Well. That was a chaotic week. And it caused major changes atop the Pac-12 Power Rankings. With Oregon and UCLA both getting upset over the weekend, we have a new No. 1. Let’s dive in.

12. Colorado Buffaloes

Prev. rank: 12

The Buffs have the third-worst defense in all of college football (by yards per play). This is a defense that hasn’t been under 6 yards a play since 2018. Two games left until the attention fully shifts to finding someone who can fix that.

11. Stanford Cardinal

Prev. rank: 11

As the offensive renaissance atop the Pac-12 has raged this season, it’s been no surprise the two worst defenses in the league have plummeted to the basement. Stanford can’t stop anyone. It just gave up 42 points to Utah, and I have to wonder what would have happened had Arizona State played the right quarterback against the Cardinal or if Notre Dame had its starting quarterback for their matchup. Stanford is giving up 32.4 points a game. That’s one year after giving up… 32.4 points a game. And two years after giving up 31.7 points a game. Stanford has been playing football a long time; it has never given up 30 points a game in three consecutive seasons.

10. Cal Golden BearsĀ 

Prev. rank: 10

The Golden Bears got the doors blown off by Oregon State last weekend, 38-10, for their sixth straight loss, prompting coach Justin Wilcox to dismiss his offensive coordinator and his offensive line coach. The offense has cratered and the run game is completely non-existent. Cal gets Stanford for the Big Game this week, and it needs to win. Failure to do so would mean the season ends with eight straight losses. That would also likely mean Bill Musgrave and Angus McClure won’t be the last coaches to exit the program. Given the way basketball has started, Cal will look completely passed out at the wheel if changes don’t come.

9. Arizona State Sun Devils

Prev. rank: 8

The quarterback spot was thrown back into flux during the Sun Devils’ 28-18 loss to Washington State. Trenton Bourguet opened 3-for-10 with a pick before exiting the game with what was said to be an injury. Emory Jones returned to the field and the offense looked more like it did to open the year. Saving grace on the season might end up being preventing Arizona from making a bowl game in the season finale.

8. Washington State Cougars

Prev. rank: 7

The offense looks so much more effective with tailback Nakia Watson in the lineup and toting the rock. Watson has back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, the latest of which helped Wazzu blast Arizona State. Don’t be fooled by the 10-point margin, this was not a competitive game and it was over at halftime.

7. Arizona Wildcats

Prev. rank: 9

Finally, the Arizona team I’ve been waiting to see. Jayden de Laura completed 79% of his passes for 315 yards and two scores as the Wildcats stunned UCLA at the Rose Bowl, 34-28. The Wildcat defense got beat in the box score, but it also punched UCLA’s offense off the field on downs during both of the Bruins’ final possessions.

6. Oregon State Beavers

Prev. rank: 6

After trailing Washington for all of eight seconds in a Week 10 loss, Oregon State took its frustration out on Cal, winning 38-10 in Corvallis. The Beaver Blueprint is clear with Ben Gulbranson at the controls: run the ball, dominate on defense. Defensive coordinator Trent Bray earned a Broyles Award nomination after the Beavers held a Power Five opponent under 200 yards of offense for the first time since 2009. Arizona State this weekend, then a massive game against Oregon at home to close out the regular season. The Beavs will have a chance to win nine games for the first time since 2012.

5. UCLA Bruins

Prev. rank: 2

One week before their biggest game of the season, the Bruins face-planted. UCLA was in a spot to control its destiny in the Pac-12 title race. Now it needs a ton of help, and that’s if it can topple USC this weekend. Given the way Arizona’s offense cut through the Bruin defense, there’s reason for concern. The Bruins have given up at least 400 yards in five of their last six games.

4. Oregon Ducks

Prev. rank: 1

A first-year coach made rookie mistakes. Oregon’s Dan Lanning said he got “a little selfish” in the Ducks’ 37-34 loss to Washington. Some of the decisions Lanning caught flak for were just your standard, “the play didn’t work so it was the wrong play” kinds of things. A fumble inside UW’s 5-yard-line wasn’t because of shifting alignments, it was because of poor execution. An onside kick didn’t cost Oregon the game. But the decision to go for it on a fourth-and-1 at your own 34 with your starting quarterback on the sideline and less than two minutes on the clock was indefensible. The Ducks got beat by a damn good Washington team, though a litany of preventable errors in the fourth quarter led to the three-point loss. I would caution to not write the Ducks off yet. At the same time, the degree to which the defense has struggled to contain explosive plays this year is concerning.

3. Washington Huskies

Prev. rank: 5

Michael Penix Jr. is that dude. I’ve seen Penix make “wow” throws all year and I was still left in complete disarray when he completed the crossfield ball to Taj Davis for a 62-yard touchdown that tied the game in the fourth. The Kalen DeBoer/Ryan Grubb/Penix partnership on Montlake has produced quite literally a dream season for Penix.

2. USC Trojans

Prev. rank: 4

USC beat the brakes off Colorado last Friday, a 55-17 game that could have been worse. This week, a team that went 4-8 a season ago has a chance to finish 8-1 against the conference slate and lock up a spot in the Pac-12 title game. Caleb Williams has put together one of the best seasons of any quarterback in the country this season. He has thrown for 31 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Williams has to take the field each week knowing if he doesn’t have his best stuff, the Trojans will drown. He’s kept things afloat just fine.

1. Utah Utes

Prev. rank: 3

Utah gets the top spot after dismantling Stanford. The Utes have been dealt injury after injury this year and yet they keep finding ways to plug along. That’s a testament to the sheer brilliance of coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff. Tavion Thomas played his best game of the season against the Cardinal, rushing for 180 yards and two touchdowns. The defense recorded seven sacks; that’s 18 in the last four games. The Utes should be going into a decisive matchup with Oregon with a good deal of confidence.