Five Pac-12 teams ranked in latest AP top 25; Oregon at No. 5
Five Pac-12 teams are ranked in the latest AP top 25 poll: Oregon is No. 5, Arizona is No. 14, Arizona State is 15th, Utah is 18th and UCLA is 25th. The five ranked teams are tied for second most of any conference along with the Big 12, trailing only the SEC (six).
[Editor's note: This is the final AP poll roundup we'll be posting for the 2014 season. On Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m. PT, we'll have the release of the first College Football Playoff rankings and will continue to use those rankings from then on.]
Oh no – Marcus Mariota threw his first pick of the season! That was about the only thing that went wrong for the Quack Attack on Friday, though, as No. 8 also threw five TD passes, Royce Freeman had another 100-yard rushing game, and the Ducks defeated Cal 59-41in Santa Clara, Calif. Thanks to Ole Miss’ loss to LSU, the Ducks are back in the top 5 at No. 5, a one-spot improvement from last week’s poll. Big week for the Ducks next week with their recent nemesis – Stanford – coming to town. The Cardinal is the only squad Mariota hasn’t beaten in the Pac-12.
The Wildcats looked like a team eager to play after a bye week following a heartbreaking loss, scoring the first 31 points of the game Saturday and never looking back in a 59-37 stomping of Washington State. Anu Solomon was clinical with five touchdown passes and no picks, and Terris Jones-Grigsby ran for 107 yards on just 13 carries. Arizona flipped spots with Arizona State to jump up one place to 14th and, like its desert rivals, is one of three one-loss teams in the Pac-12 South. The win over the Cougs makes Arizona bowl eligible for the sixth time in the last seven seasons and sets up a top-25 showdown with the Bruins next Saturday night in the Rose Bowl.
The Sun Devils were in control for pretty much the whole game until they weren’t, when Washington tied it up in the fourth quarter, but Taylor Kelly was able to lead the Forks to bowl eligibility in his first start back from injury on Saturday. Armand Perry added a pick-six, and the Devils beat the Dawgs 24-10 in conditions that weren’t exactly ideal. While the Sun Devils drop one spot to 15, they remain a major player in the Pac-12 South race. “Huge” doesn’t begin to describe the importance of next week’s game against Utah in Tempe.
In Travis We Trust. The Utah quarterback took the Utes 73 yards in two minutes and hit up Kaelin Clay in the end zone with eight seconds left to give Utah a 24-21 win over USC and reach six wins for the first time in three years. Unfortunately for the Utes, LSU beat the then-No. 3 team in the country, and that counts for more in the pollsters’ eyes than beating No. 20. Fortunately for the Utes, East Carolina had a shaky win and Oklahoma was idle, so Utah does jump up to No. 18 from 19. And now for more Pac-12 fun – at Arizona State, home against Oregon, at Stanford and home against Arizona; three top-15 teams and the two-time defending Pac-12 champions. How’s that for your next four games?
The record might not indicate as much, but these aren’t your 2012 or 2013 Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs have lost three Pac-12 games by one score, something they’ve only done twice in the last two years combined. The Bruins knew they were going to get a game in Boulder, and that’s exactly what they got after blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead. Brett Hundley was able to save the day, however, as he scampered in from eight yards out to give UCLA a 40-37 win in double overtime on Saturday. By the hair of their chinny-chin-chins, the Bruins remain in the Pac-12 South race and stay at No. 25.
USC fell out of the polls and tallied 22 voting points after the aforementioned loss to Utah, while Stanford picked up nine voting after a “get right” 38-14 victory over Oregon State.