Emerald City Swagger: PAC-12 Football Power Rankings week of 10/23

Mike Leach, Washington State Cougars. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Mike Leach, Washington State Cougars. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Huntley, Utah Utes. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /

6) USC (4-3, 3-2)

Last Week: The young Trojans lost starting quarterback J.T. Daniels (concussion), backup Matt Fink (ribs), the game 41-20, and first place in the PAC-12 South to Utah all in one day. They were held to 73 yards rushing by the tough Utes defense.

This Week: vs. Arizona State.

Note: Saturday is the first in a string of four straight very winnable games before their regular season finale against Notre Dame. They still have a shot at the PAC-12 South, but someone along the line (Oregon?) will need to beat Utah.

5) Stanford (5-2, 3-1) – Ranked #24

Last Week: Question – If a tree wins in the desert, does it make a sound? Answer – Yes. The Cardinal was able to shake off a two-game losing streak and beat Arizona State 20-13, to make it back into the Top-25. They didn’t do anything particularly well or particularly bad getting their fifth win of the season. In all truth, Stanford won a game they should have but it was much closer than they would have liked.

This Week: vs. Washington State

Note: Its a battle for control of the PAC-12 North division. Both teams beat Oregon and neither has played Washington. The winner takes a huge step in securing a spot in the conference championship game.

4) Utah (5-2, 3-2) – Ranked #23

Last Week: Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham must have channeled his inner King Leonidas during the pregame speech. If there was ever a “give them nothing and take from them everything” performance, it was during last week’s 41-28 win over USC.

This Week: at UCLA.

Note: Both Washington schools should be happy they played Utah early because this team from SLC is a tough out. The Utes are starting to heat up, which is bad news for opposing offenses. Additionally, Utah’s multi-threat QB Tyler Huntley has been on his game in recent weeks.