Pac-12 Football Rankings And Reactions, Week 8

    Week 8 Pac-12 football rankings and reactions. Stanford displaced Utah as the league’s highest ranked team, beating Washington a few hours after the Utes suffered their first loss of 2015. It was an especially good weekend in Los Angeles, with both USC and UCLA earning rebound wins in primetime.

    October 26, 2015


    Week 8 Pac-12 football rankings and reactions. Stanford displaced Utah as the league’s highest ranked team, beating Washington a few hours after the Utes suffered their first loss of 2015. It was an especially good weekend in Los Angeles, with both USC and UCLA earning rebound wins in primetime.

    Week 8 Pac-12 Player of the Week

    Washington State QB Luke Falk completed 47-of-62 passes for 514 yards and five scores in the win over Arizona.

    Week 8 Pac-12 Football Rankings

    1. Stanford: W, Washington 31-14

    Yes, Christian McCaffrey has been otherworldly as an all-purpose playmaker for the Cardinal over the past few weeks. And the formula of his multi-dimensional wizardry plus the efficient passing of Kevin Hogan is clearly working. But if Stanford plans to turn this torrid six-game winning streak into a national championship run, it’ll need to diversify on offense. If top defenses are only concerned about No. 5, slowing down the Cardinal becomes a little less complicated.

    2. USC: W, Utah, 42-24

    If the Trojans are going to get back into the South Division race, and achieve a higher level of consistency, they’ve got to continue playing D the way they did against the Utes. True, the unit is young, but it’s beginning to grow up around the likes of LB Cameron Smith and CB Iman Marshall. The offense will be okay. If the defense can build off its Week 8 effort, there’s still an opening for USC to go on a second-half run.

    3. Utah: L, at USC 42-24

    The Utes are still in the South Division driver’s seat with five games to play. But the program lost a lot of its luster in the Coliseum. Both the offense and the defense were downgraded by the Trojans, which actually outmuscled Utah at the point of attack. However, LB Gionni Paul deserves special recognition for being one of the few standouts on the visitor’s sideline. The former Miami transfer was everywhere, tallying a game-high 17 tackles, 5.5 of which were for minus yards.

    4. Arizona State: Bye Week

    Next week: vs. Oregon

    5. UCLA: W, Cal 40-24

    Injuries just keep dogging the 2015 Bruins. On an otherwise terrific bounce back effort from QB Josh Rosen and the rest of the squad, star RB Paul Perkins injured his leg. And backup Nate Starks was already out. Silver lining? If blue-chip rookie Soso Jamabo needs to carry more of the weight on the ground going forward, he looked ready on Thursday, rushing for 79 yards and a score off the bench.

    6. Cal: L, at UCLA 40-24

    The feast-or-famine Bear defense was feasted upon by the Bruins on Thursday night. Cal has lived off turnovers this season. But it created just one in Pasadena and was shoved around the field by a UCLA team that didn’t have RB Paul Perkins in the second half or starting LT Conor McDermott for the entire game. Now more than ever, the Bears are going to need QB Jared Goff to carry the team in shootouts.

    7. Washington State: W, at Arizona 45-42

    The Cougars have become a competent road team in 2015. And that hasn’t typically been muttered about Washington State in recent years. After upsetting the Wildcats in Tucson behind QB Luke Falk, Wazzu is now 3-1 outside of the Palouse, including wins over Rutgers and Oregon. Plus, its lone loss was by just six points to a Cal team that was unbeaten at the time.

    8. Oregon: Bye Week

    Next week: at Arizona State

    9. Washington: L, at Stanford, 31-14

    Another loss, sure, making it three in the last four games. But the D continues to play well, despite getting minimal support from the Jake Browning-less offense. The Huskies were the first team since Week 2 to hold the Cardinal to no more than 31 points, while allowing fewer than four yards a carry. Will that defense be enough to carry U-Dub to a bowl game? With Utah, both Arizona teams and surging Wazzu still left, Washington could be boxed out of the postseason.

    10. Arizona: L, Washington State 45-42

    The Wildcats controlled the ball for only 22 minutes in Saturday’s loss to the Cougars. How does that happen against an opponent known for its fast-paced, run-and-gun offense? Simple. Arizona was unable to make stops when necessary, allowing Wazzu to convert 10-of-16 third-down attempts. The Cougs finished with 34 first downs, and an already thinned out Wildcat defense was gassed in the final quarter.

    11. Colorado: W, at Oregon State 17-13

    It mattered little that the win came against fading Oregon State. Snapping a 14-game Pac-12 losing streak is a very big deal for the Buffaloes and head coach Mike MacIntyre. Colorado got a terrific effort from the defense, which produced five sacks. And with a tough gauntlet of games remaining, the Buffs likely avoided lugging a nine-game losing streak into the offseason by nabbing the W in Corvallis.

    12. Oregon State: L, Colorado 17-13

    Now that the Beavers lost their best chance to win a third game in 2015, they’re likely to carry a nine-game losing streak into Gary Andersen’s second offseason with the program. Oregon State will have a ton to work on offensively, from a leaky O-line to the youthful quarterbacks. However, the team did get a possible glimpse of its future at running back, with 255-pound redshirt freshman Ryan Nall rushing for 122 yards and a score on 20 carries.

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