasts a plethora of top-flight quarterbacks. ASU’s 397.6 yards allowed through the air are 60.6 yards worse than the nation’s No. 127 team, Rice.
8. UCLA (8)
Should UCLA shut down Josh Rosen for the rest of the season? There’s a realistic chance that UCLA wins out, but that would merely guarantee a 7-5 season. How Jim Mora manages Rosen’s health, the remaining schedule and the criticism over what has been, to this point, a disappointing season, will be one of the league’s more interesting subplots over the final month.
7. California (9)
You mean Cal gave up five touchdowns to an opposing quarterback and 45 points in a conference loss? You don’t say. The Golden Bears have now allowed 40+ points in all but two games. They’ve also given up 11 touchdowns to only two interceptions to true freshmen (Justin Herbert and Sam Darnold) the past two weeks. As Texas Tech has proven in the Big 12: all offense and no defense does not a good team make.
6. Stanford (6)
There’s the game we’ve been waiting for from Christian McCaffrey: 196 total yards and three touchdowns. With Oregon State up next, the Cardinal can continue working out the kinks before the annual tilt against Oregon.
5. Colorado (4)
Time to get healthy, recalibrate the offense and fine-tune the kicking game. The upcoming schedule is certainly manageable, but when facing a team like Washington State or Utah, on the rare account you settle for a field goal, you best make it (going 1-for-4 like in the Stanford game won’t cut it).
4. Washington State (5)
If we didn’t already, now we know definitively: a 21-point lead against Washington State means very little. The Cougs throttled up in the second half against Oregon State and, at one point, scored touchdowns on four-of-five drives. Here’s a fun bar room debate: Would you rather have Luke Falk or Jake Browning?
3. USC (3)
Granted it was against Cal, but 629 yards of total offense is incredibly impressive – especially the 398 rushing yards (coming at 8.3 per clip, no less). The resurgence continues, but keep an eye on the penalties and turnovers. Coughing the ball up three times and racking up 125 yards in penalties (13 total) might be salvageable against Cal, but it must be cleaned up before traveling to Seattle in two weeks – that’s a recipe for disaster against the conference’s elite.
2. Utah (2)
Penalties. When Utah looks back in this game, that’ll be the stat that jumps out. When trying to beat one of the nation’s premier teams, 10 penalties is unacceptable. The Utes played one helluva game, and have to be hoping they get another crack at Washington.
1. Washington (1)
Jake Browning wasn’t at his best, and his second-quarter interception resulted in points for Utah. Luckily for him, Myles Gaskin was up to snuff, rushing for 151 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Not every game can be a blowout, and Washington just faced its stiffest competition of the season. Both fans and Pac-12 officials should cross their fingers that Washington and Utah meet again in the conference title game.