9. USC Trojans (5-5, 4-4)
Last week: The Trojans have now dropped three of their last four matchups after losing by a single point at home to California 15-14. It’s been a very disappointing season, to say the least, for a team that was the early PAC-12 South favorites.
This week: at USC.
Note: USC travels the short distance to the Rose Bowl in a matchup with an improving UCLA Bruins team. The Men of Troy have yet to earn six wins and become bowl eligible. This game may be their only chance to qualify, as the Trojans face the third-ranked team in the country, Notre Dame, next week at home.
8. California Golden Bears (6-4, 3-4)
Last week: As mentioned above in the USC breakdown, California is coming off a huge win at USC. Cal knocked off the Trojans 15-14 to become bowl eligible. The Golden Bears have now won 3 of their last 4 after a blowout loss to UCLA on October 13th.
This week: vs Stanford.
Note: The Rival Stanford Cardinal come to Berkeley in a PAC-12 North matchup that will determine standings and bowl positioning.
7. Oregon Ducks (6-4, 3-4)
Last week: The Ducks went down to Salt Lake City possibly expecting an easy win over the Utes, who lost both their starting QB and RB for the season. That wasn’t the case. Despite a late touchdown which gave the Ducks a fourth-quarter lead with 8:45 to go, the Utes finished with 10 unanswered points sending Oregon to their fourth loss of the year. The Ducks have struggled to find an identity with no offensive weapons except for Dillon Mitchell, a PAC-12 player of the year candidate.
This week: vs. Arizona State.
Note: The young Ducks play at home as compared to the road is like day and night. The ASU Sun Devils come to Autzen after winning three in a row. It will be a tough matchup for the Ducks as big wide receiver N’Keal Harry will be a problem for their small secondary.