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USC Trojans return to top of Pac-12 football power rankings

The Trojans still have an outside shot at a College Football Playoff berth

Coming off a wacky weekend in the Pac-12, the USC Trojans find themselves back atop the conference power rankings.

With Oregon and UCLA both losing, USC received six first-place votes and jumped to No. 1 for the first time since their loss to Utah on Oct. 15.

A win over UCLA on Saturday would clinch a spot in the Pac-12 championship game for the Trojans and keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive. Buckle up.

Here are the latest SI Fan Nation Pac-12 football power rankings:

WEEK 12 - SI PAC-12 FOOTBALL POWER RANKINGS

1. USC 9-1, 7-1 . . . (6) 82 points

2. Oregon 8-2, 6-1 . . . 71

3. Utah 8-2, 6-1 . . . (1) 60

4. UCLA 8-2, 5-2 . . . 59

5. Washington 8-2, 5-2 . . . 57

6. Oregon State 7-3, 4-3 . . . 48

7. Washington State 6-4, 3-4 . . . 41

8. Arizona 4-6, 2-5 . . . 37

9. Arizona State 3-7, 2-5 . . . 27

10. Cal 3-7, 1-6 . . . 21

11. Stanford 3-7, 1-7 . . .15

12. Colorado 1-9, 1-6 . . .7

JAKE CURTIS, CAL SPORTS REPORT

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

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Comment: I'm rooting for a five-way tie for first place at the end of the regular season, and it wouldn't take much imagination to make it happen. Put the top five teams in a hat and draw out any one you want as the likely conference champ. I'd like to put Arizona higher than eighth, but we can’T forget its first nine games. Cal-Stanford playing The Big Game? Talk about a misnomer.

MAX TORRES, DUCKS DIGEST

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

Comment: Oregon lost a crucial game to Washington after Michael Penix Jr. shredded the Ducks' defense. Now they'll wait to see if Bo Nix will be able to play. If he isn't able to go against Utah, I don't see them returning to the conference championship game.

KEVIN BORBA, ALL CARDINAL

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

Comment: With Stanford continuing to show no signs of life, maybe they will get up for this huge rivalry matchup against Cal. The Pac-12 had a tough weekend last week in terms of top teams beating up on each other or flat out losing. USC appears to be the conference's last bet to make the playoffs.

SAM CONNON, ALL BRUINS

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

Comment: The Bruins really choked one away against Arizona, further complicating not only the tiebreaking scenarios for the conference championship game, but also the hierarchy in the Pac-12 as a whole. UCLA and Washington have both suffered boneheaded, unexplainable losses, but they have also beat some of the best teams in the West. If UCLA can beat USC, then it proves last week was a fluke and that they are still a force to be taken seriously down the stretch alongside Utah and Oregon – who is still a contender despite a frustrating loss set up by tough-luck calls.

WYATT ALLSUP, ALL TROJANS

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

Comment: Apparently, nobody can play any defense in this conference, so I’m going to treat every potential matchup as a shootout and essentially rank these teams based on their offenses. USC has been a one-sided team all year but is good enough offensively to play with anybody. The Trojans have the best coach, the best player, and the best set of receivers in the conference. Full faith they get it done against UCLA this weekend.

COLE BAGLEY, ALL UTES

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

Comment: With UCLA and Oregon both losing last week, this Saturday is basically a semifinal to determine who will be playing for the Pac-12 Championship in December. From what I’ve seen from the Utes as of late, the defense is playing their best football while the offense has returned some of their most dangerous weapons in Tavion Thomas and Dalton Kincaid. Saturday will certainly be a battle between the top four teams and nobody should be surprised if the Utes walk away from Oregon with a W and a ticket to Allegiant Stadium.

DAN RALEY, INSIDE THE HUSKIES

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

Comment: If the league hasn't been entertaining and powerful enough, we're moving to the stretch run with plenty of intrigue. Oregon-Utah should be a classic game. The league has seven bowl-eligible teams, plus Arizona and Stanford own quality wins. USC and UCLA, why are you leaving again? The Huskies once again proved you can win without defense if you have a big lefty on the mound throwing high, hard ones.