Utah shoots itself in the foot, USC ready to rise
Utah’s (8-3, 5-3) defense imploded in a 30-28 loss to Oregon (4-7, 2-6) ending the Utes’ chance at a possible Pac-12 championship game. The Utes, who’ve held opposing rushing attacks to an average of just 119 yards this seasons, allowed Oregon to blow 251 yards on the ground right by them.
While Utah may fall out of the top-20, USC (8-3, 7-2) should find itself in the top-10 and are in a much better position to play in the Pac-12 championship game. Their 36-14 smack down win over UCLA (4-7, 2-7) extended the Trojans’ win streak to now seven games.
USC did almost the impossible bouncing back from 1-3 and winning all of its remaining Pac-12 games, including a 21-17 win over Colorado (9-2, 7-1). With the better head-to-head record against the Buffaloes, a Utah win in Boulder, Colo., ensures a USC trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game. USC could potentially extend its win streak to eight this Saturday vs. Notre Dame, but can only hope for Utah to win as the Trojans have ended Pac-12 regular season play.
Washington dominates, Apple Cup plays as Pac-12 North championship game
With both teams, Washington (10-1, 7-1) and Washington State (8-3, 7-1) having identical conference records, each teams’ future will be settled in against each other Pullman, Wash., on Friday, Nov. 25.
But by the time the game occurs, Washington State will likely to be left out of the rankings, while Washington may be as high as No. 5. But the argument could be made that this year’s Apple Cup is a toss-up. While Washington’s sophomore quarterback Jake Browning has received Heisman hype, junior quarterback Luke Falk of Washington State has lived underneath his shadow. Falk has one less touchdown (36) and has thrown over 1,000 more yards than Browning. The stat that makes both players so impressive is their efficiency. Both have thrown just seven interceptions.
If the Cougars can win this game, they’d be a win away from their first conference championship since 2002. If the Huskies win, College Football Playoff hopes are kept alive, plus, their first conference championship since 2000 is near.
Where has SB Nation projected the Pac-12 to go bowling?
After UCLA and California (2-6, 4-7) both lost to arch-rivals at home, the Bruins and Golden Bears have put themselves out of possible bowl eligibility. Meanwhile, six teams have ensured a spot in the postseason, while Arizona State stands a win away from becoming bowl eligible for the sixth week in a row.
Here is how SB Nation has predicted the Pac-12 to stand:
Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff): Washington vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. USC
Sun Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Stanford
Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Colorado
Foster Farms Bowl: Indiana vs. Utah
Holiday Bowl: Minnesota vs. Washington State
Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Arizona State
For the rest of the bowl predictions, click here