This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Pac-12 fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means. The conference has six teams ranked in Top 25 for first time since 2002.
The Ducks solidified their hold on the No. 2 spot thanks to LSU's struggles in back-to-back weeks against Auburn and Towson. Only eight of the 60 AP voters had Oregon outside of its current rank, with the lowest being two writers who put the team No. 4 on their ballots. Given how strong the Pac-12 has proven to be this season, if Chip Kelly's squad can run the table it will be hard to keep them out of the national title game.
The Trojans sat at home on their bye as they rested up from the loss to Stanford and prepared to face Utah on Thursday night. At this point, they're still the favorite in the South Division and can still make a BCS bowl even if they were to split their (possible) two games with Oregon down the road. Still, USC has to look better than it has early in the season with an offensive line in flux and a defense that hasn't been up to par. They'll move up with a win and some losses ahead of them and likely be back in the top 10 next week if things go right for Lane Kiffin and company.
14/17. Oregon State
There's quite the disparity (tied for the most between the polls) on where to rank the Beavers after their big win over Arizona that showed this team isn't going away in 2012. Sean Mannion is one of the brightest young signal-callers in the country and led a great winning drive late to keep the team's record perfect. What's impressive is that they've played so well on the road. One figures they'll keep rising in the polls as they play Washington Stateat Corvallis this week.
The Cardinal remain in the top 20 despite the Thursday night loss to Washington in which the offense looked just dreadful. This team is built on running the football and playing defense, and they seemed to have only the latter working well in Seattle. If this team is going to challenge Oregon in the division, they have to get better play out of quarterback Josh Nunes and be able to adjust when teams load the box to stop Stepfan Taylor. It doesn't get much easier the next two weeks as they'll face an angry Arizona team at home before heading to South Bend to play an improved Notre Dame squad.
As mentioned in the Poll Attacks for Week 5, it seems like voters overreacted a tad to the home win against Stanford which, while impressive, doesn't mean Washington has the resume to be a Top 25 team. This is a solid Pac-12 program that passed the first of three tests to kick off conference play, with games against Oregon and USC ahead of them about to show us how good it really is. Still, it does speak to the depth and perception of the Pac-12 this season that a team like the Huskies are able to be ranked following a win like the one they had last week.
The Bruins have been yo-yoing in and out of the polls the past few weeks and land just inside the Top 25 after beating Colorado on the road. In retrospect, the close loss to Oregon State looks better, as does the win against Nebraska. Speaking of the Cornhuskers, they're ahead of the team that they lost to in both polls, which has to be puzzling if you're a UCLA fan.
Others Receiving Votes: Arizona State is making an argument to be ranked with its strong play to start the season, garnering several votes in the AP and Coaches polls. Arizona also finds itself in the same spot with some votes in the AP.
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