Stanford has its best showing of the season in the Week 9 AP Poll and the Week 9 USA Today coaches poll. And with Oregon not far behind and USC rising, this may be the best the Pac-12 has looked in the college football rankings in 2011.
Stanford (No. 3 coaches/No. 4 AP) enjoys its highest ranking of the 2011 season in the coaches poll after shellacking Washington on Saturday, while Oregon (No. 7 AP/No. 7 coaches) keeps creeping up as unbeatens ahead of it lose. Both teams look like BCS contenders, though only the Cardinal still have a legitimate shot at the BCS National Championship Game.
But the really interesting development of the Week 9 polls is USC soaring into the AP Poll at No. 19. That's higher than the media voters have Arizona (No. 20 coaches/No. 23 AP), and, especially considering that the Trojans cannot be ranked in the coaches poll as a condition of NCAA penalties stemming from illegal benefits provided to Reggie Bush, is a sign that there may be a third ascendant Pac-12 team before long.
For more on the Week 9 college football rankings, check out our comprehensive StoryStream.