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Pac-12 Football: Week 11 in Review

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USC’s 26-13 win puts Washington’s season in jeopardy as eight Pac-12 teams could go bowling.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Washington
Washington quarterback #3 Jake Browning eyes the scoreboard during USC’s 26-13 defeat over the Huskies.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t Worry Huskies. It’s Not Over Yet

After a 26-13 home loss to USC (7-3, 6-2) on Saturday night, then-No.4 Washington’s (9-1, 6-1) perfect season has come to an end. But not being perfect doesn’t exactly halt a chance at a trip to the College Football Playoff. Last season, three teams (Michigan State, Oklahoma and Alabama) all participated in the College Football Playoff with one loss. Potentially, so could the Huskies.

No. 2 Clemson fell to Pittsburgh on a game-winning field goal and No. 3 Michigan lost to Iowa by a point. Three of the top four teams have lost, meaning three teams will slide back in the rankings, possibly putting Ohio State, Louisville and Wisconsin in their place. Washington plays Arizona State (5-5, 2-5) at home and then has a second-chance at beating a ranked opponent in No. 23 Washington State (8-2, 7-0) on the road. If the Huskies can win out the season, including the Pac-12 Championship game, a 12-1 record could place the Huskies back into playoff position.

Pac-12 South Title Going Down to the Wire

No. 12 Colorado (8-2, 6-1), No. 20 USC and No.15 Utah (8-2, 5-2) just can’t lose.

The Buffaloes have the best chance at winning the South division, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. Two home games stand in line for Colorado. Both games though are against ranked opponents. No. 23 Washington State and No. 15 Utah come into town to face the Buffaloes who haven’t lost at Folsom Field this season.

USC shocked the nation in its road win over Washington. The Trojans will shoot up in the College Playoff Rankings, but are at a stand-still in the Pac-12 Standings. USC is running out of games. It’s final Pac-12 contest of the season is next week against cross-town rival UCLA (4-6, 2-5). The Trojans are currently above Utah, but since they fell to the Utes earlier, the tie break would go to Utah. The Trojans need more than a win next Saturday, they need both Utah and Colorado to lose.

Utah carries its own destiny. Just like Colorado, if the Utes win out, they are guaranteed a spot in the Pac-12 championship game. A home game against Oregon should end in a victory. Week 13 at Colorado could turn out as a Pac-12 South title game, just as Washington vs. Washington State could have Pac-12 North title game implications as well.

Eight Pac-12 Teams Could Find Themselves in a Bowl Game

Six teams have already clinched bowl eligibility, while three more (Arizona State, California (4-6, 2-5) and UCLA) could possibly reach the postseason. Last year, the Pac-12 set a conference record sending 10 teams to bowl games. This season, the Pac-12 might send at least eight teams to a bowl game for the fifth consecutive season.

Arizona State should qualify as team No. 7 to reach postseason. The Sun Devils play Washington, but then travel to beyond struggling Arizona (0-7, 2-8).

The UCLA Bruins attempt to reach bowl eligibility for the sixth season in a row. They play host to No. 20 USC and then travel to California to play another team in the Pac-12 bowl mix. The Bruins have lost more than usual this season, but not by much, and if they can pull off an upset against USC, California is the only team standing in front of UCLA’s possible postseason.

California has the toughest chance at bowl eligibility. Though the Golden Bears end the season on two home games, they play Stanford who they haven’t beat since 2009 and then UCLA who has a 66.5 percent chance to win that game according to ESPN.com.