With the College Football Rankings out for this week, let’s take a look at how I think the Pac-12 teams in contention stack up with just one game left in the regular season.
Washington 10-1 (7-1)
Quality wins: Stanford, at Utah
Remaining game: at Washington State
I think the strange scenario which could like play out in the Big Ten and stick two Big Ten teams in the Playoff could really hurt Washington even if they win out from here. The Huskies can still put together a good case for themselves though if they win the Apple Cup in Pullman and then beat either a Top 10 Colorado team or get revenge on a borderline Top 10 USC team in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Colorado 9-2 (7-1)
Quality wins: at Stanford, Washington State
Losses: at Michigan, at USC
Remaining game: Utah
The Buffs emerged from their game with WSU as the longshot Playoff survivor and still have chances to bolster their resume in the next two weeks. Utah losing to Oregon hurts them, as it would have been really nice for them to get a win against a Top 10 team before the Pac-12 Championship Game, but they will still get style points for beating Utah Saturday if they can. They probably will want to get a Top 5, one-loss Washington team instead of a rematch with a three-loss Washington State team in the Championship Game if they hope to have a real Playoff shot.
USC 8-3 (7-2)
Quality wins: at Washington, Colorado
Losses: Alabama, at Stanford, at Utah
Remaining game: Notre Dame
The Trojans are making about as strong of a case as a three-loss team can, but I just don’t see it happening. They have to hope that Utah can beat Colorado and hope they get a Top 5 Washington team again in the Pac-12 Championship Game instead of a borderline Top 20 Washington State team if they have any hope of making the Playoff.