While we know both the polls and the College Football Playoff process are flawed and perhaps corrupt, the Pacific-12 Conference is know for its prowess in all NCAA-sanctioned championships. Yet maybe there’s an outside chance for the Conference of Champions to crack the CFP in 2019 nonetheless.
Another undefeated team from a Power 5 conference went down in an upset last weekend, moving Oregon to No. 11 and Utah to No. 12 in the Associated Press poll. What this means is that if one of these teams can win out, finish at 12-1 with a conference title on its slate, the CFP might just consider putting the Pac-12 back into the discussion.
Last week’s predictions were right in the right places—and very wrong in other places. But a 4-2 week puts our season record at 40-19 right now. That’s good enough, and this is how it went down in Week 8.
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be happy?
Both the Ducks fans and the Utes fans got what they needed on Saturday. Oregon escaped its road trip to Seattle with a 35-31 win to open up a two-game lead in the North Division over … Oregon State?! Meanwhile, Utah dropped Arizona State like a bad habit, 21-3, to stay in a first-place tie in the South Division with … USC?! It’s a crazy world in the conference these days.
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be mad?
Remember when California was ranked No. 15 in the country with a 4-0 record after beating an SEC team on the road? Well, since then the Golden Bears have lost three straight games by scoring a combined 41 points, and now Cal is tied for last place in the North Division with … Washington State?! Losing to Oregon State on their home field was a real low for the Bears this Saturday.
Big Performers of the Week
Southern California running back Kenan Christon had a fun day against the Arizona Wildcats, carrying the ball just eight times for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the Trojans’ 41-14 thumping of another South Division pretender. The first score put USC up 34-0 in the fourth quarter, and the second TD was just icing on the cake.
Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae had a big game against a potent Arizona State offense. He registered three sacks of Sun Devils quarterback Jayden Daniels, helping the Utes limit ASU to just 136 total yards in the Utah victory. The Sun Devils had averaged 31 points per game in its last three outings prior to meeting the Utes.
Unlucky Team of the Week
The Colorado Buffaloes had back-to-back road games scheduled against Oregon and Washington State, and that made travel logistics challenging. After losing 45-3 to the Ducks last weekend, the Buffs lost 41-10 to the Cougars this weekend. Prior to these two games, Colorado had played four straight games decided by a touchdown or less. The stress and fatigue clearly took their toll on the Buffs players and staff.
Big picture heading into Week 9
The two division favorites both host games this Saturday against the bottom feeders in the North: Cal and WSU, respectively. The Golden Bears go to Salt Lake City in desperation mode, while the Cougars go to Eugene to face a team looking for its first win against WSU since 2014. The drama will be excellent.
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