It comes down to this for the Pacific-12 Conference now on the national scene: Can the Utah Utes win out and make the College Football Playoff? Only time will tell as the final weekend of the regular season begins on Friday.
If No. 6 Utah beats Colorado on Saturday in Salt Lake City, the Utes head to the conference championship game on December 6 in Santa Clara, CA, against the No. 14 Oregon Ducks, who lost their shot at the CFP with the upset loss at Arizona State last weekend.
If the Buffaloes manage an upset like the Sun Devils did, then the USC Trojans win the South Division and face the Ducks at Levi’s Stadium—leaving the Pac-12 out of the mythical national championship chase.
Our 56-27 mark is on the line for one last big weekend of action. Here’s what we think:
Washington State at Washington (1 pm Friday): The Cougars have not beaten the Huskies in the Apple Cup since 2012, and there is no reason to expect it to happen this year in Seattle. Washington has lost a lot of games this season it should have not lost, and the WSU team is going to suffer that wrath, we suspect. Both teams are 6-5 on the season, and the loser finishes in a tie for last place in the North Division—one season after they tied for the lead in the grouping. Washington 35, Washington State 21.
No. 16 Notre Dame at Stanford (1 pm Saturday): The Cardinal lost the Big Game for the first time in 10 years last weekend, and it’s just going to get uglier for the team today as it hosts the Fighting Irish in Palo Alto. Stanford has already clinched last place in the North Division, and the Cardinal won’t be going to a bowl game in 2019. The last time that happened was in 2008. Notre Dame 38, Stanford 24.
Oregon State at No. 14 Oregon (1 pm Saturday): The Beavers lost on the last play of the game at WSU last weekend, and now they need to beat the wounded Ducks to be bowl eligible. Oregon, of course, lost its shot at the CFP last week, but the Ducks can still play for the Pac-12 title, which is huge. However, Oregon is in the conference title tilt regardless of what it does in this game. But we think the Ducks will be focused and ready to make it up to the home fans in the Civil War. Oregon 56, Oregon State 21.
Colorado at No. 6 Utah (4:30 pm Saturday): This is a big game for the Utes, and because they are at home, we have the utmost confidence in them winning this game handily. The Buffs could make a bowl game with a win in this one, but we don’t see it happen. The home team favorites are just too well coached to let the opportunity slip. Utah 48, Colorado 17.
Arizona at Arizona State (7 pm Saturday): The Sun Devils are bowl eligible already, and the Wildcats can’t qualify. However, ASU is coming off that huge upset last week and might be flat. Yet Arizona won’t challenge, in all likelihood, despite the rivalry nature of the Territorial Cup battle. Arizona State 37, Arizona 31.
California at UCLA (7:30 pm Saturday): The Golden Bears won the Big Game to qualify for a bowl game, and the Bruins can’t make it to the postseason. UCLA has the home field, and California may be flat after its emotional victory over Stanford. The Golden Bears have more talent, especially on defense, and that should be the difference in a close one. California 28, UCLA 24.
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