After trying to rank the PAC-10 football teams twice during the season, we’re now issuing our final Power Rankings for the conference’s football in 2010. While there isn’t room for too much explanation, each team’s ranking comes with a short rationale.
- *Oregon (9-0): Regardless of whether the Ducks win or lose to Auburn in the National Championship Game, they ripped through the conference in almost always convincing fashions. As strong as Stanford was in the second half of the season, Oregon deserves the top spot.
- *Stanford (8-1): Stanford will likely finish fourth in the BCS, and has already completed the best football season in school history. Beside Oregon, no one in the PAC-10 could keep up with Stanford’s A-game.
- USC (5-4): Was USC inconsistent this year? Yes. Did the Trojans look like the kind of team that could fall apart and ruin the season at any moment? Yes. But USC has the third-best conference record of any team in the PAC-10, and even though they suffered losses to Washington and Oregon State, Lane Kiffin might have his team headed in the right direction.
- Arizona State (4-5): The Sun Devils didn’t qualify for a bowl, but of their 5 losses, 3 came by a combined 8 points. They also beat Washington and gave both Oregon and Stanford a scare before beating Arizona in the season finale.
- *Washington (5-4): It’s hard to even believe that the Huskies finished above .500 in the PAC-10 and made a bowl. But against a good Nebraska team in the Holiday Bowl, Jake Locker and Crew gave the Huskers a solid beating. The purple and gold looked ugly at times, but the 2010 PAC-10 was very top-heavy, and the Huskies deserve the #5 position.
- Oregon State (4-5): The Beavers did not play up to their potential, but the early-season injury to star wide receiver James Rodgers didn’t help matters. Add in that Oregon State beat Arizona, Arizona State, and USC, and they get the 6 place.
- *Arizona (4-5): It’s amazing that a bowl team could be this low, but the Wildcats haven’t won a game since before Halloween (October 30th against UCLA, to be precise). That’s a big time slide.
- California (3-6): Didn’t show up in Big Game against Stanford; didn’t show up the week after with bowl eligibility on the line against a beatable Washington team. With Shane Vereen going pro, next year doesn’t look much better for the Golden Bears.
- UCLA (2-7): The Bruins’ surprise win at Texas looked less and less impressive as the nation found out how bad Texas was, and UCLA only beat one respectable team (Oregon State) during conference play. UCLA’s other win came against the pitiful Washington State Cougars in Pasadena.
- Washington State (1-8): This is easily the worst team in the conference. Sure, they improved, but they still stink. Even a win against Oregon State couldn’t change that the Cougars just are not good.
* denotes that the team played in a postseason bowl