There’s a new vice-sheriff in town.
Photo by Rick Osentoski/US Presswire

The moment you’ve been waiting for is here.

You patiently endured the out-of-conference games. You (and the Arizona Wildcats) escaped from the first week of the Pac-10 season. The bye week has come and gone and now you can enjoy the fruits of perseverance.

The first big shake-up in the Pac-10 Survivor Rankings!

Here’s the new world order:

1. Oregon
2. ARIZONA
3. Oregon State
4. Washington
5. Cal
6. Stanford
X. Arizona State
X. UCLA
X. Washington State
X. USC

Let me get one thing clear: I do not think Stanford is the 6th best team in the conference. The Cardinal may very well be the 2nd best team. In fact, based on the location of future games I’d say they’re the favorite to finish second.

These are not power rankings or stack rankings. This ranking is based on each team’s current chances of winning the conference. Since Stanford would now need Oregon to lose twice its odds are much lower than any team that still has a chance to beat the Ducks head-to-head.

That’s the same reason ASU has joined the teams on the scrapheap. With two losses and Oregon owning the tiebreaker, the Sun Devils’ chances of winning the conference are technically worse than Washington State’s.

#2 vs. #3 looks like a pretty big game this week in Tucson.

– – – – –

Have you gotten comfortable being the fan of a top-10 team yet? If not, there’s a good reason. Here’s the not-very-long list of every time Arizona has been ranked in the top 10 in the AP poll:

Year Date In Rank Peak Date Out # of
Weeks
Final
Record
Final
Rank
1974 Oct 14 9 9 Oct 21 1 9-2
1983 Sep 12 7 3 Oct 17 5 7-3-1
1986 Sep 23 10 10 Oct 7 2 9-3 11
1992 Nov 10 9 9 Nov 17 1 6-5-1
1993 A Oct 19 7 7 Nov 2 2
1993 B Jan 3 10 10 1 10-2 10
1994 Aug 21 7 6 Oct 11 7 8-4 20
1998 A Oct 5 10 10 Oct 12 1
1998 B Nov 9 9 4 7 12-1 4
1999 Aug 15 4 4 Aug 30 1 6-6
2010 Oct 3 9 ? ? ? ? ?

Eleven visits to the top 10 and in only three of them did the stay last longer than two weeks. Only once did the Cats remain in the top 10 longer than two weeks and finish the year in the top 10. So this isn’t exactly familiar territory.

#9 in the country, #2 in the Pac-10, sold-out stadium. Definitely looks like a pretty big game this week in Tucson.