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Pac-12 division race breakdown: Six teams still in play for Pac-12 divisions

The Washington schools fight for the North while the mountain schools and USC go after the South

NCAA Football: California at Southern California Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 division races are winding down as we hit the last month of the regular season. Things are fairly clear in the North, but a lot more cloudy in the South.

Here are how the teams still in the division chases stack up along with what they need to do to win their race.


Control their own destiny

Washington 8-0 (5-0)

The undefeated almost assuredly Huskies control their destiny even if they lose a game before the Apple Cup as they will have a chance to get to force a tie-breaker win with the Cougars even if the Cougs are undefeated going in.

Games left (ranked by difficulty)

  1. At Washington State (11/25) The Cougars likely come in undefeated with a shot at stealing the North, in Pullman.
  2. USC (11/12) USC is quietly turning into the scariest team in the Pac-12 not named Washington.
  3. At Cal (11/5) Second of a back-to-back on the road.
  4. Arizona State (11/19) The Huskies haven’t beaten Arizona State since damn near the 90s.

Washington State 6-2 (5-0)

The Cougars made it through the meat of their Pac-12 schedule unscathed and comfortably control their own destiny as they could drop a game between here and the Apple Cup, the Huskies could go undefeated, and they could still grab the North through a tie-breaker.

Games left (ranked by difficulty)

  1. Washington (11/25) The Apple Cup is in Pullman, but the Huskies are stacked and could be playing to keep an undefeated season and Playoff run alive.
  2. At Colorado (11/19) The Cougars have a major test before the Apple Cup as they have to head to Boulder and take on what might be the South’s best team.
  3. Cal (11/12) The Cougars are basically a better version of Cal this year, but the Bears were able to out air raid them last year.
  4. Arizona (11/5) The Wildcats still haven’t woken up this season and it seems unlikely they will up in Pullman in November.

Need (a lot ) of help

Cal 4-4 (2-3)

You could make the argument Cal is only in the race because they don’t get the Washington schools until November, but either way, they are not eliminated yet. The Bears would win the North if they beat both Washington schools in the next two weeks, then beat Stanford and UCLA in Berkeley and the only win either Washington school gets the rest of the year is the Apple Cup.

Games left (ranked by difficulty)

  1. Washington (11/5) The Bears’ title hopes probably vanish Saturday night.
  2. At Washington State (11/12) Heading up to the Palouse to take on the red-hot Cougars probably won’t be fun.
  3. Stanford (11/19) This is probably Cal’s best chance to win The Big Game in a while and they should hope the Cardinal don’t keep improving the way they have recently.
  4. UCLA (11/26) The Bruins aren’t very scary without Josh Rosen.


Control their own destiny

Colorado 6-2 (4-1)

The Buffs lead the South outright going into November, but still have Utah on the schedule who can win a tie-breaker with them if they win out.

Games left (ranked by difficulty)

  1. Utah (11/26) This one will probably decide the South and the Buffs will have their hands full with a tough Ute team.
  2. Washington State (11/19) One of the North’s best comes to Boulder in the second-to-last week of the season.
  3. UCLA (11/3) The Bruins are ailing, but they are still super talented and capable of an upset.
  4. At Arizona (11/12) A trap game the Buffs can’t overlook.

Utah 7-2 (4-2)

The Utes have one more loss than Colorado, but will get the tie-breaker over Colorado as long as they win. I believe, they might also have a leg up in any potential three-way tie with USC since they went undefeated out-of-conference.

Games left (ranked by difficulty)

  1. At Colorado (11/26) It’s all going to be on the line when the Utes head to Boulder.
  2. Oregon (11/19) The Ducks are getting better each week with Justin Herbert and will be out to avenge last year’s embarrassing loss in Autzen.
  3. At Arizona State (11/10) Trap game! This one seems like an easy win on paper, but you never know.

Need Help

USC 5-3 (4-2)

The Trojans have kept themselves alive by winning four-straight and are a nice position to sneak up on Colorado and/or Utah if things go right. The good news is they have the tie-breaker over Colorado. The bad news is they don’t have it over Utah.

Games left (ranked by difficulty)

  1. At Washington (11/12) The Trojans have to head up to Seattle in November to take on the Playoff-contending Huskies.
  2. At UCLA (11/19) The Bruins are falling apart and probably won’t have Josh Rosen, but it is still a rivalry game and the Bruins are still stacked on defense.

Oregon (11/5) This game looks a lot tougher with the Ducks looking better each week.