With about a month of the regular season remaining, here is how I rank the league.
The Golden Bears continue to perform as the best team in the Pac-12. They remain undefeated at home in conference play and this weekend's victory over rival Stanford allowed Cal to hold on to a first place tie with Washington. The Huskies are playing well and are right on the Bears' heels, but for now Cal remains in the top spot.
The Huskies completed a road sweep over the Arizona schools and have won six out of their previous seven contests. UW struggled during out of conference play, but has gradually elevated back to the level many expected it to play at.
Freshman phenom Tony Wroten has continued to impress, while Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox are playing at a high level as well. At this rate, Washington will be a tough out for anyone come time for postseason play.
The Buffaloes continue to keep themselves among the leaders in the conference. CU split a pair in Los Angeles, beating lowly USC but then falling to UCLA. Despite the loss, Colorado still remains alive and well in the Pac-12. Colorado has several tough games in the month of February, so it should be interesting to see if it is able to hang in the race until the end.
The Ducks lost at home to the Beavers, which snapped a four-game winning streak. UO is still just a game out of first, but will have to come up big on the road in the final month to make a serious push for a conference title. Five of Oregon's final nine conference games are on the road.
The Bruins continue to fight in order to stay in the hunt. They swept a home series against Utah and Colorado, respectively. While the Bruins are far from out of it, they have a very tough schedule the rest of the way. With two games against Washington, a home matchup with Cal and a road trip to Arizona, the Bruins are going to have their work cut out for them.
The Wildcats looked to have righted the ship at home against Washington State, but immediately dropped their next game to UW. Perhaps the biggest loss though was the season-ending foot injury to Kevin Parrom.
While Parrom's numbers weren't jaw-dropping, he was beginning to get back into form after recovering from a gun-shot wound. Now the Wildcats must figure out a way to not only offset the loss of Parrom, but also to make a run towards the top in the process.
Just a few weeks ago, the Cardinal was one of the biggest surprises in the Pac-12 and fighting for the top spot early in the season. After three consecutive losses, Stanford now finds itself tied with UCLA and Arizona at 5-4 in Pac-12 play.
Although there are six other teams with equal or better records, the Cardinal is not out of it by any means. With five of the nine remaining games left on the slate at home (and two of the four road games against the conference's bottom two teams) there is a chance for Stanford to make a run in the second half of the season.
8. Oregon State
The Beavers' upset victory over arch-rival Oregon on the road extended their winning streak to three games and keeps them within striking distance in the Pac-12. Although it seems far-fetched to make up a three game deficit over nine contests, OSU has created a little momentum and they could carry that into the rest of the schedule.
9. Arizona State
The Sun Devils got back on their feet with a victory at home over Washington State after hanging with, but ultimately losing to Washington two days prior. ASU doesn't have a legitimate chance to get back into the conference race, but a strong finish to the season could give the Sun Devils something to build off of heading into the offseason.
10. Washington State
Wazzu went to Arizona this past weekend and got swept by both schools. After defeating both Stanford and Cal at home a week prior, the Cougars fell back to earth with losses to the Wildcats and Sun Devils. Like ASU, Washington State would like to have a strong finish to the conference schedule to help offset its rough first half of the Pac-12 schedule.
The Utes lost to USC over the weekend, who was the conference's only team without a Pac-12 victory heading into that matchup. It has been a rough season for Utah and the loss to the Trojans is just another example of how bad the Utes have been this season.
The Trojans finally picked up a conference victory at home over Utah. The 17-point victory must have felt great for the Trojans, who hadn't won a game since defeating TCU back on December 19th.