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SI Pac-12 Football Power Rankings: Oregon Ascends to No. 1, Cal Dips to No. 9

Stanford jumps up to No. 4 after win at USC; Trojans and Washington both slide.

No surprise that giant-killer Oregon has ascended to the top of our latest SI Pac-12 Football Power Rankings.

The Ducks (2-0) were the unanimous choice of our six voters after their 35-28 road victory over then-No. 3 Ohio State. It was Oregon’s first-ever win over the Buckeyes — after nine defeats — and moved the Ducks to No. 4 in the AP Top-25 national rankings.

Oregon is unlikely to be threatened this week by Stony Brook (1-1), a New York-based FCS team, which will be playing a Pac-12 program for the first time after a 1-1 start that includes a home loss to New Hampshire.

UCLA (2-0), which was idle last week after taking down LSU, slipped one spot to No. 2 our poll. Arizona State (2-0), the only other Pac-12 team still a blemish on its record, moved up two spots to No. 3.

Cal (0-2), which was No. 7 in our preseason rankings and held that position even after losing its opener to Nevada, fell to No. 9 after losing 34-32 at TCU. The Bears return home Saturday to play Sacramento State, a 1-1 FCS team.

Stanford (1-1) and USC (1-1) experienced the most significant movement in our poll, no shock after the Cardinal’s easier-than-the-score 42-28 win over the Trojans in Los Angeles. Stanford, which was coming off an unimpressive showing in a road loss to Kansas State, jumped five spots from No. 9 to No. 4.

USC plummeted from second place to a tie for sixth with Colorado (1-1), which competed well in a 10-7 loss to Texas A&M.

And Washington, 0-2 after losses to Montana and Michigan, has dropped all the way to No. 11. The Huskies were third in our preseason rankings. UW tries again Saturday at home against Arkansas State.


1. Oregon 2-0 (6) 72 points

2. UCLA 2-0 66

3. Arizona State 2-0 59

4. Stanford 1-1 50

5. Utah 1-1 44

6 tie. Colorado 1-1 40

6 tie. USC 1-1 40

8. Oregon State 1-1 33

9. Cal 0-2 20

10. Washington State 1-1 19

11. Washington 0-2 18

12. Arizona 0-2 7


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

Comment: Man, what a way for Oregon to bounce back. A huge victory over what many assumed to be a certain CFP team in Ohio State on the road deserves the top spot, while USC takes a hit after falling apart to Stanford in horrid fashion. I was also a fan of how Colorado battled with a top-five team in the country despite their loss.


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

Comment: Oregon’s road win over Ohio State trumps UCLA’s home win over LSU, and I don’t know what to make of Washington, which has people sleepless in Seattle. Stanford might be higher, but I can’t pretend that ugly loss to Kansas State didn’t happen.


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

Comment: Oregon solidified themselves as the top dog in the Pac-12 after a potentially program-altering win over Ohio State. Will Clay Helton underachieve again this season after losing to an unranked Stanford team at home? I'm impressed that Colorado was able to hang with a major SEC team in Texas A&M, and it looks like Karl Dorrell might be ahead of schedule turning his program around in Boulder.


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

Comment: The Ducks gifted the Pac-12 its best nonconference win in years, and for that, they become far and away the hottest team out west. That isn’t to discount what UCLA has done so far this year, but how they perform against common opponent Fresno State this Saturday should tell us a bit more about both them and Oregon.


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

12. Arizona

Comment: USC drops down the ranks after a brutal loss to the Stanford Cardinal. Arguably, one of the worst losses in program history & in Clay Helton's career. The Oregon Ducks rise to the top of the rankings after pulling off a major upset in Columbus, Ohio against Ryan Day's Ohio State Buckeyes.


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

Comment: Oregon did the conference proud, this coming after UCLA showed some moxie the week before. I greatly underestimated the Ducks. No longer. Stanford apparently only needed a quarterback change. As for Washington and USC, they look poorly coached and keep the Pac-12 from feeling totally happy about itself.

Cover photo of the Oregon mascot by Adam Cairn, Columbus Dispatch, USA Today

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