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How do the teams in the Pac-12 stack up after the fourth week of action?
By Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden on Twitter)
Post-Week 4 Pac-12 Power Rankings
Check out all of our college football rankings.
1. Oregon (3-1) – The Ducks have clearly put the LSU loss behind them as they have scored at least 56 points in three straight games after beating Arizona 56-31 in the desert Saturday night. LaMichael James topped 200 yards for the second straight week, rushing for 288 yards against the Wildcats. Darron Thomas continues his sterling play, accounting for four touchdowns and not turning the ball over for the third straight week. Overall, the Ducks rushed for 415 yards at nearly nine yards per carry. Oregon gets some downtime with a bye week this weekend before a Thursday night showdown with Cal on October 6.
2. Stanford (3-0) – The best unbeaten team in the nation no one talks about had a bye week in Week Four. Andrew Luck and the Cardinal will be well rested for a home game against the UCLA Bruins this Saturday. Stanford beat the Bruins 35-0 last fall.
3. Arizona State (3-1) – The Sun Devils survived dust storms and questionable ankles to pull off their first win over USC at home in six tries. The strange, sand-filled weather couldn't stop ASU tailback Cameron Marshall from anouncing his presence as a Pac-12 star. Listed as questionable for the game after turning his ankle in the 17-14 loss to Illinois, Marshall took his first carry 70 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. He added two more scores and finished with 141 yards on 25 carries. Matt Barkley mounted a comeback, taking the lead 22-21 late in the third quarter. But Marshall and the Devils defense took over, scoring the final 21 points of the game for the first ASU win over the Trojans since 1999. Quarterback Brock Osweiler was incredibly efficient, completing 25 of his 32 attempts. Saturday night proved that Arizona State is the favorite to represent the South in the inaugural Pac-12 title game.
4. Washington (3-1) – After a valiant (but losing) effort against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Washington showed its mental toughness and intestinal fortitude with a 31-23 win over Cal at home. The Golden Bears worked the ball to the Washington two-yard line in the final minute, but an incomplete pass and two failed rushing attempts left Cal a final fourth-down chance. When Zach Maynard's attempt sailed over the head of Keenan Allen, Husky Stadium exploded in celebration. Keith Price continued his solid play by completing 19-of-25 passes for 292 yards and three more scores while Chris Polk added 145 yards from scrimmage and two scores. The Huskies are 3-1 for the first time since 2006 and face a tough road test at Utah this weekend.
5. USC (3-1) – After falling behind 21-6 late in the second quarter to Arizona State, the Men of Troy mounted a courageous comeback with 17 unanswered points to take the lead late in the third. The comeback was capped by a ten-yard touchdown run by starting tailback Marc Tyler (who rushed for 149 yards on 22 carries). But USC could not stop Sun Devils tailback Cameron Marshall, and Matt Barkley's interception with just under seven minutes left in the game was returned for a touchdown and sealed the victory for ASU. USC returns home this weekend to face Arizona - who has lost three straight.
6. California (3-1) – Zach Maynard completed 23 passes for 349 yards against Washington, including a 90-yard first-quarter touchdown pass to brother Keenan Allen. Yet, it was his final pass attempt that flew over Allen's head on the penultimate (Washington took a knee with 21 seconds left) play of the game that was the difference in the 31-23 loss to the Huskies. Maynard and Allen have developed as a potent tandem, connecting 10 times for 197 yards and the lone score. The loss is the start of a difficult stretch for Cal as the Bears get a bye week before visiting Oregon and hosting USC and Utah in their next three.
7. Utah (2-1) – Utes fans got an extra week to celebrate their 54-10 shellacking of BYU in the Holy War two weekends ago. The bye week gives Kyle Whittingham and company extra time to prepare for their upcoming Pac-12 slate. Utah will play its second Pac-12 game this weekend when Washington comes calling.
8. Arizona (1-3) – The Wildcats are reeling after three straight blowout losses at the hands of clearly superior opponents. After losing Saturday night to Oregon 56-31, Arizona has been outscored by an average of 25 points per game during its current three-game losing streak. Nick Foles continues to produce big numbers, throwing for 391 yards and three touchdowns on 55 pass attempts. However, the Cats could not stop the run as Oregon ran for 415 yards on 47 carries — good for 8.8 yards per carry. Arizona has played three straight top-ten opponents, but the journey doesn't get much easier as Mike Stoops could be fighting for his job in the Coliseum this weekend against USC.
9. UCLA (2-2) – The Bruins have struggled in 2011, but began the Pac-12 season 1-0 with a 27-19 road win over Oregon State. Richard Brehaut got the start at quarterback and led the offense with 146 passing yards while accounting for two touchdowns. Rick Neuheisel divvied up 49 carries in the backfield to the tune of 211 yards and three scores. Derrick Coleman got 20 attempts (100 yards), Malcolm Jones got nine (38 yards), Johnathan Franklin received six (36) and Brehaut got eight (21). Don't expect the Bruins to stay unbeaten in conference play for long, however, as they head to Palo Alto this weekend to face Stanford.
10. Colorado (1-3) – The Buffaloes were simply outclassed by the Ohio State Buckeyes this weekend 37-17. Tyler Hansen threw for 238 yards and a pair of touchdowns but never got the offense rolling. The Buffs were 3-of-13 on third downs, committed nine penalties for 83 yards and fumbled the ball twice. The good news for Colorado: Jon Embree's best chance for a conference win will likely come this weekend in Boulder when Washington State visits.
11. Washington State (2-1) – The Cougars were on bye in Week Four, and they may have their starting quarterback, Jeff Tuel, under center as early as October 15 after he cracked his collarbone in Week One. So even though the break comes at a great time, it still appears back-up Marshall Lobbestael will have to play well if the Cougars expect to win their Pac-12 opener against Colorado this Saturday. Lobbestael has throw for at least 360 yards in each of his last two games and eight touchdowns.
12. Oregon State (0-3) – It is shocking to see the Beavers hold down the last spot on this list, but after losing at home to a struggling UCLA Bruins team 27-19, it is hard to see any movement. The team is still without freshman dynamo Malcolm Agnew and his pulled hamstring, but quarterback Sean Mannion seems to have stabilized the quarterback position. After rotating with the more athletic Ryan Katz through the first two games, Mannion threw for 287 yards and a score while Katz watched from the sidelines. Oregon State travels to the desert to face Arizona State in Tempe this Saturday.