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How do the teams in the Pac-12 stack up after Week 10 of action?
By Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden on Twitter)
Post-Week 10 Pac-12 Power Rankings
Check out all of our college football rankings.
1. Stanford (9-0, 7-0) – A road test sandwiched between a triple-overtime thriller and the Pac-12's version of "Game of the Century" against Oregon led to a first half defined by the term "trap game." After a 0-0 score heading into the rainy, cold second quarter in Corvallis, Luck extended the nation's longest winning streak to 17 by outscoring Oregon State 38-13 over the final three periods. Stanford controlled over 40 minutes of possession and outgained OSU 507 to 285 yards. Luck finished with 206 yards and three touchdowns, including two scoring strikes two minutes apart late in the third quarter that put the game out of reach. All of college football should be focused on Palo Alto this weekend when the Oregon Ducks come to town with the Pac-12 race, and potentially the BCS national title, on the line.
2. Oregon (8-1, 6-0) – The Ducks started slow for the second straight week and took a 17-10 lead into halftime against the Washington Huskies in Seattle. But a 28-play, 17-point third quarter gave the Ducks the space they needed to hold on for the 34-17 win. Quarterback Darron Thomas still looked rusty (13-of-25), but LaMichael James has picked up where he left off as the focal point of the Ducks offensive attack - rushing for 156 yards and one touchdowns on 25 carries. The ground game rolled up 212 yards and overpowered the Huskies, but if Chip Kelly expects to beat Stanford on the Farm, he is going to have to get improved play from Thomas under center.
3. USC (7-2, 4-2) – We knew this team would (unfortunately) be the best team in the Pac-12 South. Matt Barkley's NFL skills were on full display on Friday night in the 42-17 road win over Colorado. The Trojan quarterback fired four first-half touchdowns and finished with 318 yards and school-record six touchdowns on 25-of-39 passing. Wideouts Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, who were high school teammates at Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.), combined for 18 catches, 254 yards and four of those Barkley touchdowns. USC finishes with a tough schedule: Washington, at Oregon and UCLA at home. It is a shame this team is not allowed to compete in the postseason.
4. Washington (6-3, 4-2) – On a night when the 1991 National Championship team was honored as Washington celebrated its final game in Husky Stadium before a state-of-the-art $250 million renovation, the Ducks spoiled the show. Keith Price was intercepted twice in the first half, but U of W trailed only 17-10 at the break. Then the third quarter happened. Oregon scored 17 points in the third period to push the lead to 34-17. Price was sacked six times on the night as the Husky offense was held to 151 yards under its season average. The uphill climb back to Pac-12 relevance is fully underway, but still has a ways to go in Seattle. The Huskies now finish with road games against USC and Oregon State and The Apple Cup at Qwest Field.
5. Arizona State (6-3, 4-2) – The Sun Devils had ten more first downs (29-19), averaged 5.3 yards per carry on 38 attempts, outgained UCLA 465-416, didn't commit a turnover and were better on third downs than the Bruins. However, when an Alex Garoutte 46-yard field goal attempt fell short (his third miss of the game), UCLA won the only stat that mattered: 29-28 on the scoreboard. This was another example of ASU's inconsistent play under Dennis Erickson. The Devils need to win out, which is a reasonable expectation with Washington State, Arizona and Cal left on tap, and hope for a UCLA loss along the way if Erickson wants to play in the first Pac-12 title game they seemed a lock for a week ago.
6. UCLA (5-4, 4-2) – Head coach Rick Neuheisel continues to add years to his life, despite his team getting completely outplayed by Arizona State. The 29-28 win over the Sun Devils was ugly — the Bruins were outgained, forced no turnovers and needed three missed field goals to win. Kevin Prince called it the "biggest win of his career" as he led a 10-play, 79-yard, 5:00-minute drive culminating in a Derrick Coleman game-winning touchdown with :49 seconds left in regulation. Prince finished 11-of-17 passing for 196 yards and a touchdown to go with his 61 yards rushing on 15 attemps. UCLA now controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South with Utah, Colorado and USC left to go.
7. Utah (5-4, 2-4) – Utah jumped out to a 17-0 first quarter lead over Arizona and never looked back. Behind quality running from John White IV (27 attempts, 109 yards, 2 TD), effective passing from Jon Hays (12-of-21, 199 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT) and hard-hitting defense (three key forced turnovers), Utah toppled Arizona 34-21 for its second straight Pac-12 win. With UCLA, Colorado and Washington State to finish the 2011 season, Utah now needs only one win to get to its ninth consecutive bowl game.
8. California (5-4, 2-4) – Much-maligned Cal quarterback Zach Maynard, who had tossed seven interceptions in his last three games, protected the football on a damp day at AT&T Park in the 30-7 win over Washington State. Maynard threw a first-drive touchdown to pass to Anthony Miller as Cal surged to a 30-0 lead before the quarterback got hurt recovering a fumble with 4:52 left in the third. Jeff Tedford, who is fighting for his professional life, is now one game from the postseason with Oregon State, Stanford and Arizona State left on the schedule.
9. Arizona (2-7, 1-6) – This weekend's 34-21 loss to Utah featured the seventh 300-yard passing game for Nick Foles. But it was the sixth loss for Foles and the Cats in those seven contests. The big issue has been the big fellas up front. The offensive line is ranked 112th in rushing (94.7 ypg) and is last in the Pac-12 in sacks allowed. Until the Wildcats can move the ball on the ground and protect Foles from taking a beating, Arizona will continue to lose games.
10. Oregon State (2-7, 2-4) – The Beavers played valiant football this weekend — for a quarter. The 0-0 scoreboard after 15 minutes of the Beavers-Cardinal contest quickly turned into a not-so-valiant 38-13 loss to Stanford. Oregon State was outgained by 222 yards, was 2-of-9 on third downs and averaged 1.9 yards per carry. Things aren't getting better in Corvallis for Mike Riley, who is on track for his worst season as the head man of Oregon State (3-8 in 1997).
11. Washington State (3-6, 1-5) – This one has to be one of the more dissappointing performances of the season. The Cougars mustered only 224 yards of offense, converted on only 4-of-16 third down chances and failed to score any points until the 13:38 mark of the fourth quarter. The 30-7 loss to Cal was Wazzu's fifth straight loss with Arizona State, Utah and Washington left to face.
12. Colorado (1-9, 0-6) – The Buffaloes' secondary will be seeing Matt Barkley throwing touchdowns in their sleep for years to come. Colorado allowed Barkley to break a USC passing record (6 TDs) en route to a non-competitive 42-17 loss to the Men of Troy. Colorado is still searching for its first Pac-12 win and faces Arizona, UCLA and Utah to finish the first-ever trip through west coast football.