The Seattle Times' college football reporters rank the Pac-12 entering this week's games. Utah stays on top, but Stanford is threatening — and WSU jumps four spots.

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Seattle Times college football reporters Percy Allen, Adam Jude and Stefanie Loh rank the Pac-12 entering Week 8:


1. Utah (6-0, 3-0)

Last week: 1

Despite a sloppy performance, the Utes overcame an 18-14 fourth-quarter deficit – the third time they’ve trailed this season – and scored 20 unanswered points to topple Arizona State 34-18. Not one ranked opponent remains on the Utes’ schedule, but there’s still plenty of hurdles ahead starting this week with a trip to USC.

2. Stanford (5-1, 4-0)

Last week: 2

Stanford received one first-place vote from our panel after annihilating UCLA on Thursday night — a win that stayed on highlight reels for days thanks to Francis Owusu’s miraculous reception that’s being hailed as the catch of the year. The Cardinal looks dangerous, and is in prime position to set up a Pac-12 championship showdown with Utah.

3. Cal (5-1, 2-1)

Last week: 3

After their first loss of the season at Utah on Oct. 10, Bears had extra time to prepare for Thursday night’s showdown with UCLA in the Rose Bowl. How about this for a surprising stat: Cal’s defense leads the nation in turnover forced, with 21.

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

Last week: 4

The Sun Devils have been tough to figure out this year. Todd Graham’s squad put up a good fight against Utah, but didn’t quite have enough to topple the Pac-12’s lone undefeated team.

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

Last week: 9

Jamal Morrow, Gerard Wicks and Keith Harrington combining to produce 86.8 rushing yards per game and giving the Cougars a little bit of ‘balance’ to the Pac-12’s most prolific passing attack. No one in the Pac-12 has played better than QB Luke Falk the past two weeks.

5 (tie). Arizona (5-2, 2-2)

Last week: 7

Still a lot of questions about these Wildcats. Sure, they’ve won back-to-back games, but those were against Oregon State and Colorado. And now Rich Rod won’t commit to a quarterback this week. Not great signs with red-hot Wazzu coming to Tucson.

7. UCLA (4-2, 1-2)

Last week: 5

The reeling Bruins have called for a blackout for Thursday night’s game at the Rose Bowl — which was news to Jim Mora on Tuesday’s Pac-12 coaches’ call. Asked if the black uniforms will help his team, Mora replied: “Uh, no. I think playing well will. … I couldn’t care less about uniforms right now.”

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

Last week: 10

The return of quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. was a shot in the arm for the flailing Ducks. But that doesn’t change the fact that Oregon’s season is not going to live up to expectations, or that the young Huskies did well to give the Ducks a run for their money.

9. Washington (3-3, 1-2)

Last week: 6

Health concerns (Jake Browning’s right shoulder and Dwayne Washington’s leg) become paramount before difficult matchup against a physical No. 10 Stanford team on The Farm. Fabulous freshman Myles Gaskin is a capable replacement for Washington at running back, but if Browning is hindered or can’t go, then the Huskies are in serious trouble with the inexperience among the quarterback reserves.

10. USC (3-3, 1-2)

Last week: 8

Do the dudes in Vegas know something the rest of us don’t? Trojans currently a 3.5-point favorite over Utah. Hmmm.

11. Colorado (3-2, 0-1)

Last week: 11

A trip to Oregon State this week is the Buffaloes best – and perhaps only chance – to snap their 14-game Pac-12 losing streak. After the Beavers, Colorado has games at UCLA, against Stanford and USC, then on the road at Washington State and Utah.

12. Oregon State (2-2, 0-1)

Last week: 12

Gary Andersen’s football team just isn’t very good right now. But to this credit, the Beavers never quit despite being down 45-17 vs. WSU at halftime. QB Seth Collins showed that with some seasoning, he could be a forced to be reckoned with in years to come.