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Pac-12 power ratings: USC holds top spot as Washington, Oregon State rise

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Welcome to the Hotline's final Pac-12 football power ratings of the 2022 regular season. We will publish a full assessment of each team's performance once bowl games are complete.

Disclaimer: The ratings below don't necessarily track with the order of teams listed on my Associated Press top-25 ballot, which is based on guidelines provided by the AP.

1. USC (11-1/8-1)

Last week: 1
Result: beat Notre Dame 38-27
Next up: vs. Utah (Friday, 5 p.m. on Fox)
Comment: Unless something goes very wrong, the Pac-12 will have its first Heisman Trophy winner since 2014. Caleb Williams is now the heavy favorite after several scintillating big-stage performances.

2. Washington (10-2/7-2)

Last week: 4
Result: won at Washington State 51-33
Next up: bowl game
Comment: We have seen fans bemoaning the Pac-12's shift away from divisions — with the previous structure in place, UW would have won the North. And sure, that's true. But so is this: All the Huskies had to do was beat Arizona State, and they would be Las Vegas-bound.

3. Utah (9-3/7-2)

Last week: 3
Result: won at Colorado 63-21
Next up: vs. USC (Friday, 5 p.m. on Fox)
Comment: The Utes have won at least nine games for the seventh time in the past eight years (excluding 2020), which might explain why this season feels a little ho-hum.

4. Oregon State (9-3/6-3)

Last week: 5
Result: beat Oregon 38-34
Next up: bowl game
Comment: If quarterback Ben Gulbranson had been a tad more precise over three quarters, the Beavers wouldn't have gone all-in with the running game in the fourth — and then who knows how it would have turned out.

5. Oregon (9-3/7-2)

Last week: 2
Result: lost at Oregon State 38-34
Next up: bowl game
Comment: The performance didn't match the personnel on defense. In fact, it didn't come close.

6. UCLA (9-3/6-3)

Last week: 6
Result: won at Cal 35-28
Next up: bowl game
Comment: The schedule was gift-wrapped for eight wins, and the Bruins finished with nine.

7. Washington State (7-4/4-5)

Last week: 7
Result: lost to Washington 51-33
Next up: bowl game
Comment: Undefeated against teams with fewer than nine wins — that's not bad, not bad at all.

8. Arizona (5-7/3-6)

Last week: 8
Result: beat Arizona State 38-35
Next up: season complete
Comment: On the bright side, the Wildcats didn't blow a game they should have won, limiting the offseason angst over not sneaking into the postseason with the sixth victory.

9. Cal (4-8/2-7)

Last week: 9
Result: lost to UCLA 35-28
Next up: season complete
Comment: Time to play some granite defense and keep Jaydn Ott and J.Michael Sturdivant out of the transfer portal.

10. Arizona State (3-9/2-7)

Last week: 10
Result: lost at Arizona 38-35
Next up: season complete
Comment: The nonconference lineup awaiting Kenny Dillingham features three home games: Southern Utah, Oklahoma State and Fresno State (according to

11. Stanford (3-9/1-8)

Last week: 11
Result: lost to Brigham Young 35-26
Next up: season complete
Comment: The Cardinal ought to seek advice from Jim Harbaugh on the coaching hire. Seriously, there is no downside to picking his brain.

12. Colorado (1-11/1-8)

Last week: 12
Result: lost to Utah 63-21
Next up: season complete
Comment: Let's be clear: Deion Sanders would make the Pac-12 immensely more interesting, but we'll believe it when we see it.

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Jon Wilner
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.


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