In this week's rankings, Washington State jumps one spot while Washington falls after its second-straight loss. See who tops the conference and who's trailing behind.

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Seattle Times college football reporters Percy Allen, Adam Jude and Stefanie Loh rank the Pac-12 entering Week 9:


1. Stanford (6-1, 5-0)

Last week: 2

Everyone is going gah-gah over the Cardinal these days for good reason. Stanford has a six-game winning streak and remains in talk for the College Football Playoffs. Do-everything running back Christian McCaffrey is a Heisman candidate. Kevin Hogan has a top-seven QB rating nationally. However, questions remain about a relatively untested defense that’s faced five freshmen quarterbacks.

2. Utah (6-1, 3-1)

Last week: 1

The measure of a team is how it bounces back from defeat, and that’s what the Utes will have to do this week after USC put an end to their undefeated record with a 42-24 thumping. Utah is still very much in the running for the Pac-12 crown.

3. UCLA (5-2, 2-2)

Last week: 7

Josh Rosen and the Bruins impressed in the win over Cal last week. With Utah’s loss, the South race is wide open … and don’t count out UCLA.

4. Washington State (5-2, 3-1)

Last week: 5

OK, we get it Cougar fans. You’re bummed “College GameDay” passed on a trip to Pullman. But focus on the positives. QB Luke Falk is playing like a Pac-12 MVP. The defense still gives up a lot of points – 31.0 per game – but, it’s second in the conference with 56 tackles for loss. Beat Stanford this week and it’s time to start talking about WSU returning to the Rose Bowl for first time since 2003.

5. USC (4-3, 2-2)

Last week: 10

These Trojans can be streaky, but last week, they were streak-good, upsetting (though, it wasn’t an upset according to oddsmakers) Utah, the final unbeaten team in the Pac-12. Now they go on the road against Cal this week to prove that that win was not a fluke.

6. Cal (5-2, 2-2)

Last week: 3

The Bears have lost consecutive games to Utah and UCLA and things won’t get any easier this Saturday against USC.

7. Arizona State (4-3, 2-2)

Last week: 4

At 2-2 in conference, ASU is still in the South chase and the schedule sets up well for a late rebound. Thursday’s showdown against Oregon, another disappointing first-half team, is a must-win for the Sun Devils.

8. Oregon (4-3, 2-2)

Last week: 8

The Ducks come out of a much-needed bye with a fresh Vernon Adams Jr. at quarterback. With Adams finally recovered from his finger injury and WR Darren Carrington back from suspension, can Oregon rebound from its disastrous first half of the season with a win over Arizona State this Thursday night?

9. Arizona (5-3, 2-3)

Last week: 5

With four games left, the Wildcats need a win to get bowl eligible. They must decide on a quarterback – former freshman sensation Anu Solomon or second-half spark plug Jerrard Randall – and the last thing they need is another distraction. However, Rich Rodriguez is suddenly the hot candidate for jobs at Miami and his former team West Virginia.

10. Washington (3-4, 1-3)

Last week: 9

Chris Petersen lost just 12 games during an eight-year stint at Boise State. He’s already lost 10 in less than two full seasons with the Huskies. Feels like a make-or-break week for UW, which traditionally struggles this month. In past 10 years, Huskies are 11-27 in October.

11. Colorado (4-4, 1-3)

Last week: 11

The Buffs exorcized some demons on Saturday when they beat Oregon State to pick up their first Pac-12 win in nearly two years. It was a small step in the right direction, but Mike McIntyre’s rebuilding project is far from over.

12. Oregon State (2-5, 0-4)

Last week: 12

Beavers probably lost their best chance at a Pac-12 win this season in a 17-13 defeat to Colorado. OSU is now going forward with a two-quarterback system in freshmen Seth Collins and Nick Mitchell, the former Mount Si High standout.