If the rest of the college football world thinks the Pacific-12 Conference is weak, they’re in for a rude surprise come December when the College Football Playoff, rigged as it is, announces its version of the Final Four.
We know the Associated Press poll has its own issues as well, but the results speak for themselves. The University of Oregon and the University of Utah—current leaders in the Conference of (real NCAA) Champions—both crushed opponents this weekend by a combined score of 83-9.
Combined with the weakening of the Alabama Crimson Tide and the defeats to the last surprise unbeaten teams (Baylor, Minnesota), the doors are wide open for the Pac-12 to re-establish itself on the national scene, where it belongs.
More on that below, of course, as our 4-1 mark from last week’s predictions brings our season record to 53-24 in 2019. Here’s how it all went down on the Best Coast …
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be happy?
Other than the obvious choice of the Oregon fans—since the Ducks clinched the Pac-12 North with their 34-6 victory over Arizona—we are going to go with the USC Trojans, who dismantled the California Golden Bears, 41-17, to run their record to 7-4 this season. With just one game remaining, against UCLA this Saturday, the Trojans should finish 8-4 with a 7-2 record in conference play. Remember, USC holds the tiebreaker on Utah, so just one misstep by the Utes, and the Trojans could win the South Division crown.
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be mad?
We’re guessing the Arizona State crowd is starting to realize what we’ve been saying since the start of 2018: Herm Edwards sucks! The Sun Devils lost their fourth straight game, this time on the road against the Oregon State Beavers, 35-34. ASU was once ranked an undeserved 17th in the country, but now it will have to win the Territorial Cup on November 30 just to be bowl eligible (because the Sun Devils are not beating the Ducks this upcoming weekend!). Ouch.
Big Performers of the Week
USC quarterback Kedan Slovis was on fire against the Golden Bears defense, which usually is pretty stout against opponents (see its efforts against the Washington State offense the last two seasons). He completed 29 of his 35 passing attempts for 406 yards and four touchdowns in the Trojans’ big win. It’s hard to be much better than that.
Utah defensive back Julian Blackmon helped the Utes shut down the potent UCLA offense in the 49-3 victory on Saturday night by registering 12 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Bruins had scored at least 31 points in their four previous games, but UCLA had no answers against Blackmon and the rest of the Utah defense.
Unlucky Team of the Week
We have nothing here this week, which is not a copout! But we really didn’t have any strong feelings about an unlucky team this week, unless you count ASU for its Herm Edwards issue (see above). In general, things are going well for the strong Pac-12 programs. Things are not going well for the weak ones, but that’s not “unlucky”!
Big picture heading into Week 13
There is an awesome showdown in Pullman on Saturday, between the Oregon State Beavers and the Washington State Cougars, two teams looking for a sixth win and bowl eligibility. Neither team is likely to win its in-state rivalry game to finish the regular season, so this game is for all the marbles—small marbles, but marbles nonetheless. We cannot wait.
As for Oregon and Utah, well … both teams are on the road in Arizona against downtrodden foes, and we might expect more of what we just saw last weekend from the No. 6 Ducks and the No. 7 Utes, respectively.
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