AP Top 25: Oregon stays 2nd; four teams in
Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP Top 25 poll – Oregon stays at No. 2 while UCLA, Stanford and USC jump up to eighth, 14th and 16th, respectively. With Arizona State no longer ranked, the four teams are tied for third with the Big Ten for most ranked teams by conference behind the SEC’s eight and the Big 12’s five.
Not much to report on the Oregon front. The idle Ducks remained idle in the polls, too, though it did look like for a while that NC State might be able to help out Mark Helfrich and Friends. As it turned out, Florida State roared back from a 17-point deficit to defeat the Wolfpack 56-41 and hold on to the No. 1 spot. That said, the Ducks did close the gap on the Seminoles, as Florida State’s lead over Oregon is just 11 voting points (it was a 41-point differential last week). Oregon has an intriguing matchup with Arizona Thursday night, a game in which the Ducks will try to serve a cold dish of revenge to the Wildcats for spoiling any hopes Oregon had of going to the national championship game in 2013.
The Bruins got one of the most impressive wins of the weekend with a 62-27 trampling of Arizona State on the road Thursday night, when Brett Hundley looked like the Brett Hundley of old. The pollsters also liked what they saw out of the Bruins Thursday night, and UCLA was rewarded with a three-slot boost up to No. 8. For those who have been ranked each of the last two weeks, UCLA’s three-spot increase was tied for the biggest jump upwards with Oklahoma State. It’s the highest ranking for the Bruins this season since the preseason poll, when they were ranked seventh.
It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but Stanford eventually got the job done in a 20-13 win at Washington. Thanks to losses from Arizona State and South Carolina, the Cardinal gets a two-spot bump upwards to No. 14, making next Saturday’s showdown in South Bend with the ninth-ranked Irish a battle of top-15 teams. Everett Golson looks like he never missed a year in action, but this Stanford defense hasn’t let anything past it. Something’s gotta give next weekend. Should be a great one.
What’s this – another Hail Mary? While it was far less dramatic than Arizona’s the week prior, Cody Kessler’s 48-yard hookup with Darreus Rogers at the end of the first half proved to take the wind out of Oregon State’s sails for good. USC ended up downing the Beavers 35-10 in convincing fashion, and is up two places to No. 16 as a result of the aforementioned losses suffered by the Forks and Gamecocks.
The Sun Devils just slid out of the polls with that 35-point loss to UCLA and received 97 voting points (that’s 26th in the nation). Arizona garnered 43 points in its bye week (29th-most), while Washington took home two points for its efforts in a close loss to the Cardinal.