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Pac 12 Week 4 Watchability Power Rankings

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Pac 12 Week 4 Watchability Power Rankings

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Matt Kartozian - USA TODAY Sports

The Pac 12 has looked strong through the early stretches of the 2013 season, including going 8-1 in non-conference play last week. That included a stellar 3-1 mark against the Big Ten as the conference looks to establish itself as one of the best in the nation. Many of the programs will wrap up their non-conference schedules this week as we near the meat-grinder that will be the Pac 12 conference slate this season.

The Oregon Ducks and Cal Bears are both off this week but will meet up in Autzen Stadium to cap off Week 5 on September 28. Also off will be the Colorado Buffaloes as they try and regroup from the horrible flooding taking place around their campus as well as the Arizona Wildcats. That puts eight teams from the conference on the field this week in seven games as two programs kick off their Pac 12 schedule.

There are some excellent games in the works this weekend, with rivalries and a major conference showdown taking place. The conference will have an opportunity to continue to take care of business in their non-conference contests while they position themselves for the rough road to a conference title shot at the end of the season. Can each of these programs continue the positive trends that they’ve exhibited so far?

We will find out this Saturday. The Pac 12 will be on the field from the noon kickoff in Seattle all the way through the final games in Pasadena and on the Palouse. But if you have to pick and choose which games to find on your television this weekend, let’s count down the best games to watch this weekend in the Week 4 Watchability Rankings for the Pac 12 Conference.

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7. New Mexico State Aggies @ No. 13 UCLA Bruins

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Bruce Thorson - USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins (2-0, 0-0 Pac 12) are coming off a huge road win last week over the Nebraska Cornhuskers where they overcame a slow start to put up huge numbers. Jim Mora doesn’t have to worry too much about an emotional letdown as his team welcomes the New Mexico State Aggies (0-3), who might just be the worst team in the country, to Pasadena. Expect a blowout early as UCLA gets a chance to empty the bench in front of the home crowd.

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6. Idaho State Bengals @ No. 17 Washington Huskies

keith price
Mike Dinovo - USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Huskies (2-0, 0-0 Pac 12) will be taking another de facto week off following a big win with the FCS Idaho State Bengals coming to Husky Stadium. Last time UW played at home, they blew the Boise State Broncos off the field in a season opening blowout. While they may share a governor, Idaho State is no Boise State and won’t put up much of a fight as the Huskies get their final tune-up before starting conference play.

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5. Idaho Vandals @ Washington State Cougars

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Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

It’s a good old-fashioned border war when the Washington State Cougars (2-1, 1-0 Pac 12) host the Idaho Vandals (0-3) on Saturday. The Cougs looked like a team that had found its offensive rhythm last week when Connor Halliday threw five touchdown passes in a rout of Southern Utah and Idaho has been giving up points in bunches through the first three weeks. Their campuses may only be separated by eight miles, but these are programs heading in completely opposite directions.

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4. Oregon State Beavers @ San Diego State Aztecs

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Russell Isabella - USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon State Beavers (2-1, 1-0 Pac 12) have rebounded nicely after an embarrassing season opener with back-to-back wins. Sean Mannion is throwing heat under center for the Beavers’ offense, throwing for at least 370 yards in every game this season with 12 touchdowns and just one interception. The San Diego State Aztecs (0-2, 0-0 MWC) are still looking to get their first win of the season and to get their offense on track. The Beavers’ have struggled defensively so far this season, so Mannion may have to throw Oregon State to another win.

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3. Utah State Aggies @ USC Trojans

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Robert Hanashiro - USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans (2-1, 0-1 Pac 12) looked like a team that had figured out some of its offensive issues last week against the Boston College Eagles. They’ll have a test as the Utah State Aggies (2-1, 1-0 MWC) invade the Coliseum looking for a huge upset behind quarterback Chuckie Keeton. So far, USC’s defense has been stellar while their offense has tried to figure itself out and they’ll need to be again on Saturday. If they can’t contain Keeton and the Trojans’ offense stumbles, USC could be on upset alert early.

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2. Utah Utes @ BYU Cougars

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Russell Isabella - USA TODAY Sports

It’s the Holy War! The annual contest between the Utah Utes (2-1, 0-1 Pac 12) and BYU Cougars (1-1) is about to become a little less annual as this year is the last year that the contest is scheduled to be in Provo (for now). That should add a little extra spice to a heated rivalry between a resurgent Utah team that has found its offense and the hard-nosed Cougars led by Bronco Mendenhall. Can Utah secure the Beehive Boot with a big rivalry win on the road?

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1. No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devils @ No. 5 Stanford Cardinal

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Danny Wild - USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0, 0-0 Pac 12) needed a crazy finish to hold off the Wisconsin Badgers in Week 3, but they get no rest to let that signature win sink in. This week, they’re on the road to take on the defending Pac 12 champion Stanford Cardinal (2-0, 0-0) in a matchup of Pac 12 title contenders. ASU is in the middle of a brutal stretch of their schedule, but would catapult themselves into the spotlight with a road win over Stanford. The Cardinal appear as strong as ever, however, and will look to kick off their conference title defense in style against the upstart Devils.