How do the teams in the Pac-12 stack up after the sixth week of action?
By Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden on Twitter)
Post-Week 6 Pac-12 Power Rankings
Check out all of our college football rankings.
1. Oregon (4-1, 2-0) – Oregon's closest win in 2010 was a tightly played win over Cal in Berkeley. On Thursday night, the Ducks exacted some "revenge" by steam-rolling the Bears in the second half 43-15. But it came at a high price. Tailback LaMichael James ran for this third straight 200-yard game (the NCAA's fifth player to do it), but early in the fourth quarter James dislocated his right elbow and was carted off in an air-cast. Elbow Watch 2011 is now in full effect in Eugene as a timetable for his return has yet to be set. Look for stellar freshman De'Anthony Thomas and very capable back-up Kenjon Barner to fill the immediate void. Thomas has 477 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in five games while Barner has 190 yards and four touchdowns in three games in 2011. A potential Pac-12 championship game preview takes place this weekend in Autzen Stadium as Arizona State comes to town.
2. Stanford (5-0, 3-0) – Cardinal fans must be completely disappointed: Andrew Luck threw, gasp, an interception this weekend in the 48-7 win over Colorado. The nation's best player completed 26-of-33 passes for 370 yards and three touchdowns in the rout. Stanford is now averaging 46.2 points per game (seventh nationally) and has won its five games by an average margin of victory of 35.6 points. Luck's Heisman Trophy Tour heads to Pullman, Washington this weekend when Stanford visits Washington State. The Cougars were a gamey bunch last fall in the 38-28 loss in Palo Alto.
3. Arizona State (5-1, 3-0) – Brock Osweiler had his third career 300-yard passing effort in a turnover-aided 35-14 win over divisional foe Utah. Three turnovers on three consecutive possessions late in the third quarter helped blow open a close game to give the Sun Devils a 3-0 conference record and a commanding lead in the Pac-12 South. Osweiler finished with 325 yards and three touchdowns on a night where Cameron Marshall was held in check (21 att., 47 yards, TD). After forcing five more turnovers, ASU leads the Pac-12 in turnover margin at +1.33 per game. The Devils have the unenviable task of visiting the Oregon Ducks in Eugene this weekend in what could be a preview of the Pac-12 title game.
4. Washington (4-1, 2-0) – The Huskies got some well-deserved rest this weekend during the bye week. Washington now faces Colorado for the first time since 2000. The all-time series is tied up 5-5-1, and the Huskies are 2-3-1 all-time in Seattle against the Buffs. Washington must take care of business in a game it will be heavily favored to win as the schedule features Oregon, Stanford and USC as three of the next four games after this weekend.
5. USC (4-1, 2-1) – The Week Six bye week came a good time for USC as a Thursday night trip to Cal faces the Men of Troy this week. A trip to a surging Notre Dame squad and Stanford at home follow the primetime contest with the Bears. Matt Barkley threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns on 25-of-37 passing in last year's win over Cal. In fact, over the last two games, Barkley and USC have outscored Cal 78-17. Southern California has won seven straight games over Cal.
6. California (3-2, 0-2) – The Bears played valiant football in the first half — taking a 15-14 lead over Oregon into halftime on Thursday night. But that was as far as the Bears could go, allowing 29 second half points to the potent Ducks offense. Oregon rushed for 365 yards on 51 carries against what was ninth-ranked rushing defense in the nation (78.25). Now, Cal ranks 51st nationally at 135.6 yards per game. Cal faces another tough test against USC at home this weekend. USC has won seven straight over the Bears.
7. UCLA (3-3, 2-1) – The UCLA Bruins experienced the biggest move in the power rankings this week as they jump from 10th to seventh after a back-and-forth 28-25 win over Washington State. In a game that featured blocked extra-points, multiple two-point conversions, a broken leg and nearly dead-even offensive production (389 yards to 371 yards), Bruins back-up quarterback Kevin Prince — who was booed when he took the field — was the hero. Prince tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Shaq Evans with 3:26 left in the game to cap an eight-point fourth-quarter comeback after starting quarterback Rchard Brehaut broke his leg in the second quarter. UCLA gets some much-needed time off before facing Arizona on the road in two weeks in a primetime Thursday night affair.
8. Utah (2-3, 0-3) – Jon Hays made his first career start this weekend and it showed. He completed just 18 of his 33 attempts for 199 yards and threw three key interceptions in the 35-14 loss to Arizona State. For the second straight game, Utah turned the ball over five times, and it has led to a nasty baptism into Pac-12 play. The Utes are now 0-3 in their first three Pac-12 conference games in school history. The good news is Utah gets a break from Pac-12 play this weekend with a trip to Pittsburgh in an interesting mid-season BCS conference match-up with the Panthers, who have been one of the most schizophrenic teams in the nation.
9. Washington State (3-2, 1-1) – The Cougars were less than four minutes away from winning their fourth game of the season and starting 2-1 in Pac-12 play. However, UCLA back-up quarterback Kevin Prince tossed a go-ahead touchdowns with 3:26 left and Washington State went home from Westwood a loser. This weekend has been targeted as the return of starting quarterback Jeff Tuel after his Week One broken collarbone. Paul Wulff might have a tough decision to make as current signal-caller Marshall Lobbestael has averaged 335 yards per game in four starts with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. It may not matter who starts at quarterback, however, as Stanford comes to town this Saturday.
10. Arizona (1-5, 0-4) – The temperature underneath Mike Stoops' rear end just got kicked up a notch. Losing to teams ranked in the top ten nationally is one thing, but losing to the winless Oregon State Beavers 37-27 is another. And it really wasn't even close as Oregon State took a 27-6 lead into halftime. Nick Foles continued his strong play — 378 yards passing — but the lack of a running game (53 yards on 19 att.) and the 115th-ranked total defense cost the Wildcats a chance at their first Pac-12 win. Stoops and company get to lick their wounds during the bye before facing UCLA on Thursday, October 20.
11. Colorado (1-5, 0-2) – Colorado was no match for Stanford, losing 48-7. Unfortunately, the Buffs are in the heart of one of the nastiest stretches any team in the nation will ever have to face. The loss to the Cardinal kicked off a five-game slate that features a trip to Washington this weekend followed by Oregon at home, at Arizona State and USC at home. In case, you didn't notice, those are the top five teams on this list.
12. Oregon State (1-4, 1-2) – The Beavers finally got into the win column with a home victory over a reeling Arizona team 37-27. Oregon State halted the Wildcats running game (53 yards) and produced a balanced attack of its own with 280 yards passing and 128 yards on the ground. Sean Mannion was efficient in completing 32-of-41 passes for 267 yards and two scores. The Beavers get to host BYU this weekend.