Welcome to the post-championship game power rankings. You can see last week's rankings here. If you don’t like where you’re ranked, hopefully you’re going to a bowl game. If not, better luck next season.
1. Washington 12-1, 8-1 (No. 3 last week)
All hail the King in the North ... and South. There’s a new Pac-12 champ after the Huskies ran away with the title in their 41-10 win over Colorado. And the crown, again, stays in the North. For years, Pac-12 fans have been clamoring “We want ’Bama.” Here’s their chance. Playoff-bound Washington draws No. 1 Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
2. USC 9-3, 7-2 (No. 2 last week)
For those who said the playoff would water down the bowls, I give you a vintage Pac-12/Big Ten Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual pitting USC versus Penn State. Can’t get much more traditional than this. It's USC’s 34th trip to the "Granddaddy of Them All," and they come into the game having won eight in a row this season.
3. Colorado 10-3, 8-1 (No. 1 last week)
The Buffs must now pick up the pieces after getting throttled by Washington in the Pac-12 title game. It was their worst loss of the season. And history hasn’t been kind to the league’s runners-up. Every loser in the Pac-12 title game has lost their bowl game. Colorado will try to snap that streak against Oklahoma State in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
4. Washington State 8-4, 7-2 (No. 4 last week)
The Cougars felt like they got snubbed last year by not being invited to the National Funding Holiday Bowl, instead shivering through a 20-14 win over Miami in the snowy Sun Bowl. This year, they get their San Diego invite against Minnesota. And the “Stay Classy” tweets have already started.
5. Stanford 9-3, 6-3 (No. 5 last week)
The Cardinal enter the Hyundai Sun Bowl on a five-game win streak -- averaging just shy of 40 points per game during that stretch. But it was against some of the worst defenses the league has to offer. North Carolina should provide a clearer picture of whether the Cardinal truly have found their way offensively.
6. Utah 8-4, 5-4 (No. 6 last week)
Utah finally gets to play in Levi’s Stadium, albeit a few weeks too late. Utah draws Indiana in the Foster Farms Bowl. And in case you were wondering, Indiana allows 2.17 sacks per game. Hey, at least it’s not Vegas ...
7. California 5-7, 3-6 (No. 7 last week)
Hard not to think back on one or two plays ... one or two missed tackles ... one or two drops ... that would have made the difference. Also have to wonder what the future holds in Berkeley.
8. Oregon State 4-8, 3-6 (No. 8 last week)
No question about what the future holds in Corvallis. It’s bright after the Beavers ended the season on a high note. Oregon State might not be bowling next year, but Gary Andersen clearly has the Beavers headed in the right direction.
9. Arizona State 5-7, 2-7 (No. 9 last week)
There are some nice offensive pieces in place moving forward. But you have to wonder how much tweaking Todd Graham will do to his defensive system in the offseason. The Sun Devils allowed an average of 46 points during their six-game slide to close out the year.
10. UCLA 4-8, 2-7 (No. 10 last week)
The first shots were fired when the Bruins announced that offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu’s contract would not be renewed. When Josh Rosen returns from injury, he’ll be working with his third offensive coordinator in as many years.
11. Oregon 4-8, 2-7 (No. 11 last week)
Agree or disagree with the firing of Mark Helfrich (this fifth of the Pac-12 blog would have liked to see what he could do with one more year), it’ll be interesting to see the direction of the program. For sure, it’s a desirable job. But given Oregon’s track record over the last decade, it comes with win-now expectations.
12. Arizona 3-9, 1-8 (No. 12 last week)
As both Arizona schools spend the bowl season on the couch, Wildcats fans can still take solace in a single word: “Scoreboard.”