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Pac-12 Week 9 Rankings: USC Continues Incline

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

        The Pac-12 South is getting messier as weeks continue, as Utah lost a close one and Colorado was coming off a bye week, giving Sam Darnold and his Trojans a chance to put themselves back in the race, now trailing Colorado by 1/2 game in the standings. A fun week is ahead, and here's the rankings:

1] Washington Huskies 8-0 (5-0), Last Week 1:
          Washington was left off the initial College Football Playoff top 4 seeds, and will definitely use that to fuel a blow-out victory as they visit Cal during Week 10. They squeaked by Utah with a 31-24 victory.

2] Utah Utes 7-2 (4-2), Last Week 2:

           Despite injuries, the Utes did all they could to try to topple the Huskies, it just wasn't enough. Joe Williams being back will be a major boost as they hope for a major bowl game, possibly a Rose Bowl appearance. 

3] Colorado Buffaloes 6-2 (4-1), Last Week: 4
          Coming off a bye week, the Buffaloes are now in sole possession of the top spot in the Pac-12 South. A home date against a Rosen-less Bruins for a Thursday showdown would do well in cementing their chances of winning the division for the first time since joining the Pac. 

4] Washington State Cougars  6-2 (5-0), Last Week: 3
       Wazzou struggled to put Oregon State away and have a home date against Arizona. Should be a blow out win, but then again, with Arizona losing in overtime to Washington and Wazzou topping the Beavs by four, anything can happen.

5] USC Trojans 5-3 (4-2), Last Week: 6
       Sam Darnold led the Trojans to a 3-TD win over the Cal Golden Bears and have a date against an Oregon team trying to get to bowl eligibility. Wins are at a premium for the Trojans as they hope to keep pace with the Buffs for the divisional crown.

6] Stanford Cardinal 5-3 (3-3), Last Week: 5
         Stanford took care of Arizona without much trouble, winning 34-10 in the Old Pueblo and have a home date against the Beavers coming up. Time is running out for Stanford to try to clinch a decent bowl berth after having national title hopes. 

7] UCLA Bruins 3-5 (1-4), Last Week: 8
         Bit of Bruin bias to put them at #7, but the fact that UCLA hasn't lost a single game by more than a possession (sans the game-over defensive Cardinal TD) shows how different this season could have went in Westwood. Rosen might be done for the year, along with bowl chances being real slim with a date in Colorado coming up. 

8] Oregon Ducks 3-5 (1-4), Last Week: 11
        A blow-out victory against the Arizona State Sun Devils helps jump the Ducks three spots in the rankings, but, like UCLA, they are hard-pressed to crack into a bowl game. USC won't be much help this weekend. 

9] Arizona State Sun Devils 5-4 (2-4), Last Week: 7
          ASU lost big to Oregon right before a bye week. Good news for Todd Graham's squad is they are one win away from being eligible to go bowling. Bad news is that two of the final three games are against Utah and Washington, before a game against the lowly Wildcats, which should be a win but rivalry games tend to be funky. 

10] California Golden Bears 2-6 (1-4), Last Week: 9
         Another blow-out loss should be on deck for Cal, as they lost 45-24 against the Trojans, as they host a Washington side that will be out for blood after being excluded from the initial CFP rankings.

11] Oregon State beavers 2-6 (1-4), Last Week: 10
         The Beavs played the Cougars tough, but couldn't hold on. Hosting Stanford this weekend will be intriguing to see if OrSt can keep playing teams tough and stay in the game. 

12] Arizona Wildcats 2-6 (0-5), Last Week: 12

         Arizona climbing out of the bottom spot won't happen. They lost 34-10 against Stanford and will probably lose bigger to Luke Falk and the Cougs Air Raid offense. 

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