Pac-12 Football Championship Game standings update: USC clinches title game berth; WSU has North's simplest path
USC punched its ticket to the Pac-12 Football Championship Game on Saturday afternoon, representing the Pac-12 South. Stanford, Washington and Washington State remain alive in the Pac-12 North. Scenarios:
The Trojans locked up a spot the Pac-12 Football Championship Game with a 38-24 win over Colorado Saturday afternoon in Boulder. This will be USC's second trip to Santa Clara in the last three years. After hosting crosstown rival UCLA on Nov. 18 to finish out their regular-season schedule, the Trojans will have an extra week of rest before trying to win their first Pac-12 title since 2008.
While officially knocked out of the championship game race, Arizona still can claim a share of the Pac-12 South title. If Arizona wins its final two Pac-12 games (including defeating rival Arizona State in the Territorial Cup) AND USC loses to UCLA, the 'Cats will be crowned Pac-12 South co-champions. However, even if they share the division title, the Trojans would go to the champ game ahead of the Wildcats because they won their head-to-head matchup earlier this season.
The Cougars have set themselves up nicely for a chance to head to their first Pac-12 Football Championship Game after holding on for a 33-25 win at Utah on Saturday. While their path is simple, it won't be easy. Wazzu will need to defeat rival Washington on the road in the Apple Cup on Nov. 25.
Stanford's 30-22 win Friday on The Farm keeps the Cardinal in the hunt for an FCG berth for another week. The Cardinal will need to make it eight consecutive wins over their Bay Area rivals Cal in the Big Game on Nov. 18 and get some help from the recently vanquished Huskies with a Washington victory in the Apple Cup to find themselves heading back to Levi’s® Stadium for the third time in five seasons.
The Huskies' loss Friday has not eliminated them from a champ game berth. It just makes the final stretch all the more difficult. Washington would need to win its final two games against Utah and rival Washington State in the Apple Cup AND a Stanford loss in the Big Game to reclaim the Pac-12 North crown.
Three-way tie: There is a scenario where the Pac-12 North could wind up in a three-team tie. If 1) Stanford loses to Cal on Nov. 18, 2) Washington loses to Utah on Nov. 18 and 3) Washington defeats Washington State on Nov. 25, then the Cardinal, Cougars and Huskies would all finish with a 6-3 conference record. While they would all have 1-1 records in games against each other, Washington would advance to the FCG based on the multi-team tiebreaking criteria in which they would have a 4-1 record in Pac-12 North games compared to a 3-2 record for both Stanford and Washington State.