What a topsy-turvy Saturday in college football with a number of upsets.
Here in the Pac-12, the ranks of the unbeatens dropped by one as Stanford showed its nit dead yet after the upset loss at Utah last week, rebounding with a 24-10 win over previously undefeated UCLA.
Oregon was tested for a half as the Ducks had their smallest margin at the intermission – 34-24 – against Washington State, but then cruised to a 62-38 victory.
Oregon State remained the only other undefeated team in Pac-12 play, routing hapless California 49-17 as the Beavers had strong performances from Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks once again on offense, as well as a solid game by Scott Crichton and the entire defense.
The Beavers, now 6-1 and bowl eligible, will host Stanford this week in a game that has major North Division title implications.
In other action, Washington was no match for Arizona State on the road, dropping its third straight, this time 53-24 to the Sun Devils.
Utah followed up that big win over Utah with a 35-24 loss at Arizona, while USC dropped a 14-10 decision at Notre Dame and Colorado stepped out of conference play to rout Charleston Southern 43-10.
Here’s how I see the power rankings this week.
1. Oregon (7-0, 4-0): Ducks just keep piling up the points and the yards and welcome a UCLA team this week which is smarting from first loss.
2. Stanford (6-1, 4-1): Cardinal dropped to No. 5 last week but I’m jumping them back up after a great defensive performance against Bruins. Can they slow OSU this week?
3. Oregon State (6-1, 4-0): Beavers stay at No. 3 in part because, well, Cal is so bad. Sean Mannion always says there are things to work on, but he and Cooks are in a groove. Can they pull the upset this week?
4. UCLA (5-1, 2-1): Bruins couldn’t get anything going against Cardinal. The defense will be tested this week against the Ducks.
5. Arizona State (5-2, 3-1): An emphatic win against the Huskies at home. Still need to prove to me the Sun Devils can do that away from home. ASU has a bye before travelling to Wazzu on Halloween.
6. Washington (4-3, 1-3): Now it gets tricky. Huskies have dropped three straight but against teams ahead of them. Cal is up this week so Dawgs should bounce back in the win column.
7. Arizona (4-2, 1-2): Wildcats get first conference win over Utes. Trip to Boulder to take on the Buffaloes up this week.
8. Utah (4-3, 1-3): Utes step out of state and lose. Guess that No. 4 ranking last week was inflated. How quickly you can fall now.
9. USC (4-3, 1-2): Trojans have been playing solid defense and get the nod ahead of a Wazzu team that beat them already. A respectable 14-10 loss at Notre Dame.
10. Washington State (4-4, 2-3): Good thing the Cougars have a bye as QB Connor Halliday’s arm needs the rest. Halliday attempted a FBS record 89 passes, completing 58 for 557 yards, in blowout loss to Ducks.
11. Colorado (3-3, 0-3): A feel good win at home over FCS opponent.
12. California (1-6, 0-4): Bears were never in after the first quarter against the Beavers. And now they may have a QB controversy. The long first year for Sonny Dykes continues.