Around the Pac-12: Week 10
The Oregon Ducks are the best team in the Pac-12 conference by ranking and record. Oregon controls its destiny with only one opponent posing a threat moving forward.
Let's recap the biggest storylines around the conference.
UCLA versus Utah
The Utah Utes improved their overall record to 5-3 with the 44-24 win over the UCLA Bruins.
The Utes defeated a decent UCLA squad, but the win was not incredibly impressive. Utah currently leads the South division within the Pac-12 while Oregon leads the North division.
There is not a lop-sided division with the dominant teams on one side. Oregon stands out while the rest have similarly decent records, yet not noteworthy.
Unless a team defeats Oregon, each win is weakened simply because the game does not involve the highest competition.
UCLA versus Utah is an example of the conference’s overall issue. The Utes are in a position for the Pac-12 championship, but will not be respected as much as similar teams in other conferences.
Due to the possibility of wins within the Pac-12 coming from defeating average teams, a team from the Big Ten or SEC will most likely receive more praise.
Colorado versus Oregon
The Oregon Ducks beat the Colorado Buffaloes this past week 52-29. A strong win, but not overly dominant.
Oregon surrendered 29 points to now 2-6 Colorado. It was not a close game, but the level of defense against a weak opponent is worrisome.
Oregon might struggle against the amount of speed and athleticism that offenses such as Alabama or Georgia possess. The Ducks are 7-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
Utah is the only other Pac-12 team with one conference loss. Oregon versus Utah could be the Pac-12 championship contest, but the two also meet in the regular season.
Upcoming contest – Utah versus Stanford
The Stanford Cardinal host the Utah Utes this week. This game will be particularly interesting for several reasons.
First, Utah is the best team in the South division while Stanford is the worst team in the North division. Stanford is the only team to defeat Oregon this season.
Utah will most likely play Oregon for the Pac-12 championship if the standings remain the same. The matchup will show how the top dogs in each division fare against the same opponent.
If Utah loses, Stanford will have negatively affected two teams within the conference regarding the post-season.
Oregon’s blemish might keep it out of the College Football Playoff while Utah losing might jeopardize its chances of winning the South division.
College Football Playoff rankings
The first set of College Football Playoff rankings was released this week and Oregon was the only Pac-12 team listed. The Ducks are the No. 4 ranked team in the country.
If Oregon wins out and wins the Pac-12 championship, it should have a good chance of making the College Football Playoff.
Neil Conley is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Senior, fourth-year / Broadcast Journalism