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Pac-12 Playoff contender update 11/11: Stanford and Utah still in the hunt

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Stanford and Utah still need a lot of help.

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Contenders

Stanford 8-1

Playoff Committee Ranking: AP: 7 Coaches: 7

The Cardinal proved about as much as they could against Colorado with a blowout win on the road, but that's the last of the easy games for Stanford the rest of the season. They now host a red-hot Oregon team, play a struggling mightily but due and dangerous Cal team and then a Top 10 Notre Dame team. The good news for the Cardinal this weekend was that a number of other top national teams lost, sliding them up the rankings.

Next: Oregon - This game was written off a month ago, but everything since then has played into turning it into another showdown. The Ducks aren't quite what they were with Marcus Mariota, but their offense is still incredibly potent, their defense is improving and they would love nothing more than to spoil Stanford's national title hopes after the Cardinal did it to them twice. Watch out Stanford.

Toughest remaining game: 11/28 Notre Dame

Longshots

Utah 8-1

Playoff Committee Ranking: AP: 10 Coaches: 13

Utah is just about a legitimate contender in my opinion, but probably needs to survive for at least another week and have some other contenders lose. Many thought the Utes' unexpected Playoff pursuit would end last week at Washington, but the Utah defense took care of the Huskies and they got help from other teams losing. Their slate to finish the regular season is far from easy, but I like it more than Stanford's and I think they would have a great shot at the Playoff if they can win out and win the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Next: at Arizona - Arizona is in full-on disaster mode, but are no the pushover they might seem to be. The Wildcats gave USC a tough fight last week in LA, they really need the win and they blew out Utah last year to squash the Utes' South title hopes.

Toughest remaining game: 11/21: UCLA