Oregon has climbed back to the top of our weekly SI Pac-12 Football Power Rankings thanks to its narrow victory over Cal, coupled with Utah rallying past Arizona State.
The Bears (1-5), meanwhile, dropped to No. 11 in balloting by six voters from the SI network of Pac-12 team sites after losing 24-17 in Eugene. Cal was edged for 10th by Colorado (2-4), which routed winless Arizona 34-0 on Saturday for its first FBS win of the season.
Oregon had slipped to No. 2 a week ago in the wake of losing at Stanford.
But Utah’s stunning second-half comeback over ASU knocked the Sun Devils all the way from No. 1 to No. 4 in our rankings, and allowed the Ducks to moved back to the top. Oregon (5-1) earned five of six first-place votes.
UCLA, which beat Washington in Seattle, secured the final first-place vote and inched up from No. 3 to No. 2. Utah is now third, followed closely by Arizona State and Oregon State.
The Bruins host Oregon on Saturday as UCLA coach Chip Kelly takes on his old school in a duel of the top teams in the Pac-12 North and South.
SI PAC-12 FOOTBALL POWER RANKINGS
1. Oregon (5) 5-1, 2-1 71 points
2. UCLA (1) 5-2, 3-1 65
3. Utah 4-2, 3-0 57
4. Arizona State 5-2, 3-1 55
5. Oregon State 4-2, 2-1 52
6. Washington State 4-3, 2-2 39
7. Stanford 3-4, 2-3 37
8. USC 3-3, 2-3 32
9. Washington 2-4, 1-2 22
10. Colorado 2-4, 1-2 17
11. Cal 1-5, 0-3 15
12. Arizona 0-6, 0-3 6
DONNIE DRUIN, ALL SUN DEVILS
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 implodes after holding a 21-7 lead over Utah and other conference powerhouses squeeze by in their wins. I’m excited to book travel plans to the Sun Bowl!
JAKE CURTIS, CAL SPORTS REPORT
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.
MAX TORRES, DUCKS DIGEST
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.
SAM CONNON, ALL BRUINS
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.
CLAUDETTE MONTANA PATTISON, ALL TROJANS
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, Indiana. USC will take on longtime rival Notre Dame in what might be its toughest game on their schedule. Week 8 should be telling for how the Men of Troy can perform through the second half of the 2021 season.
DAN RALEY, HUSKY MAVEN
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.
Cover photo of coach Chip Kelly celebrating UCLA's win at Washington by Joe Nicholson, USA Today
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo