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SI Pac-12 Football Power Rankings: Utah Moves to the Top, Cal Climbs 4 Spots to No. 7

Golden Bears have won 3 of 4, but their 41-11 win at Stanford got voters' attention.

Not surprisingly, Utah flip-flopped places with Oregon at the  top of our SI Pac-12 Football Power Rankings after the Utes’ 38-7 rout of the Ducks last week.

Utah now resides at the top after sweeping all six first-place votes. Oregon barely held off UCLA for the No. 2 spot, with Oregon State not far behind in fourth.

The biggest jump in our poll of writers from the six team sites in the college network was executed by Cal, which vaulted from No. 11 to No. 7 after taking apart Stanford 41-11 in the Big Game.

The Bears have now won three of their past four games, improving to 4-6 overall and 3-4 in Pac-12 play. By doing so they have climbed bay to where they started in our preseason rankings.

Cal plays Saturday against UCLA at Pasadena, then closes the regular season a week later against USC. The Bears need to win both to assure themselves of bowl eligibility.


1. Utah (6) 8-3 7-1 . . . 72 points

2. Oregon 9-2, 6-2 . . . 61

3. UCLA 7-4, 5-3 . . . 60

4. Oregon State 7-4, 5-3 . . . 58

5. Washington State 6-5, 5-3 . . . 46

6. Arizona State 7-4, 5-3 . . . 45

7. Cal 4-6, 3-4 . . . 32

8. Colorado 4-7, 3-5 . . . 30

9. USC 4-6, 3-5 . . . 25

10. Washington 4-7, 3-5 . . . 19

11. Stanford 3-8, 2-7 . . . 12

12. Arizona 1-10, 1-7 . . . 7


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

Comment: Decided to shake up my rankings a bit after another wild weekend in the Pac-12. Utah is playing the best football out of anybody, while Oregon/Oregon State/Washington all have a chance to capture the Pac-12 North next weekend. Since there's essentially no College Football Playoff berth up for grabs now with Oregon's loss, the race for the Rose Bowl has officially begun.


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

Comment: It's not a good look for the conference when its top team, ORegon, loses 38-7. But Oregon State is a mediocre team on the road, so Oregon should beat the Beavers and earn another shot at Utah, which may not be what the public wants to see.


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

Comment: Oregon's one-dimensional offense finally ran out of steam and with it so did the conference's hope of sending a team to the playoff. Utah has the South wrapped up and is easily the Pac-12's best team after dismantling the Ducks. Nos. 7 through 10 on this list are almost interchangeable because so many teams have similarly poor records. Washington is further down because of the instability amid major coaching turnover and less overall talent on the roster than USC.


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

Comments: With just one week to go, we have enough of a sample size to say that the entire bottom half of the Pac-12 is straight up bad. We kind of knew that for a while, though, so what really stands out as new this week is the shift of powers at the top. Oregon and Utah are more than likely going to meet again on a neutral field for the conference title game, and how those two teams perform this week will play very heavily into who ends up being favored in the rematch.


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

Comment: After allowing the UCLA Bruins to score 62 points on their home turf, USC continues to drop in my rankings. The Trojans have given up 225 points to Pac-12 opponents this year, and continue to struggle when playing at home.


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

Comment: Welcome to Fight Club, Pac-12 style. Oregon never saw the punch coming. USC goes out on a stretcher. Stanford had to be helped out of the ring. Washington doesn't remember who it was. When are the new coaches showing up?

Cover photo of Utah running back Tavion Thomas by Jeffrey Swinger, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo