The road to the Rose Bowl still runs through Corvallis, at least that's the scenario after Week 9 of the Pacific-12 Conference season.

Oregon remains undefeated but Oregon State still controls its destiny if it wins out. So even after the loss by the Beavers, the Civil War is still interesting.

The rest of the conference is fighting for position and hopes to play spoiler, kind of like what Washington did.

While people will say the Pac-12 is down this year, expect eight bowl-eligible teams. All seven conference bowl tie-ins will have a team.

Here's a look at my power rankings of the teams and where they are at this week.

1. Oregon (8-0, 5-0): The most interesting thing Saturday was how the backups would do against the Buffaloes in the second half -- tied 14-14.

2. Stanford (6-2, 4-1): Cardinal should drop and not go up from a close call against lowly Washington State, but all the other top contenders lost.

3. Oregon State (6-1, 4-1): The Beavers drop only one spot after the loss to Washington because if they played 10 times this year, the Beavers would win seven or eight.

4. Washington (4-4, 2-3): Huskies were the better team last night but they are not as good as that one night. Even boosters in the press box after the game were stunned. However, expect them to finish strong.

5. UCLA (6-2, 3-2): Bruins still fighting hard and were persistent in a close win over Arizona State. They have a big game against Arizona this week.

6. Arizona (5-3, 2-3): It has been an up-and-down season for the Wildcats, but a close win over USC will remedy many issues.

7. USC (6-2, 4-2): Conference games are hard for the Trojans, and they let one slip away against Arizona. They'll be motivated against Oregon this week.

8. Arizona State (5-3, 3-2): After the fast start the Sun Devils are slowing down in time for a trip to Corvallis this weekend. It will be their first cold-weather game.

9. Utah (3-5, 1-4): That was a nice win over the Golden Bears to get things going, but Cal is on the downward slide.

10. California (3-6, 2-4): Jeff Tedford is commonly on the hotseat and survives. He might be out of lives unless there's a miraculous turnaround.

11. Colorado (1-7, 1-4): That was downright pitiful against the Ducks. I've got nothing to say but at least they beat the Cougars.

12. Washington State (2-6, 0-5): Nice try against the Cardinal, but when you are that bad it's hard to pull out a close one.

Cliff Kirkpatrick covers Oregon State sports for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at

(1) comment


I suppose the inference is that because Colorado is ranked 11th and WSU 12th Colorado is a better team than the Cougs, presumably because they beat WSU. However, they are not a better team.

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