Pac 12 Football Teams Northern Division
Oregon and Oregon State are the darlings of all Pac 12 football teams as the Northern Division duo are both in the Top 10 in both football polls. Here is how the conference ranks going into week 7 of football.
1. No. 2 Oregon (6-0): Did you know Oregon coach Chip Kelly has a sense of humor? Neither did we. After finding out Oregon was ranked No. 3 in the initial BCS standings — and not No. 2 — Kelly joked that it must be because the computers are turned off before Oregon plays its games. Four of the Ducks six games this season have started at 10:30 p.m. ET. Besides being funny, Kelly also likes to win games by a lot of points. Last week’s ranking: 1. Next up: at Arizona State, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN).
2. No. 8 Oregon State (5-0): The Beavers offensive line is full of big guys who like to eat, so their message to backup QB Cody Vaz was probably pretty simple this week, “Cody, we like eating In-N-Out burgers, so win.” Vaz responded by throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns in the Beavers’ win over BYU. Coach Mike Riley responded by taking his team to In-N-Out for the fourth time this season. In case you’re wondering, the burger tradition started after Oregon State’s win over UCLA. Last week’s ranking: 2. Next up: vs. Utah, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
3. No. 11 USC (5-1): Coach Lane Kiffin had an interesting game plan against Washington on Saturday, and that plan involved not letting Matt Barkley throw the ball. Barkley only threw 20 passes in the game, the third lowest total of his career. However, you can’t knock Kiffin because his strategy of using USC’s record-setting QB as a decoy worked in the Trojans’ 24-14 win over Washington. Last week’s ranking: 3. Next up: vs. Colorado, 6 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
4. No. 22 Stanford (4-2): Most football fields are 100 yards long, except for the one at Notre Dame apparently, which is 100 yards and three inches long. At least that’s what Cardinal RB Stepfan Taylor must be thinking. Taylor seemingly crossed the plain of the goal line on the game’s final play but refs ruled he fell short. The officials may have made a bad call in Stanford’s OT loss, but the Cardinal won’t have much time to get over it. They have the Big Game on Saturday, which will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of another bad Stanford loss: The one that involved five laterals and a band on the field. Last week’s ranking: 4. Next up: at Cal, 3 p.m. ET (Fox).
5. Arizona State (5-1): Sun Devil fans, we like Arizona State. We really do, they just haven’t played anyone all year. Well, technically, they have played people, they just haven’t played any FBS team that currently has a winning record. ASU’s four FBS wins have come over schools with a combined 11-22 record. However, Arizona State can make a big statement on Thursday — and that statement would be, “We don’t like ducks.” Last week’s ranking: 5. Next up: vs. Oregon, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN).
6. Washington (3-3): The Huskies are our “wrench” team of the week for throwing a wrench in our rankings and also because wrench starts with a “W” and so does Washington. Here’s the problem with the Huskies: They beat Stanford but lost to USC, which complicates things because Stanford beat USC. Because Washington has looked both good and bad this season, we decided to put them right in the middle at No. 6. Last week’s ranking: 7. Next up: at Arizona, 10 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
7. Cal (3-4): If the head coaching thing doesn’t work out for Jeff Tedford, he might want to consider a career as a magician. After all, he did make the hot seat talk disappear. If Tedford can win the Big Game against No. 22 Stanford on Saturday, he might be the first coach in college history to go from hot seat to an on campus statue in only two weeks. Last week’s ranking: 9. Next up: vs. No. 22 Stanford, 3 p.m. PT (Fox).
8. UCLA (5-2): UCLA rebounded from its 43-17 Week 6 loss to Cal with a solid 21-14 win over Utah on Saturday. Speaking of rebounding, its basketball season in Westwood, which means that if Jim Mora wants to keep the fans’ attention on the football field, the Bruins are probably going to have to beat Arizona State to stay in the Pac-12 South race. Last week’s ranking: 6. Next up: at Arizona State, Oct. 27, 3 p.m. ET (FX).
9. Arizona (3-3): During the bye week, coach Rich Rodriguez probably had a conversation with QB Matt Scott that went something like this, “Matt, you’re doing great this season, but 37 points per game isn’t going to cut it with the way our defense is playing; let’s start shooting for 60 — and 70 would be even better — and I mean, I don’t want to sound greedy or crazy, but 80? OK, 70.” Last week’s ranking: 8. Next up: vs. Washington, 10 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
10. Utah (2-4): Coach Kyle Whittingham may want to see if he can orchestrate a trade with Oregon State for backup QB Cody Vaz. Oh, you can’t trade players in the NCAA? Then Whittingham had better figure something out soon. The Utes used their third starting QB of the season on Saturday and got a familiar result: another loss. Last week’s ranking: 10. Next up: at No. 8 Oregon State, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
11. Colorado (1-5): The good news: The Buffaloes played arguably their best first half of the season in Thursday’s 53-17 loss to Arizona State. The bad news: NCAA rules required Colorado to play the second half. Coach Jon Embree is probably still having nightmares about the 31-0 second half thrashing. Of course, you can’t have nightmares if you don’t sleep and Embree might not be sleeping this week with No. 11 USC up next. Last week’s ranking: 11. Next up: at No. 11 USC, 6 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
12. Washington State (2-5): WSU fans didn’t get much time to enjoy their Mike Leach bobblehead’s on Saturday. Cougar QB Connor Halliday threw two first-quarter interceptions in Washington State’s 31-17 loss to Cal. Even Leach’s bobblehead could see that Halliday was struggling. After the two picks, the real Leach benched Halliday in favor of former starting QB Jeff Tuel. With a bye this week, Leach will have a few extra days to decide who his starter will be for the Cougars’ next game against No. 22 Stanford. Last week’s ranking: 12. Next up: at No. 18 Stanford, Oct. 27, Time/TV TBA.
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