Pac-12 Football Rankings And Reactions, Week 11

    Week 11 Pac-12 football rankings and reactions. In a bizarre weekend for the conference, both divisions became a whole lot more interesting. And hopes of participating in the playoff are all but gone. The Pac-12’s three ranked teams, Stanford, Utah and UCLA, lost, meaning Oregon and Washington State remain alive in the North and USC now controls its own destiny in the South.

    November 16, 2015


    Week 11 Pac-12 Football Rankings

    1. Stanford: L, Oregon 38-36

    Better have a short memory, Cardinal. There are still two huge games left on the schedule, three if the team takes care of business versus Cal. Stanford couldn’t handle the big-play ability of Oregon, effectively ending its playoff hopes. But the team still has its annual rivalry game with the Bears and a chance to derail Notre Dame’s own title hopes a week later. The Cardinal wraps up the North Division with a home win over Cal this weekend.

    2. Utah: L, at Arizona 37-30

    For the second time in the last four games, the Utes lost. And by falling in double-overtime to the Wildcats, Utah’s lead in the South Division is gone as well. When the D fails to deliver, the ending is usually sour for the Utes, Saturday night being no different. Utah failed to register a sack, a rarity for this pressing unit, and the secondary paid the price by allowing big plays to receivers Samaje Grant, Cayleb Jones and Nate Phillips.

    3. Washington State: W, at UCLA 31-27

    Mike Leach has done a brilliant job with the Cougars, who are a missed field goal versus Stanford from being alone atop the North Division. Washington State is learning how to win close games, which hasn’t been a program characteristic for more than a decade, when Mike Price was still on the Palouse. However, the Cougars have been one of the nation’s best road teams in 2015, winning at Oregon, Arizona and UCLA in the final seconds. Wazzu can still send the North into tiebreakers if Stanford loses to Cal Saturday.

    4. Oregon: W, at Stanford 38-36

    The Ducks are explosive again, thanks in large part to the return to the health of QB Vernon Adams. Adams only threw 12 times, but those attempts went for 205 yards and a pair of scores. And his presence makes everyone on Oregon better. The Ducks averaged 9.1 yards a play, a gaudy number against anyone, let alone the Cardinal. Plus, the O-line, led by tackles Tyrell Crosby and Tyler Johnstone, is gelling at the right time. If Oregon beats USC and Oregon State and Stanford falls to Cal, the Ducks win the North.

    5. USC: W, at Colorado, 27-24

    The Trojans survived in Boulder to kick off a wacky weekend that propelled them into the South Division driver’s seat with two weeks left. But it wasn’t pretty. And it exposed some of USC’s weaknesses, especially at the point of attack on offense. The team averaged just 3.5 yards per carry, while allowing a pair of sacks to a mediocre Colorado defense. However, the defense flexed its muscles for the Trojans, registering 10 stops for loss and six sacks behind linemen Delvon Simmons and Antwaun Woods.

    6. UCLA: L, Washington State 31-27

    Red-zone scoring is killing the Bruins. And it doomed them long before Luke Falk found Gabe Marks for the game-winner with three seconds left. UCLA outgained Washington State by more than 100 yards, but it couldn’t close the deal when it mattered most. Five red-zone trips produced just a single touchdown, allowing the Cougars to stay in a game they should have lost. So, instead of controlling their destiny in the South Division, the Bruins need two more wins and help.

    7. Cal: W, Oregon State 54-24

    It took a visit from the lowly Beavers, but the Bears are at long last bowl eligible. Cal snapped a nagging four-game losing streak, looking like the first-half Cal. Jared Goff threw six touchdown passes and the team amassed 760 yards to unleash a month’s worth of frustration. Now, Sonny Dykes wants his kids to carry that momentum into the postseason by winning upcoming games with Stanford and Arizona State.

    8. Arizona State: W, Washington 27-17

    If the 5-5 Sun Devils qualify for a bowl game, they’ll look at Week 11 as the turning point. Down 17-0 at home, ASU scored the final 27 points against a top defense to showcase their potential over the final two quarters. The Sun Devils will give up a lot of yards, well over 500 on Saturday, but they can survive as long as they continue to create turnovers and wreak havoc in opposing backfields.

    9. Washington: L, at Arizona State 27-17

    This one hurts, though the Huskies might be becoming immune to painful losses this fall. U-Dub blew a 17-0 start in the desert—and a chance to even its record, with Oregon State and Washington State still left on the schedule. The Huskies’ youth on offense continues to show, with four turnovers, including three Jake Browning picks, killing hopes for an important road victory. A postseason berth is only possible with wins over both the Beavers and the Cougars.

    10. Arizona: W, Utah 37-30

    Always good for a late-season upset, the Wildcats delivered one on Saturday that created a logjam in the South Division. And a new leader in USC. Plus, Arizona snapped a three-game losing streak to become bowl eligible just in the nick of time. Save for the Halloween collapse to Washington, Rich Rodriguez is pushing the right buttons on offense, spitting out at least 30 points in five of the last six games.

    11. Colorado: L, USC 27-24

    Solid effort Friday night from the Buffaloes, but they’ll be without a bowl invitation for an eighth consecutive year. They’ll also be without starting QB Sefo Liufau, who injured his foot in the loss, for the remaining two games. And that’s not such a bad thing in the grand scheme of things. Liufau is the face of the offense, and will be in 2016, but rookie Cade Apsay was sharp in relief. Plus, the reps he receives in November will pay dividends in 2017 and 2018.

    12. Oregon State: L, at Cal 54-24

    Silver linings are becoming harder and harder to locate for a Beaver team that’ll very likely finish 2015 on a nine-game losing streak and without a Pac-12 win. Oregon State stopped being competitive a long time ago, indicative of the mess Mike Riley left behind for successor Gary Andersen. The Beavs did show some life on the ground, rushing for 204 yards behind a decent night from rookie Paul Lucas.

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