As we predicted earlier in the season, the PAC-12 is doing an excellent job of eating each other alive – a tradition unlike any other in the conference of champions.
Cal and Washington State both cost themselves spots in the top-25 with losses to Arizona State and Utah, respectively, leaving the conference with no undefeated teams.
At this point, because so many teams are lumped together, it’s hard to pick a clear favorite for the PAC-12 championship.
Here are the schools who still have a realistic chance of winning the PAC-12, with a look at their remaining schedule:
No. 13 Oregon Ducks (3-1)
Oregon’s loss to Auburn hurts, especially since it was a winnable game, but ultimately they are still the team best positioned to win the PAC-12 Championship, and possibly the only team who has a real chance at playing in the College Football Playoff this season.
That doesn’t mean it will be an easy road however, as they have true road games against Washington, Arizona State and USC, as well as a home date with the Cougars of Washington State.
Led by quarterback Justin Herbert, the Ducks should be playing meaningful football into the early part of 2020, but they still have some work to do to get there.
No. 15 Washington Huskies (4-1)
Washington actually has a somewhat favorable schedule going forward, as their two toughest opponents – Oregon and Utah – are both at home along with this year’s Apple Cup against Washington State.
Oregon is still the favorite, but the Huskies are also in good shape to make a push for a Rose Bowl berth if they can win out this season.
No. 17 Utah Utes (4-1)
As I predicted, the Utes fell for the trap game against the USC Trojans down in California, wish dampened their hopes this season quite a bit.
They did bounce back with a commanding victory over Washington State, 38-13, but they’ll probably need to be perfect (or close to it) if they want to win the PAC-12 championship and play in either the Rose Bowl or the college football championship.
A date with the No. 15 Huskies in Montlake will be the biggest challenge they face, although back to back home bouts with Arizona State and Cal won’t be easy either.
No. 20 Arizona State (4-1)
Arizona State is the biggest wildcard out of this group, but they did beat Michigan State earlier this season and just defeated Cal on the road, making them 4-1 with only a three-point loss to Colorado standing in their way.
They also have a favorable home schedule as well, with only Utah remaining as a tough conference game on the road.
They’ll have to defend their home turf against Oregon, Washington State, USC and rival Arizona, but they are a team to keep an eye on in the hyper-competitive PAC-12 conference this year.