|Arizona punt returner Richard Morrison and Rich Rodriguez celebrate Morrison's 63-yard punt return touchdown. (AP)|
Here's the CBSSports.com Rapid Reports Pac-12 power ranking:
The top of the rankings remained unchanged, but the midsection went through a complete facelift after Arizona upended Washington, sending the Huskies to their third straight loss. A Wildcat win over USC, which experienced a rebirth of the passing game, would send Arizona up, up and up.
1. No. 2 Oregon (7-0): The Ducks so thoroughly dominated Arizona State early in their 43-21, Thursday-night win that the final score is almost a shame. Oregon let the Sun Devils feel good about themselves for all of thirty seconds as Arizona State went up 7-0. Then Oregon led 43-7. Just that simple, almost that quick. The Sun Devils scored 14 points in the fourth quarter against Oregon's backups, after RB Kenjon Barner and QB Marcus Mariota had already run wild and were cooling off on the sideline. Barner ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns; Mariota for 138 yards and one score as the Ducks made mincemeat out of what was supposed to be a "test." Last week's ranking: 1. Next up: vs. Colorado, 3 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
2. No. 7 Oregon State (6-0): The last time the Beavers started 6-0, the state of Oregon was not yet 50 years old, Teddy Roosevelt was still president, and the Chicago Cubs had just won the World Series. That was 1907. Sure, Oregon State's offense looked like it was conceived 105 years ago in this game against Utah, totaling just 225 yards, but coach Mike Riley isn't playing for style points. RB Storm Woods ran in three short touchdowns, the Beavers capitalized on two turnovers, and the Beavers stayed undefeated. Last week's ranking: 2. Next up: at Washington, 10:15 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
3. No. 10 USC (6-1): QB Matt Barkley and WR Robert Woods got all lovey-dovey again, and they set numerous records in the process of a 50-6 thrashing of Colorado. The duo combined for four touchdowns, giving Woods the conference record for receiving scores in a game, while Barkley finished with six touchdown passes, which sent him past Matt Leinart and into sole possession of the conference's career touchdown mark. Last week's ranking: 3. Next up: at Arizona, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN2).
4. No. 19 Stanford (5-2): Thirty years after the most famous Big Game, the Cardinal got their revenge. They didn't even run over a trombone player in the process. Just the Cal defense. RB Stepfan Taylor ran for 191 yards and a touchdown and Stanford held the Bears to three rushing yards. You read that right. Three rushing yards. For the game. Taylor had four on the very first play alone. Last week's ranking: 4. Next up: vs. Washington State, 6:15 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
5. Arizona State (5-2): Well, you can't say Arizona State hasn't played anybody yet. It played somebody. A big somebody. A scary somebody. And it didn't go well. No, it didn't. The Sun Devils' big loss to Oregon, worse than the score indicated, leaves the middle of the Pac-12 completely muddled. Next Saturday's matchup vs. UCLA will help clear some of the muck, but the loss to the Ducks left Arizona State hobbled up front on defense, so Bruins RB Johnathan Franklin could present problems. Last week's ranking: 5. Next up: vs. UCLA, 3 p.m. ET (FX).
6. UCLA (5-2): The Bruins' offense downshifted a bit against Utah in Week 7, but offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone knows a thing or two about the Sun Devils. Sure, Arizona State has a new coaching staff, but Mazzone knows (most of) the personnel, and he should have a trick or two up his sleeve. The Bruins defense, meanwhile, has dialed up the pressure with linebackers Anthony Barr and Damien Holmes and defensive linemen Cassius Marsh and Datone Jones. Sun Devils QB Taylor Kelly could be in for a tough week, and that could tip the game to UCLA. Last week's ranking: 8. Next up: at Arizona State, 3 p.m. ET (FX).
7. Arizona (4-3): The Wildcats soar up the list after what was an impressive win over Washington, which followed two consecutive brutal losses. It was as if Arizona channeled all of the frustration of a 3-point loss to Oregon State and a 6-point overtime loss at Stanford into a 52-17 thrashing of the Huskies. QB Matt Scott was at his near-best, totaling five touchdowns, and running back Ka'Deem Carey thrilled his hometown crowd with 172 rushing yards on 29 carries with a touchdown. Last week's ranking: 9. Next up: vs. No. 10 USC, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN2).
8. Washington (3-4): If only passing yards mattered, the Huskies played Arizona to a draw on Saturday. They both had 256 passing yards. That's about where the comparisons end, because the Wildcats also ran for 277 yards, Washington committed 10 penalties for 100 yards and Arizona punt returner Richard Morrison brought one back for a 63-yard touchdown. After three straight losses, the Huskies plummeted down the list, but a win over Oregon State could send them right back up. Last week's ranking: 6. Next up: vs. No. 7 Oregon State, 10:15 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
9. Cal (3-5): The Bears' on-and-off trio of running backs Isi Sofele, C.J. Anderson and Brendan Bigelow was not just off against Stanford, it's as if the batteries were removed and thrown away. Cal's backs managed 18 yards on 19 carries, a big reason the Bears finished with just 217 offensive yards and three points. Cal needs to win three of four to become bowl eligible, but with season-closing dates against Oregon and Oregon State, the next two dates against Utah and Washington are critical. Last week's ranking: 7. Next up: at Utah, 9:45 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
10. Utah (2-5): The Utes have lost four straight and it doesn't appear to be getting better. Utah has halved its points in consecutive weeks, from 28 to 14 to 7 in just 16 days. Seemingly without an identity, the Utes haven't been able to generate any momentum, but with consecutive home games against Cal and Washington State, they could right the ship soon. Last week's ranking: 10. Next up: vs. Cal, 9:45 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
11. Colorado (1-6): We'd understand if every Buffalo defensive player complained about neck stiffness this week. They spent so much of the game with their eyes raised to the air, watching USC QB Matt Barkley drop the ball ever so softly into the eagerly awaiting arms of his receivers. Barkley completed 19 of 20 passes, setting the Pac-12 record for single-game completion percentage, and the Buffaloes could do nothing about it. Now they travel to Eugene for a showdown with Oregon. Should be ... fun? Last week's ranking: 11. Next up: at No. 2 Oregon, 3 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
12. Washington State (2-5): The Cougars got a week off to gather their thoughts, but who knows how much that will help. We're guessing not much. Now they face a Stanford team that allows just 77 rushing yards per game. Washington State rushes for 40 yards per game and that's not against Stanford. The Cougars could go backward more than forward this week. Last week's ranking: 12. Next up: at No. 19 Stanford, 6:15 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)