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Pac-12 Football Power Rankings to End the Regular Season

The Huskies hope to improve on lower-division finish with new leader.

Half the teams are done.

A quarter of them have undergone coaching changes.

All of them are trying to make the league more of a player in the national scheme of things, a more powerful Power 5 conference after years of receiving snide comments and watching the College Football Playoff rounds go on without them.

Welcome to the SI Pac-12 football power rankings, where teams No. 2, 4, 9 an 10 are busily getting acquainted with new leaders and their way of doing things or scrambling to find someone to come in and leave his imprint. 

Washington, under the new direction of coach Kalen DeBoer, sits at No. 8, which still doesn't match the talent level on the roster left behind by Jimmy Lake. 

DeBoer has plenty to work with as he goes looking for a coaching staff to right this ship.

USC likewise has a new leader in Lincoln Riley and misused talent that could benefit right away from a proven winner.

Washington State couldn't help but hire interim coach Jake Dickert on a permanent basis after he won the Apple Cup by four touchdowns.

Oregon?

Unlike past years, there's no one waiting in the wings who's an obvious candidate to lead the Ducks.

Here's thinking a lot of power went out of the Ducks' power ranking when Mario Cristobal packed up and left town. 

SI PAC-12 FOOTBALL POWER RANKINGS

1. Utah (6) 10-3, 8-1 . . . 72 votes

2. Oregon 10-3, 7-2 . . . 65

3. UCLA 8-4, 6-3 . . . 61

4. Washington State 7-5, 6-3 . . . 51

5. Arizona State 8-4, 6-3 . . . 49

6. Oregon State 7-5, 5-4 . . .44

7. Cal 5-7, 4-5 . . . 35

8. Colorado 4-8, 3-6 . . . 30

9. USC 4-8, 3-6 . . . 23

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10. Washington 4-8, 3-6 . . . 18

11. Stanford 3-9, 2-7 . . . 12

12. Arizona 1-11, 1-8 . . . 8

DONNIE DRUIN, ALL SUN DEVILS

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

Comment: The Utah Utes are Pac-12 champs, and perhaps deservingly so after a strong season where no team truly wanted to prove they were the team to beat in the conference. Lots of change has happened, and plenty more is on the horizon moving forward. Here's to hoping the conference only gets stronger for next season.

JAKE CURTIS, CAL SPORTS REPORT

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

Comment: I should have put Oregon lower considering its pitiful performance in the Pac-12 championship game but the Ducks are still ranked in the CFP rankings. I think Arizona could beat Stanford now, so that’s why I have Stanford last.

MAX TORRES, DUCKS DIGEST

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

Comment: Oregon is in limbo now with Cristobal leaving for Miami and it's going to be hard to find another coach that can recruit at that level. Very few in the entire sport can. Utah is far and away the best team in the conference, erasing any shred of a doubt after demolishing an Oregon team that looked like it had lost its fight and had very little hope of offensive success with Anthony Brown staying in at quarterback the entire game.

SAM CONNON, ALL BRUINS

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

Comment: The Utes further separated themselves from the pack by stomping the Ducks yet again, and they've been justly rewarded with a Rose Bowl berth to show for it. UCLA still sits above Arizona State, despite the Sun Devils getting the technically superior bowl placement, which can mostly be chalked up to politics and a head-to-head matchup two full months ago.

CLAUDETTE PATTISON-MONTANA, ALL TROJANS

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

Comment: The USC Trojans had a tough ending to the 2021 season, losing to Cal on Saturday. But good news for Trojans fans is that the future looks bright and promising as we embark on the new Lincoln Riley era.

DAN RALEY, HUSKY MAVEN

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

Comment: Washington has a new coach. Time to start over from scratch. Re-evaluate everything. Rebuild a physical program. USC is saying the same thing. So is WSU. Oregon could be asking some of those questions, too. Time to take the Pac-12 up a notch.