1) Oregon Ducks: Oregon had another impressive second-half showing in a runaway victory, but this time they did it against a highly-ranked opponent in UCLA, which vaulted them to the number two slot in the BCS rankings, where they now control their own national championship destiny. But, as tough of a team as UCLA is, the long-awaited clash with Stanford is up next. Speaking of the trees…
2) Stanford Cardinal: Stanford was able to walk out of Corvallis with a win on Saturday night, and were also able to secure themselves a number five ranking in the BCS standings with Missouri’s loss, setting up a top-5 clash with the Ducks on Nov. 7.
3) Oregon State Beavers: After playing less than stellar for the better part of three and a half quarters, the Beavers fought back late against Stanford and had themselves in a position to steal the game at the end that they couldn’t capitalize on. However, with the coaching of the experienced Mike Riley, this team should bounce back in a big way.
4) UCLA Bruins: It was a rough two-week stretch for the Bruins with Stanford and Oregon back-to-back. Although they weren’t able to come out victorious in either of those contests, they still have a chance to get another crack at one of them come early December in the conference title game.
5) Arizona State Sun Devils: Arizona State was on a bye this week after a great showing against Washington and will now go on the road to take on Washington State. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the week off was good or bad for the momentum of Todd Graham and his team.
6) Washington Huskies: Steve Sarkisian and company got back on track, in a big way, against Cal on Saturday. They head into the bye week this week with a much-needed spark with dates against UCLA and Oregon State still ahead on the schedule after they take on Colorado.
7) Arizona Wildcats: After a blowout victory over Colorado, the Wildcats are one win away from being bowl-eligible and have a very good chance to secure that this weekend against Cal. They have a bit of a rough stretch after that, so locking up that sixth win would be huge on Saturday.
8) USC Trojans: Well, when you beat the team that’s handed Stanford it’s lone loss this season, you’re going to turn some heads and that’s exactly what interim coach Ed Orgeron and the Trojans did Saturday, and in convincing fashion by a score of 19-3. They have a huge test upcoming, though, as they have to travel to Corvallis to take on the Beavers.
9) Washington State Cougars: Like their opponent this Thursday, the Cougars were off this week as they will try and grab a victory from Arizona State on Halloween night. Dangerous–and funny–things happen when you give Mike Leach an attainable goal. They just have to hope Connor Halliday doesn’t throw their bowl chances away…literally.
10) Utah Utes: Aside from just putting together a great effort in their upset of Stanford, the Utes haven’t been all that good this season. They were held to just a field goal by USC this past Saturday and have one win this year in Pac-12 play. They’ll be on a bye week now before they welcome in Arizona State to Salt Lake City.
11) Colorado Buffaloes: After a good effort, for the most part, against Arizona, things now get really tough for this program trying to rise itself back up to the elites. They face back-to-back trips to UCLA and Washington. The UCLA one is most intriguing, especially considering the Bruins’ confidence may have taken a bit of a hit after losing to Stanford and Oregon.
12) Cal Golden Bears: Things got even worse for the Bears as they were blown out again this past weekend. It’s the same statement every week, I know, but these guys have a long, long way to go.