In the annals of the Pacific-12 Conference, the USC Trojans have dominated the sport of football with a whopping 39 championships. However, now second place on that list belongs to the Washington Huskies, as they claimed their 18th conference title in football with a 10-3 victory over the Utah Utes on Friday night in Santa Clara, CA.
The Conference of Champions landed seven of its teams in bowl games, too, led by the Huskies’ berth in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State—a classic matchup for the Granddaddy of bowl games. It will be a fun end to the season for Pac-12 fans, even if the corrupt College Football Playoff didn’t think the league was worthy of much in 2018.
Our record this season stands at 67-22 after a 1-1 mark last week, and now there are just the seven bowl games left. Stay tuned for previews on those in a week or so. In the meantime, here’s our usual discussion …
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be happy?
How can it be any other group besides the Huskies? No one will remember the boring title game against the Utes. What they will remember is Washington won its last four games of the season to finish 10-3 and claim the conference championship—and that Rose Bowl berth, which still means more to a Pac-12 team than any faux CFP slot. Look for a lot of Huskies fans to be invading Pasadena on January 1.
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be mad?
Regardless of the above, it has to be the Washington State Cougars loyal followers, as the CFP totally shafted the team after a 10-2 season, burying the Cougs behind three-loss teams like Florida, LSU, and Penn State—thus denying WSU a big-bowl bid and sending them to the lowly Alamo Bowl against an 8-4 team from the Big XII. Heck, the Nittany Lions lost by 35 points to the Michigan Wolverines, who in turn lost to the Buckeyes by 23 points. The committee really thinks about money first, doesn’t it? Pathetic and sad.
Big performers from Week 14
Stanford senior running back Cameron Scarlett scored twice in The Big Game on Saturday in Berkeley to pace his team to a 23-13 victory, the Cardinal’s ninth-straight win in this series. Scarlett has played in the shadow of his classmate Bryce Love for awhile, but he owned the field in the final Big Game appearance of his career.
Washington sophomore defensive back Byron Murphy made the biggest play of the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night, returning a tipped pass for 66 yards and a touchdown—the only TD of the game, as it turned out … and the game-winning score. It was his third interception this season and his second defensive TD of the year as well.
Unlucky Team of the Week
The California Golden Bears were really unlucky on Saturday at home. They out-gained Stanford, 352-329, in total yards. They committed just three penalties, and the Bears also out-rushed the Cardinal by a 155-92 margin. But Cal lost the game, and it wasn’t even as close as the 23-13 score suggests. The Bears scored a garbage-time TD with ten seconds left in the game to make it look respectable. Cal just couldn’t score touchdowns when it mattered, settling for field goals and committing three turnovers that just killed its day.
Big picture heading into Bowl Season
With seven bowl games schedules between December 15 and January 1, the conference is far from finished for 2018. Here are the teams and their bowl matchups:
Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State vs. Fresno State, December 15
Cheez-It Bowl: California vs. TCU, December 26
Alamo Bowl: Washington State vs. Iowa State, December 28
Sun Bowl: Stanford vs. Pittsburgh, December 31
Redbox Bowl: Oregon vs. Michigan State, December 31
Holiday Bowl: Utah vs. Northwestern, December 31
Rose Bowl: Washington vs. Ohio State, January 1
Stay tuned for our bowl-season predictions on Saturday, December 8.
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