Pac-12 Power Rankings: Offensive explosions allow USC to move up, Oregon to hold court

As far as Pac-12 football goes, that was kind of boring, wasn’t it?

In a conference where insane things seem to happen each and every week, with contending teams falling to bottom-dwellers year after year, the Week 8 slate did not provide many fireworks, even though the stage was seemingly set for action.

No. 8 Oregon traveled to California trying to stave off a celebration hangover after the UCLA win. It won, 42-24.

No. 10 USC traveled to Tucson, a place where many Pac-12 giants have fallen. The Trojans won, 45-37.

Even No. 12 UCLA’s Pac-12 After Dark showdown with Stanford was boring, with the Bruins winning, 38-13.

The most interesting game of the week came on Thursday night with No. 14 Utah traveling to Pullman and outlasting Washington State, 21-17, without its two best offensive players.

If you were rooting for chaos in the conference, you were likely disappointed. Regardless, the schedule is shaping up to get incredibly entertaining out west over the next few weeks, with matchups between Oregon and Utah, plus USC and UCLA coming. Better start jockeying for position now.

Colorado Buffaloes (1-7) (Last Week: 12)

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Despite the loss, Colorado had a chance to carve out another victory against a Pac-12 bottom feeder on Saturday. Still, it managed to hold its own while scoring 34 points against the Sun Devils. Small signs of life in Boulder.

California Golden Bears (3-5) Last Week: 10

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Cal kept the game interesting early against the Ducks, but Bo Nix scored six combined touchdowns, and the Golden Bears fell to 1-4 in conference play this season. Another down year in Berkley.

Arizona State Sun Devils (3-5) Last Week: 11

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Arizona State defeated lowly Colorado on Saturday, dropping 42 points for its second conference win of the season.

Stanford Cardinal (3-5) Last Week: 8

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Twenty-four first-half points were enough for Chip Kelly and the UCLA Bruins to put Stanford away. The Cardinal drop to 1-5 in league play.

Arizona Wildcats (3-5) Last Week: 9

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Arizona hung tough with USC all evening although the Trojans managed to escape with an eight-point victory. Still, the future is looking up for the Wildcats.

Washington State Cougars (4-4) Last Week: 7

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Washington State’s offense didn’t show up on Thursday, but it kept things close with a four-point loss to the Utes.

Washington Huskies (6-2, 3-2) Last Week: 6

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No movement in the bye week for Washington, which is still fighting hard to get back into the top half of the Pac-12 after a hot start was derailed by UCLA and Arizona State. We will learn everything we need to know about the Huskies next week against Oregon State.

Oregon State Beavers (6-2, 3-2) Last Week: 5

There was very little chaos in the Pac-12 this week, which mean that in a bye week, the Beavers stand pat at No. 5. Next week, they have a fun matchup with Washington on Friday night. That game will be telling about both teams.

Utah Utes (6-2, 4-1) Last Week: 3

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Utah ended up winning its game against Washington State on Thursday, but it wasn’t too impressive doing so, leaving with a 21-17 victory. It also appears injuries could be derailing the Utes’ season. Quarterback Cameron Rising and running back Tavion Thomas missed this game, somewhat unexpectedly. I may be losing confidence in the Utes.

USC Trojans (7-1, 5-1) Last Week: 4

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USC’s defense may not be able to get very many stops, but that hasn’t been much of a problem yet. The offense can score with the best of them. It was a shootout victory for the Trojans, 45-37, over the Arizona Wildcats, and enough to bump them past the Utes and into third place.

UCLA Bruins (7-1, 4-1) Last Week: 2

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The Bruins’ blowout win over Stanford was a great opportunity for them to get right after the tough loss to the Oregon Ducks a week before. UCLA still has a lot to play for, and a potential spot in the Pac-12 Championship game if it keeps winning.

Oregon Ducks (7-1, 5-0) Last Week: 1

Oregon didn’t look amazing in their blowout win over California despite putting up 588 yards of offense and 42 points, but they still have a strangle-hold on the No. 1 spot in the Pac-12 and are the last remaining team that is unbeaten in the conference.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire