Pac-12 power ratings: Oregon clings to the top spot as Utah soars

Arizona State Sun Devils running back Rachaad White (3) is tackled by Utah Utes cornerback Faybian Marks (23) and Utah Utes linebacker Karene Reid (32) in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Utah won 35-21.

Arizona State Sun Devils running back Rachaad White (3) is tackled by Utah Utes cornerback Faybian Marks (23) and Utah Utes linebacker Karene Reid (32) in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Utah won 35-21. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

Power ratings based entirely on the scoreboard, except when they aren't.

(All times Pacific.)

1. Oregon (5-1/2-1)

Last week: 1

Result: Beat Cal 24-17

Next up: at UCLA (1:30 p.m., ABC)

Line: Even

Comment: Mario Cristobal is committed to starting the quarterback who gives the Ducks the best chance to win. With each passing week, as the pressure builds, the Ty Thompson-for-Anthony Brown swap becomes riskier.

2. Utah (4-2/3-0)

Last week: 5

Result: Beat Arizona State 35-21

Next up: at Oregon State (5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)

Line: Utah -4

Comment: It took five-and-a-half games, but the 2021 defense finally looked like the 2019 defense. Meanwhile, the 2021 quarterback looked like a slightly better version of the 2019 quarterback. But curiously, the 2021 punt returner looked exactly the same as the 2015 punt returner.

3. Arizona State (5-2/3-1)

Last week: 2

Result: Lost at Utah 35-21

Next up: Idle

Line: N/A

Comment: The Sun Devils have committed more penalties in two games in the state of Utah (29) than the Utes have committed in six games anywhere (27). Think about that.

4. UCLA (5-2/3-1)

Last week: 3

Result: Won at Washington 24-17

Next up: vs. Oregon (1:30 p.m., ABC)

Line: Even

Comment: The hidden stat within UCLA's success on the ground: Dorian Thompson-Robinson has only thrown two interceptions. Everything works better when you run for 200+ yards per game.

5. Oregon State (4-2/2-1)

Last week: 4

Result: DNP

Next up: vs. Utah (5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)

Line: Oregon State +4

Comment: The loss at Washington State makes a bit more sense than it did in the moment. Same goes for the win over Washington.

6. Washington State (4-3/3-2)

Last week: 8

Result: Beat Stanford 34-31

Next up: vs. Brigham Young (1:30 p.m., FS1)

Line: Washington State +2

Comment: Good chance that by the end of the day, the Cougars will know who's coaching them the rest of the week.

7. Stanford (3-4/2-3)

Last week: 6

Result: Lost at Washington State 34-31

Next up: Idle

Line: N/A

Comment: Seven consecutive weeks against Power Five competition with only two home games in the span — yep, probably time for a break.

8. USC (3-3/2-3)

Last week: 7

Result: DNP

Next up: at Notre Dame (5:30 p.m., NBC)

Line: USC +5

Comment: The Trojans no longer have the blue-blood-program coaching search market all to themselves. LSU has a vacancy, as well, and will pay whatever USC is willing to pay, and probably a few million more.

9. Washington (2-4/1-2)

Last week: 9

Result: Lost to UCLA 24-17

Next up: at Arizona (Friday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN2)

Line: Washington -15

Comment: UW's updated numbers: No. 114 (nationally) in rushing yards per game, No. 100 in points-per-game, No. 93 in yards per play and No. 89 in passing yards per attempt. And don't forget the number of FBS wins by the only teams the Huskies have beaten (Cal and Arkansas State): Zero.

10. Cal (1-5/0-3)

Last week: 10

Result: Lost at Oregon 24-17

Next up: vs. Colorado (1:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)

Line: Cal -10

Comment: Pardon the Hotline for asking essentially the same question we did after the Nevada loss: Why give up on the running game? First down at the 14, all three timeouts available, Oregon on its heels, and it's like Mike Leach takes over the play-calling.

11. Colorado (2-4/1-2)

Last week: 11

Result: Beat Arizona 34-0

Next up: at Cal (1:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)

Line: Colorado +10

Comment: Last week, we confirmed the Buffaloes aren't the worst team in the conference. This week, we'll find out if they are second-to-worst.

12. Arizona (0-6/0-3)

Last week: 12

Result: Lost at Colorado 34-0

Next up: vs. Washington (Friday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN2)

Line: Arizona +15

Comment: At their current pace, the Wildcats would break the record for the longest losing streak in major college history in the 11th game of the 2022 season. With 18 consecutive losses, they're more than halfway to Northwestern's record of 34 straight, and their FCS opponent next year is no slouch: North Dakota State.

Jon Wilner's Pac-12 Hotline is brought to through a partnership with the Bay Area News Group.

Jon Wilner has been covering college sports for decades and is an AP Top 25 football and basketball voter as well as a Heisman Trophy voter. He was named Beat Writer of the Year in 2013 by the Football Writers Association of America for his coverage of the Pac-12, won first place for feature writing in 2016 in the Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest and is a five-time APSE honoree. You can follow him on Twitter @WilnerHotline or send an email at

Pac-12 Hotline: Subscribe to the Pac-12 Hotline Newsletter. Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.

Jon Wilner


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