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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Ducks Reclaim Top Spot Following ASU Loss

If there was ever a time for a team to emerge in the Pac-12, it is now.

Just when the Arizona State Sun Devils were in control of their own destiny, their foot slipped off the gas and ultimately lost a 21-7 lead with just two quarters remaining. 

Many expected the Sun Devils to emerge as top dogs within the Pac-12 conference, yet their second road trip to the state of Utah saw ASU remain winless, first losing against BYU and most recently to the Utah Utes on Saturday. 

Yet, the rest of the conference didn't exactly shine last week, either. Colorado prevailed against Arizona 34-0 while UCLA and Oregon both narrowly (again) escaped the jaws of defeat. 

Coming off bye weeks is USC and Oregon State, both intriguing teams in different ways. 

The only thing consistent about the Pac-12? Sports Illustrated's publishers who cover the respective teams within the conference, thanks to weekly composite power rankings released each Monday.

So far, we're undefeated.

Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 8

1. Oregon Ducks (5 first-place votes) 5-1 overall, 2-1 Pac-12 71 points

2. UCLA Bruins  (1) 5-2, 3-1 65

3. Utah Utes 4-2, 3-0 57

4. Arizona State Sun Devils 5-2, 3-1 55

5. Oregon State Beavers 4-2, 2-1 52

6. Washington State Cougars  4-3, 2-2 39

7. Stanford Cardinal 3-4, 2-3 37

8. USC Trojans 3-3, 2-3 32

9. Washington Huskies 2-4, 1-2 22

10. Colorado Buffaloes 2-4, 1-2 17

11. Cal Golden Bears 1-5, 0-3 15

12. Arizona Wildcats 0-6, 0-3 6

How Each Publisher Voted


1. Oregon; 2. UCLA; 3. Utah; 4. Oregon State; 5. Arizona State; 6. Washington State; 7. Stanford; 8. USC; 9. Colorado; 10. Cal; 11. Washington; 12. Arizona

Comment: This conference looks less impressive by the week. Arizona State imploded after holding a 21-7 lead over Utah and other conference powerhouses squeezed by in their wins. I’m excited to book travel plans to the Sun Bowl!


1. Oregon; 2. Utah; 3. Arizona State; 4. UCLA; 5. Oregon State; 6. Washington State; 7. Stanford; 8. USC; 9. Washington; 10. Colorado; 11. Cal; 12. Arizona


Comment: Oregon may not be the best team right now, but I rank based on resumes, not suppositions, and Oregon has the best resume. The Ducks' game against UCLA this week should clear things up a little.


1. UCLA; 2. Oregon; 3. Arizona State; 4. Oregon State; 5. Utah; 6. Stanford; 7. USC; 8. Washington State; 9. Washington; 10. Cal; 11. Colorado; 12. Arizona

Comment: Utah continues to impress after knocking off Arizona State, giving the Sun Devils their first conference loss of the year. Oregon still only has one loss, but once again did not impress in the win over Cal. The upcoming game against UCLA should tell us a lot about who the Ducks really are and perhaps help clarify the Pac-12 picture. Washington State got in on the chaos and knocked off Stanford in an upset a lot of people probably didn't see coming.


1. Oregon; 2. UCLA; 3. Utah; 4. Arizona State; 5. Oregon State; 6. Washington State; 7. Stanford; 8. USC; 9. Washington; 10. Colorado; 11. Cal; 12. Arizona

Comment: The Ducks won ugly, but they stayed afloat and it was all they needed to leapfrog Arizona State after they lost to Utah. The Utes are the only defeated team left in Pac-12 play, which is why they're towards the top. Still, UCLA and Oregon are going head to head on Saturday, and with so much buzz building around the matchup, whoever wins that game at the Rose Bowl will take complete control of the conference with a month left to play.


1. Oregon; 2. UCLA; 3. Arizona State; 4. Utah; 5. Oregon State; 6. Stanford; 7. Washington State; 8. USC; 9. Washington; 10. Cal; 11. Colorado; 12. Arizona

Comment: The USC Trojans are coming off a bye week, but have a big contest ahead in South Bend, Ind. USC will take on longtime rival Notre Dame in what might be its toughest game on the schedule. Week 8 should be telling for how the Men of Troy can perform through the second half of the 2021 season.


1. Oregon; 2. UCLA; 3. Oregon State; 4. Utah; 5. Arizona State; 6. Washington State; 7. USC; 8. Stanford; 9. Washington; 10. Colorado; 11. Cal; 12. Arizona

Comment: In modern times, I can't remember a supposed contender tanking worse than Washington. There's talent in Seattle but no leadership, on or off the field. Jimmy Lake better not sit down. The seat is hot.