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Pac-12 South title scenarios: UCLA, ASU, USC, Arizona, Utah can still win it

Yes, you heard right. Five of the six teams in the conference can still win this thing.

Steve Dykes

Arizona State's shocking loss to Oregon State has sent reverberations throughout the Pac-12 South title race. ASU, seemingly caught looking ahead, were instead caught by their underpants and stripped bare in Corvallis. They have ceded control of their destiny and have switched roles with the only other team that decleated them, the UCLA Bruins. The USC Trojans and Arizona Wildcats aren't out of it either, but they do need a bit of help, with USC needing a little bit from each other.

And guess what? With Utah beating Stanford, the Utes still have a slim (SLIM!) shot at winning this baby, and they need a whole lot of help from other teams that might not be so willing to help them. But they need a lot of help.

Let's take a look at the current Pac-12 South standings.

Poor Colorado. If they were in any other conference or division, it's a definite possibility they might be able to be a .500 team. Instead they have to fall just short against every other member of the Pac-12 week after week, including everyone in the merciless South.

The other five teams have varying chances at this. Let's examine them.

Pac-12 South title tiebreaker scenarios

UCLA Bruins (5-2)

Despite controlling their destiny, UCLA doesn't have much wiggle room--they have to win their final two games. If they lose to USC, they are done. If they lose to Stanford, they are done. It's the simplest path for them. If they lose, they're done.

Arizona State Sun Devils (5-2)

Arizona State of course must now win out and get some help, particularly by USC or Stanford beating UCLA. If that happens, ASU still has a pretty good shot--they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over USC, so they aren't concerned about anyone but the Bruins.

USC Trojans (6-2)

USC's fate is tied to ASU's, so they'll be big, big fans of Arizona in the Territorial Cup. If USC beats UCLA, Arizona beating Arizona State will give the Trojans the division. USC is basically rooting for any Arizona State loss these final two weeks.

Arizona Wildcats (5-2)

A lot has to happen for Arizona because of their losses to UCLA and USC, but thankfully they control half of the important outcomes. If they win out, they need two things to happen.

  • Stanford must beat UCLA
  • UCLA must beat USC

Any other loss will eliminate them from contention.

Utah Utes (4-3)

Yeah, you thought they were done, didn't you? Here's Utah's path to winning the Pac-12 South.

  • Utah must win out
  • UCLA must beat USC
  • Stanford must beat UCLA
  • Arizona must beat Arizona State
  • Five-way tiebreaker at 6-3 in the Pac-12 South! Utah and UCLA would win the first tiebreaker based on records against each other (both 3-1), and then Utah would win the head-to-head tiebreaker against UCLA. Utah goes to Santa Clara!