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Pac-12 looking back & looking ahead 12/2: Oregon & Utah take care of business

The Ducks and Utes set up a very interesting Pac-12 Championship Game.

NCAA Football: Colorado at Utah Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Looking Back

Utah delivers - The Utes don’t have the eye-catching quality wins that a team like LSU has, but they’ve passed the eye test in a big way and did Saturday with a blowout win over a Colorado team that was fresh off back-to-back wins. The Utes have been the best Pac-12 all season and should go into the Championship Game a favorite.

Oregon takes care of business - The Ducks haven’t been as dominant as Utah, but they only lost one conference game as well and the Championship Game seems like a toss up to me. Their defense and special teams stepped up again as their offense struggled in their rivalry game as they continued to show the ability to find different ways to win games.

Washington owns the apples, again - The Huskies looked hapless against Cal, Colorado, and Stanford this year, yet, showed up big in the Apple Cup again and easily downed a solid Washington State squad. The Huskies seem to cure all their ills against their crosstate rival each year and 2019 was no different.

Arizona State red hot - The Sun Devils head into bowl season as one of the nation’s hottest unranked teams after beating Oregon and Arizona to close out the season. With Jayden Daniel just a freshman, this is a program to watch in the coming years.

Cal closes strong - The Bears looked like a lost animal for most of Pac-12 play, despite starting strong, but they put it back together in their final games, beating Stanford and UCLA, securing a bowl and finishing at 7-5 in the regular season. They’ve become a solid program under Justin Wilcox and have a great chance to get a win in a decent bowl game now.

Looking Ahead

Utah’s CFP hopes - The Utes are in a decent spot even though they really wanted all hell to break loose for power teams last weekend and it didn’t. Realistically, they just want/need Georgia and Clemson to lose, probably Oklahoma too, and they will have just as good of a shot as realistically possible to get into the Playoff.

But wait - We keep talking about what ifs with Utah and the CFP, but the truth is, the only thing we should be focusing on is the P12CG. The Utes face a steep challenge in an Oregon team that is just as veteran as them and who has only lost one Pac-12 game as well. We have an evenly-matched championship game and it will be a major test for the Utes to just pull out a win in this one.