Oregon on top, WSU rises and BYU returns

Each week, the Hotline ranks the top major college football teams in the western third of the country — not just Pac-12, but also Mountain West and Independents — using a formula that’s part results-based and part subjective.

Once the basketball season begins, we will post a similar ranking that will also include the top teams from the West Coast Conference, Big West, Big Sky, and Western Athletic.

Here’s our take on the Week 10 results…

1. Oregon (8-1/6-0 Pac-12)Last week: 1Result: won at Colorado 49-10Next up: vs. Washington (4 p.m. on Fox)Line: Oregon -13.5Comment: The conference schedule was certainly spot on for the Ducks to run 9-0 with Washington, UCLA and Utah all attending Autzen Stadium and no regular-season games against USC.

2. UCLA (8-1/5-1 Pac-12)Last week: 2Result: won at ASU 50-36Next up: vs. Arizona (7:30 p.m. on Fox)Line: UCLA-19.5Comment: So Zach Charbonnet doesn’t play and the Bruins finally score 50 points. Coincidence?

3 Utah (7-2/5-1)Last week: 3Result: beat Arizona 45-20Next up: vs. Stanford (7 p.m. on ESPN)Line: Utah-24Comment: We can say with confidence that Tavion Thomas is the best fourth-string jam in Utah history.

4.USC (8-1/6-1)Last week: 4Result: Beat Cal 41-35Next up: vs. Colorado (Friday at 6:30 p.m. on FS1)Line: USC-34.5Comment: At this rate, USC’s plus-1.78 revenue margin per game would be the best in FBS since Wyoming in 2017, excluding the truncated 2020 season.

5. Washington (7-2/4-2 Pac-12)Last week: 6Result: beat Oregon State 24-21Next up: in Oregon (4 p.m. on Fox)Line: Washington +13.5Comment: Lots of discussion about the Oregon rivalry and the matchups, but let’s not forget that UW’s only away win of the season came against the only team that lost to Colorado.

6. Washington State (5-4/2-4 Pac-12)Last week: 8thResult: won at Stanford 52-14Next up: vs. Arizona State (12:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks)Line: WSU-7.5Comment: As one astute observer noted, WSU in general and Cam Ward in particular missed Nakia Watson’s pass blocking skills.

7. Oregon State (6-3/3-3 Pac-12)Last week: 5Result: lost in Washington 24-21Next up: vs. Cal (6 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks)Line: OSU-13.5Comment: There is a subjective element to these rankings, hence the current positions of OSU and WSU relative to their head-to-head results. We think the Cougars are a little better on a neutral field at the moment.

8. Boise State (6-3/5-0 MW)Last week: 7Result: lost to BYU 31-28Next up: in Nevada (7:30 p.m. on CBSSN)Line: State of Boise -20.5Comment: Feels like too many points until you realize Nevada hasn’t won since September 3rd.

9. Fresno State (5-4/4-1 MW)Last week: 10Result: Beat Hawaii 55-13Next up: at UNLV (Friday, 7:30 p.m. on CBSSN)Line: Fresno State -9.5Comment: With head-to-head victories over San Jose State and San Diego State, the Bulldogs hold a comfortable division lead as they prepare for a likely MW title match against Boise State.

10. Brigham Young (5-5)Last week: NOResult: won at Boise State 31-28Next up: NeutralLine: N / AComment: From the Results We Didn’t Expect department: BYU wins the week after losing at home to East Carolina in Boise State.

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