With six teams inside the Top 25 this week, the Pacific-12 Conference is looking strong when it comes to national perception—even if none of those six teams is currently hanging out in a College Football Playoff slot.
However, the Conference of Champions suddenly seems as if it could be a player again, if one of those six teams happens to win out the rest of the way. In a league this tough, though, that could be wishful thinking.
Which teams have the best shot to run the table and finish undefeated? It would take miracles for No. 24 Arizona State and No. 23 California to do it, but perhaps either No. 10 Utah or No. 19 Washington State has a chance to make it happen for the Pac-12 in 2019.
Now, on to this weekend’s games … starting Friday night, all times Pacific. We are getting closer to ending the out-of-conference schedule, that’s for sure.
No. 10 Utah at Southern California (6 pm Friday): This is a big game for the Utes, although slightly less so for the Trojans after they lost in overtime last week at BYU. The winner has the early edge in the Pac-12 South Division, and for Utah, there is still a chance to win out and finish in the nation’s Top 5. On paper this may look close, but we say the Utes win it, handily. Utah 35, USC 21.
No. 23 California at Mississippi (9 am Saturday): Here we go again. Why did the Golden Bears schedule this game? The early start is going to be difficult for Cal to overcome, and playing a road game in hostile territory isn’t wise, either. Look for Ole Miss, which is not a good team, get off to a fast start, while the Bears play catch up—which is not their strength. Mississippi 24, California 21.
No. 22 Washington at Brigham Young (12:30 pm Saturday): How did the Cougars manage to get three Pac-12 teams come to visit them in Provo this month? Good question. The Utes handled BYU, while the Trojans flopped. The odds here are that the Huskies will run up the score on the Cougars. Washington 38, BYU 17.
No. 16 Oregon at Stanford (4 pm Saturday): This is a must-win game for the Ducks, for more than just the obvious reasons. Oregon still has a chance to run the table and perhaps claim a CFP berth if the chips fall correctly for them. Yet the Ducks also need this win to stay in the Pac-12 North Division hunt. Oregon 44, Stanford 24.
Colorado at No. 24 Arizona State (7 pm Saturday): The Buffs aren’t going to like the heat in Tempe this weekend. The Sun Devils aren’t very good, really, but they’ve managed to dodge a lot of bullets this month. Will they dodge disaster again? Colorado has to be sore after losing last weekend. Arizona State 16, Colorado 13.
UCLA at No. 19 Washington State (7:30 pm Saturday): These Cougars won a quasi-tough road game last weekend in the state of Texas, and they return home to open conference play against a bad Bruins squad. The WSU defense is underrated, too. This game should be over by halftime. Washington State 51, UCLA 14.
Check back here frequently for new Pac-12 content: Tuesday weekly wrap-ups and Thursday weekly previews!