For fun, I thought I'd start us off with some selected quotes from previous roundtables this year:
1. Oregon (holding steady)
Berkelium97: Although it was close for a quarter, they never gave any reason to believe that Washington would win.
ragnarok: Clearly a step above Washington, and by the transitive property of college football, Stanford as well.
atomsareenough: The Ducks could definitely have scored another touchdown at the end on Washington and made it 52-24. I'll give Washington credit for putting up a fight against their rivals, and Oregon had to play their starters into the 4th quarter, which shows the Huskies are a decent enough team, but ultimately, it really was no contest. The Ducks are still clearly the best team in the country to my mind. Nick Saban had better start his planning now if he wants to repeat.
2. UCLA (up one spot)
Berkelium97: This week they proved they can win with defense
Sam Fielder: Didn't look great against Cal but got a W.
atomsareenough: The Bruins didn't have a phenomenal game against the injury-ravaged and bottom-dwelling Golden Bears, but they still were pretty solid on both sides of the ball. Cal stopped the Bruin run game, so Hundley and the receivers made Cal pay through the air. The Bruin defense, along with an off game from Cal QB Jared Goff, stifled the Bears' offense pretty thoroughly. All in all, a good all-around win for UCLA, and the Bruins come away with a top-10 ranking. Also, the Utes' win against Stanford makes UCLA's close win in Salt Lake look much less questionable. The Bruins move up to #2.
ragnarok: I still think they'll lose at Stanford next week, but 5-0 carries a lot of weight in a power ranking.
norcalnick: Like Rags, I'm inclinced to think that Stanford is a better team. But UCLA beat Utah and Stanford didn't, and that matters a great deal even if those two games aren't necessarily representative of either teams.
3. Stanford (down one spot)
ragnarok: Nelson Muntz said it best: "Ha, ha!"
Sam Fielder: Love to see them lose.
atomsareenough: HAHA, down goes Stanford! Oregon will prevent them from going to the conference championship game, so hopefully that keeps them out of the mix for the Rose Bowl as well. UCLA will need to beat them next week to seal the deal, though. Anyway, I feel like this loss to Utah is good karmic balance for the Cardinal's rather pedestrian earlier wins against Army and San Jose State. The Cardinal slip to #3 and may fall further if they lose to UCLA next week, a prospect which seems much likelier than anyone imagined a week ago. Just as the Bruins were avenging last year's loss to Cal on Saturday, they have 2 losses' worth of demons from last year to exorcise against the Cardinal this coming week, including the pivotal conference championship game.
Berkelium97: Until proven otherwise (i.e. UW, ASU, or UCLA beats them), they're still better than the second-tier Pac-12 teams.
norcalnick: Could Stanford please lose to UCLA and Oregon and get relegated to a relatively meaningless bowl game?
4. Washington (holding steady)
ragnarok: Welp, there go any hopes of a North Division title for the Huskies.
Berkelium97: Still a decent team, but not yet ready to challenge for the North crown.
Sam Fielder: Oregon makes everyone look weak.
atomsareenough: The Huskies seem like a solid team, and they hung with the Ducks for a long time, but ultimately, they got blown out, so they drop a few spots this week to #6 on my ballot. Also, the 10th year in a row of getting pounded by Oregon was kind of a coup de grâce for their power poll prospects this week. Muahahaha.
norcalnick: Three tough road games await for the Huskies. Those games will likely be the difference between a 'clearly improved under Sark' UW and 'Just another middling 7-5 under Sark' UW.
5. Arizona State (holding steady)
norcalnick: Their win over Wisconsin looks even better, but their loss at Stanford looks significantly worse.
atomsareenough: The Sun Devils are also ahead of the Huskies for me this week at #5, though honestly, my 4-5-6 is all pretty close at this point. ASU pounded hapless Colorado into submission this week.
Sam Fielder: We'll see if they can stay here after a game vs UW this weekend.
6. Utah (holding steady)
Sam Fielder: Huge win for them.
norcalnick: Two legit out of conference wins and one very shocking in conference win sandwiched around two very close losses to good teams. The win over Stanford made me seriously consider vaulting the Utes over Arizona State. Luckily that issue will be decided on the field.
Berkelium97: It looks like last week's close game against UCLA wasn't a fluke. I'd have them at second in the league if they had beaten UCLA last week.
atomsareenough: Yeah, the Huskies are ranked, but the Utes have a signature win now, both their losses are extremely close, and the Huskies just got roasted by the Ducks. I'm going to reward Utah this week for beating a top-10 team and move them up to #4 on my ballot. Way to go, Utes!
7. Oregon State (up two spots)
Sam Fielder: Ultimate Pac-12 trolls.
Berkelium97: Looking better, but I still can't forgive those performances against EWU and SDSU.
atomsareenough: I haven't been able to watch any Oregon State games yet this year, so I'm just looking at the box scores, but... geez, when did Mike Riley turn the Beavers into an Air Raid team??? And a better one than Wazzu, at that. Crazy. The schedule's been light so far, but Sean Mannion is putting up video game numbers every week.
norcalnick: They're going to be 6-1 next week, with the only loss to Eastern Washington. It's the grand bull moose of Beaver seasons.
8. Washington State (down one spot)
Berkelium97: They've improved, but I'd pick any of the teams above them to win on a neutral field.
atomsareenough: The Cougs simply couldn't stop Oregon State's passing attack. Then again, nobody has yet. Still, Washington State drops to #8 behind the Beavers.
norcalnick: You just can't have an interception prone quarterback running the air raid. That and an iffy secondary are the two main issues holding Washington State back.
9. USC (up one spot)
Berkelium97: Looked great until they checked out too soon.
Sam Fielder: Looking dangerous again. Sigh.
ragnarok: The USC offense comes to life! Drat.
norcalnick: Looking frisky, a development I don't like in the least. The team that beat Arizona would have beaten Washington State.
atomsareenough: Game 1 of the Ed Orgeron era goes pretty well, but then beating Arizona by a touchdown isn't exactly a great accomplishment. Still, perhaps things are looking up in Trojanland. The vibe seems to have changed, the page seems to have turned, a weight has been lifted, pick your metaphor. Next week's game against archrival Notre Dame will be a decent measuring stick, and a win would pretty much guarantee the Trojans a bowl game, at least.
10. Arizona (down two spots)
Berkelium97: B.J. Denker can pass the ball?!
norcalnick: Seem adept at scoring garbage time points to make bad losses look better on paper.
atomsareenough: Well, they were competitive against USC, but they Wildcats are definitely not looking very strong after the level of competition has picked up from their fluffy non-conference schedule. I'm fully expecting them to lose at home next week to Utah, before having two more competitive games against Colorado and Cal. We'll have a little better sense of the bottom of the Pac-12 pecking order after a couple more weeks.
11. California (up one spot)
Berkelium97: The defense outperformed the offense. That is not a compliment to the defense.
Sam Fielder: If O and D can have a good game at the same time we'll get another W.
ragnarok: They're not giving up, which is good, but the Bears have a ton of issues right now. Here's hoping we're building a lot of depth for the future.
atomsareenough: The Bears lost pretty convincingly in Pasadena to UCLA, but there are finally some signs of life in the defense. But now where did the offense go? If things come together on both sides of the football, perhaps there might be a competitive game next week against Oregon State. Perhaps. Playing a few quarters of competitive football with the Bruins at least brings Cal off the bottom for me.
norcalnick: Thank god, only two more top 20 teams left on the schedule!!!
12. Colorado (down one spot)
Berkelium97: They drop below Cal this week for getting outscored 47-6 in the first half. Cal is bad, but I don't think they're that bad.
ragnarok: The Buffs have an FBS win this year, which keeps them out of the cellar for me.
norcalnick: They still get the benefit of the doubt because they have a win over an FBS school. But I still think Cal is better.
atomsareenough: The poor Buffs have now been completely demolished in 3 successive weeks by the Beavers, Ducks, and Sun Devils. The Ducks will do that to anyone, but the other two aren't worldbeaters, they're just solidly above-average teams. What that tells me is that Colorado just is not a Pac-12 quality team yet. Even their upcoming games against Arizona and Cal don't seem like very good opportunities for a win at this point, and those are the best ones left on the schedule. To me, the Buffs are very obviously pulling up the rear right now. They won just 1 game last year (and even then, they scraped past Wazzu by just 1 point at the end), so unlike Nick, I'll be giving them absolutely no benefit of the doubt yet, as they haven't earned one.
Sam Fielder: Will they lose to a good FCS team this week?
atomsareenough: BTW I didn't realize that Colorado is playing Charleston Southern. So that'll get the Buffs a 3rd win probably.
ragnarok: Perhaps. Charleston Southern is both undefeated and ranked in the FCS poll. So it's not quite a gimmie for the Buffs.
atomsareenough: Yeah, probably not a gimme, but I said that they didn't have any likely wins left on their schedule, and now that they're replacing the Fresno State game with this one, they do have one.