Five Pac-12 teams ranked in AP poll for fourth straight week
Once again, five Pac-12 teams are ranked in the latest AP top 25 poll. Oregon remains in the No. 2 spot, while UCLA is 11th, Arizona State is 15th, Stanford is 16th and USC is 18th. And, yet again, the Pac-12’s five teams are the second most for any conference behind the SEC’s eight.
It wasn’t easy for top-five teams in Week 4. Top-ranked Florida State escaped Clemson without starting quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, fourth-ranked Oklahoma got a hard-earned win at West Virginia and No. 5 Auburn squeezed past Kansas State thanks to some Wildcat miscues. That was all before Oregon’s game in the Palouse went final, one that fell in line with the rest. It was far from easy for the Ducks, but Oregon found a way to pull out a 38-31 win at Washington State. The only ranked Pac-12 team to play Saturday, the Ducks remained at No. 2 behind Florida State and ahead of Alabama.
How 'bout this: The Bruins didn't play and moved up one spot to 11. Address your thank-you notes to Starkville, Miss. Things will be significantly tougher next week with a Thursday night showdown against Arizona State, a game that figures to go a long way toward deciding the Pac-12 South.
The Sun Devils were also off Saturday but, unlike UCLA, did not move in the polls. Arizona State is No. 15 for the second straight week, setting up a top-15 showdown between the Bruins and Sun Devils Thursday night in Tempe.
As fun as Saturday was in the Pac-12, the vast majority of the action did not involve what many would consider the cream of the crop in the conference. Stanford was one of four ranked Pac-12 teams to be idle on Saturday, giving it a chance to lick a few wounds before trekking up to Seattle to take on the Dawgs with hopes of avenging a tough 2012 loss in Seattle. The Cardinal will head up to Washington as the No. 16 team in the nation, the same ranking it held entering the bye week.
The Trojans also got an extra week of rest to prepare for its Pac-12 home opener against Oregon State, a game that is looking pretty tough after the Beavers handled a solid San Diego State squad 28-7 Saturday night. Ranked 18th in the country – dropping one spot because of Mississippi State's impressive road win at LSU, moving the Bulldogs up to No. 14 – USC will do its best to keep Sean Mannion from eventually leaping past a couple of USC quarterbacks on the Pac-12 all-time passing yardage list. Matt Barkley and Carson Palmer top the list, while Mannion is now ranked third.
Utah received 31 voting points for an impressive 26-10 beatdown of Michigan in the Big House, while Washington garnered 30 voting points after blanking Georgia State 45-0 in the second half and winning 45-14. Additionally, Arizona earned nine points for its thrilling Hail Mary victory over Cal and the Beavers got five for the win over San Diego State.
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