I have a feeling the Playoff committee is going to keep the Pac-12 controversy going by sliding Ohio State above Washington in the rankings, but I don’t think it really matters much as it seems if Washington wins out they are in, and will have a longshot chance if they lose a game, but win the Pac-12.
With that said, let’s take some stock of the Pac-12’s Playoff chances right now.
Washington 9-0 (6-0)
Quality wins: at Utah
Remaining games: USC, Arizona State, at Washington State
The Huskies seem to control their own destiny to me and did what they needed to do last week by demolishing Cal on the road (they can’t afford to have a game like that be close right now). They are still probably going to be ranked behind Ohio State at five this week, but I think that the top four should be theirs if they can win out.
I know this seems crazy, but never say never if these Pac-12 teams can run the table from here and craziness ensues nationally.
Utah 7-2 (4-2)
Quality wins: USC
Losses: at Cal, Washington
Remaining schedule: at Arizona State, Oregon, at Colorado
The Utes got a week off before they run a final three-game gauntlet. They seem to have the best chance of making a miracle of the three-pack of Pac-12 teams I have in here because they have a decent ranking, a win over USC and a tough loss to Washington.
They need style point wins in the next two weeks, then a style point win at Colorado and an impressive win over Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game and then we will see. That loss at Cal is an ugly black eye though.
Colorado 7-2 (5-1)
Losses: at Michigan, at USC
Remaining schedule: at Arizona, Washington State, Utah
The Buffs are all about potential and minimal damage to me. That minimal damage is their two losses being at Michigan when their quarterback got knocked out and by four points at USC.
Their potential is a potential three-game run where they could beat Washington State, Utah and Washington in three weeks and build up a very nice late-season resume.
Washington State 7-2 (6-0)
Losses: Eastern Washington, at Boise State
Remaining schedule: Cal, at Colorado, Washington
The interesting thing about the Cougars is that they could run the table in the Pac-12, win the Championship Game and still not be a Playoff contender. That seems crazy to me. What they have going for them would be they wouldn’t have lost a game since early-September if they win out and would close with wins at Colorado, Washington and then the Pac-12 Championship Game.
However, even if Washington State had beaten Boise State, that FCS loss still might have killed their chances. It’s the ultimate black eye.