Pac-12 football rankings: Just one week away from possible conference semifinals

USC football is in a fascinating in-between position right now. What we mean by that is that the Trojans have not looked good at all on defense the past few weeks, but are obviously limited at linebacker, particularly given the absence of Eric Gentry from the lineup. If Gentry returns, this defense could be better, but it’s hard to say for sure, given the regression we have seen in the secondary.

At any rate, USC is about to play Colorado, the worst team in the Pac-12. It will be hard to take any big lessons from that game. We’re at a point where the next true revelatory moment for this team will be the UCLA game on Nov. 19.

With that in mind, let’s unveil the new Pac-12 football rankings after Week 10:

COLORADO

USC needs to blow out the Buffs to give Miller Moss some work and rest some starters in the fourth quarter.

CALIFORNIA

The Golden Bears gave USC a battle, but they still have to be ranked No. 11 because they lost to Colorado and don’t have good nonconference wins.

ARIZONA

Arizona would almost certainly beat Stanford if the two teams played, but remember: We rank teams based on their resumes and what they have actually accomplished.

Arizona’s only Pac-12 win is over Colorado. Stanford beat Arizona State.

Arizona has a solid win over San Diego State. Stanford won at Notre Dame.

Arizona lost to Cal. Stanford has not … at least not yet.

Stanford has the slightly better resume.

ARIZONA STATE

The Sun Devils’ win over Washington looks better and better. They have two Pac-12 wins. Stanford has only one.

However, Stanford won head-to-head and won at Notre Dame. Stanford has to be ranked ahead of Arizona State.

STANFORD

Stanford would likely get drilled by Arizona, but again, as we explained above, the Cardinal do have a slightly better profile than the Wildcats.

Yes, Stanford just lost by 38 points, but the wins over Arizona State and Notre Dame give the Trees the eighth-best resume in the Pac-12.

That’s how rankings are supposed to work.

WASHINGTON STATE

The Cougars are definitely better than teams 8-12 in the Pac.

OREGON STATE

Better than Wazzu, and now — after the loss in Seattle on Friday — worse than Washington. This is very clear.

WASHINGTON

Beating Oregon State makes Washington the clear No. 5 team in the Pac-12.

USC

The Trojans don’t have any high-end wins in the Pac-12. Against UCLA, they will get a chance to change that.

UTAH

The win over USC puts the Utes third (again).

UCLA

The Bruins beat Utah, which beat USC. UCLA is second.

OREGON

The Ducks are still the only unbeaten team in Pac-12 play. This is not a hard call.

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire