It has been three years now since a Pac-12 team has played in the BCS Championship Game and nearly a decade since a Pac-12 team has won, but with just two weeks remaining in the regular season, Oregon is still very much in the national title hunt. Despite getting manhandled by the Cardinal, the Ducks have kept themselves in the national title hunt while the Cardinal have fallen off.
With the season winding down, we thought it would be a good idea to consistently outline who the roadblocks, and potential roadblocks are for the Ducks getting into the BCS Championship Game and how they might stay, or get out of the way.
Undefeated, and in the driver's seat
Remaining games: Chattanooga, at Auburn, *SEC Championship Game
What needs to happen for Oregon to jump them? With their clout and nearly 20 point lead over Oregon in the BCS standings, the Crimson Tide would probably have to lose two games to get passed up by the Ducks. This means that it might be impossible for the Ducks to get past Alabama at this point as if they lose to Auburn, they will sit out the SEC Championship Game and end the regular season with one loss and if they beat Auburn, they will go to the SEC Championship Game undefeated with the chance to only lose one more game.
Chances this happens? Very unlikely since the Crimson Tide literally cannot lose two games now. But if you have to choose one scenario, I think the Ducks hope that Alabama loses to Auburn in hopes that them not winning their division will sway voters enough to rank the Ducks ahead of them. What is encouraging though, is that this could happen given the Crimson Tide's recent underwhelming efforts on the road.
Florida State 10-0
Remaining games: Idaho, at Florida, ACC Championship Game
What needs to happen for Pac-12 teams to jump them? With Miami falling apart, the Seminoles' only good win is against Clemson, so I think the Ducks only need them to slip up once which could either be at Florida or against a yet-to-be-determined opponent in the ACC Championship Game.
Chances this happens? I wouldn't bet on it, but keep in mind that the Seminoles have developed a well-earned reputation for always losing a game that they shouldn't that trips them up in their national title chase and that Jameis Winston was just embroiled in a controversy that could cause them distraction. Keep an eye out on their rivalry game against a battered Florida team as it's the kind of game where a lot of the time records are thrown out the window and it's in The Swamp. However, I wouldn't be totally shocked if the Seminoles edge out the Ducks even if both finish with a loss depending on how Clemson, UCLA and whoever the Ducks get in the Pac-12 Championship finish out.
Undefeated, but needs help
Remaining games: at Oklahoma State, at TCU, Texas
What needs to happen for Pac-12 teams to jump them? The Bears will continue to run away from the Ducks if they keep winning as their schedule strengthens, but one loss will almost assuredly be enough to drop them below Oregon.
Chances this happens? Good, especially with the injuries that the Bears are now battling. The Bears' schedule is very back-loaded and while I think they are very good, I have a hard time seeing them running the table in their final gauntlet. I could easily see them losing at Oklahoma State and then getting upset in another one of their games.
Ohio State 10-0
Remaining games: Indiana, at Michigan, *Big Ten Championship Game
What needs to happen for Pac-12 teams to jump them? The Buckeyes have a very flimsy résumé with how weak the Big Ten is this year, so one loss will plummet them down the rankings past Oregon and I wouldn't even be totally shocked if Oregon could jump them even with a loss if the rest of the Pac-12 finishes strong around them.
Chances this happens? Not likely, but possible. The Buckeyes' only potentially challenging regular season game is at Michigan in the rivalry games of all rivalry games, but keep in mind that the Wolverines are falling apart right now. The best chance for them to probably slip up would be against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game as the Spartans have a defense good enough to make it a low-scoring affair that could give them the upset.
One-loss teams that could jump Pac-12 teams
Remaining games: Alabama, *SEC Championship Game
What needs to happen for Pac-12 teams to stay ahead of them? The Ducks need the Tigers to lose to Alabama, or if they beat Alabama, they need them to lose the SEC Championship Game so they will fall back down.
Chances this happens? Good, but it kind of sucks for the Ducks that Alabama's only remaining FBS regular season opponent would jump past them should they upset the Crimson Tide. I don't expect the Tigers to beat the Crimson Tide, and even if they do, they will face a major challenge in the SEC Championship Game.
Remaining games: at Mississippi, Texas A&M, *SEC Championship Game
What needs to happen for Pac-12 teams to stay ahead of them? Another loss for the Tigers would ensure that they cannot pass the Ducks.
Chances this happens? Very likely, I just don't have a ton of faith in the Tigers, and even if they can survive a road trip to Oxford this week, I still don't see them beating Texas A&M at home and then beating either Alabama or Auburn in the SEC Championship Game.
Remaining games: The Citadel, at South Carolina
What needs to happen for Pac-12 teams to stay ahead of them? Oregon is probably safe from Clemson with the softness of the ACC, and their blowout loss to Florida State, as long as they win out, but a closing win over South Carolina could really boost their stock, so just to be safe, Oregon should hope that they lose that game.
Chances this happens? Good, I would bet that Oregon holds off Clemson even if the Tigers win out but I think that there is a good chance that they lose at South Carolina anyways.
Oklahoma State 9-1
Remaining games: Baylor, Oklahoma
What needs to happen for Pac-12 teams to stay ahead of them? Just like Clemson, I think Oregon can hold off the Cowboys as long as they win out, but it would be close as the Cowboys close with a Top 5 team in Baylor and a Top 20 team in Oklahoma, so the Ducks should hope they lose one of those just to be safe. However, I'm sure they wouldn't mind having them knock off Baylor at the same time and they probably have the best chance of doing that of anyone remaining on the Bears' schedule.
Chances this happens? Good, the Cowboys close with the two toughest games on their schedule, and even if they win them both, the overall weakness of their schedule would make it very difficult for them to jump past the Ducks if they win out.