Welcome to the Week 4 Power Rankings. You can see last week’s rankings here. If you don’t like where you’re ranked, stop giving up last-minute touchdowns.
1. Stanford 3-0, 2-0 (No. 1 last week)
It took more than 59 minutes and 30 seconds for Stanford to find the end zone. But two touchdowns in the final 24 seconds gave them their ninth-straight win over the Bruins to complete the regular-season L.A. sweep. UCLA’s defense gave the Cardinal all it could handle, so credit Ryan Burns for looking like a vet on that final drive (5-8, 66 yards, TD).
2. Washington 4-0, 1-0 (No. 2 last week)
We’ve been waiting for three weeks to see what happens when a team actually punches back at the Huskies. Arizona definitely punched back and Washington didn't flinch. The Dawgs get out of the desert with an overtime win, setting up a Friday night showdown next week with Stanford that has divisional and playoff implications.
3. Utah 4-0, 1-0 (No. 3 last week)
Kyle Whittingham made some big-boy coaching decisions and the Utes made some big-boy football plays in the win over USC. Troy Williams-to-Tim Patrick is fast becoming one of the more dangerous pairings in the conference. And Utah with a potentially efficient offense is a scary proposition for the rest of the league. They get the high-scoring, and angry, Cal Bears next week in Berkeley.
4. Arizona State 4-0, 1-0 (No. 4 last week)
Say this for the Sun Devils: They are nothing if not entertaining. They scored 31 of their 51 points in a win over Cal in the fourth quarter. They gave up 637 yards on defense and still won by double digits. I'm still not sure yet if this team is made out of glass or nails. But they are a confident bunch with a trip to USC on deck.
5. Colorado 3-1, 1-0 (No. 8 last week)
Autzen Stadium isn’t typically a place for quarterbacks to grow up on the job. But Steven Montez was fantastic in his first career start (333 yards, three touchdowns) and the defense -- which we’ve documented -- came up clutch in the 41-38 win over Oregon. This wasn’t just a signature win for the program. It was Mike MacIntyre’s John Hancock.
6. UCLA 2-2, 0-1 (No. 6 last week)
Thought about dropping UCLA, but was the Bruins’ last-minute loss to the No. 7 team in the country really as terrible as any of the losses suffered by the other two-loss teams? The defense did more than enough to beat Stanford (save the final drive) and they kept Christian McCaffrey out of the end zone. But the offense struggled (2.3 yards per carry) and there were too many drops from the receivers. Stanford continues to be Jim Mora’s great white whale.
7. California 2-2, 0-1 (No. 5 last week)
Much like Arizona State -- the team that downed the Bears Saturday night -- Cal is a ton of fun to watch. The defense actually played better … only allowing the Sun Devils 164 yards on the ground and 3.3 yards per carry. But the turnovers proved costly. They’ll need to find some consistency with undefeated Utah coming to town Saturday.
8. Arizona 2-2, 0-1 (No. 9 last week)
The "what ifs" with this team are maddening to think about. They took Washington to overtime and put together probably their most complete game of the season on both sides of the ball. The running back depth is a concern moving forward -- especially with a trip to UCLA next week.
9. Oregon 2-2, 0-1 (No. 7 last week)
The Ducks' defense continues to regress after giving up 593 yards of offense to Colorado and a quarterback making his first career start in their backyard. They’ve now lost consecutive games (within a season) for the first time since 2007. Things are quickly coming undone.
10. USC 1-3, 0-2 (No. 10 last week)
At this point it’s simply about surviving the schedule, which looks even more daunting with high-scoring Cal and ASU teams on the horizon and a Colorado squad that looks like it can compete with anybody. The odds of repeating as South champs are pretty slim. Expect a narrative of chaos and hot seat talk the rest of the year.
11. Oregon State 1-2, 0-0 (No. 11 last week)
It was a fun first quarter, but not so much after that as Boise State ran away from the Beavs before halftime. The 1-2 nonconference record was what we all expected. Now begins the conference grind. After seeing the rest of the league in action, you have to wonder if OSU can sneak out a win somewhere along the way.
12. Washington State 1-2, 0-0 (No. 12 last week)
The idle Cougars have a chance to climb out of the basement when an extremely vulnerable Oregon squad comes to town next week.