This week in Pac-12 football
•College Football Awards Finalists include ASU’s Zane Gonzalez (Groza), UTAH’s Mitch Wishnowsky (Guy), USC’s Adoree’ Jackson (Thorpe) and WSU’s Cody O’Connell (Outland).
DECIDING THE NORTH
Washington and Washington State each control their own destiny. The winner of Friday’s Apple Cup will claim the Pac-12 North Division and a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
DECIDING THE SOUTH
Colorado controls its own destiny. Should it defeat Utah Saturday, it will capture the South Division crown outright and head to the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. Should Colorado fall to Utah, it would drop into a tie with USC for the South Division crown. Based on the Pac-12 tie-breaker, USC won the head-to-head competition with Colorado (21-17 at USC on Oct. 8) and will represent the South at the Pac-12 Football Championship Game.
DIVISION CHAMPIONS: It’s worth noting that no team has come through Conference play unscathed since the league expanded to 12 teams. In four of the previous five seasons of Pac-12 play, the North Division champion finished Conference play with one loss. Only the 2013 season produced a North Division champion with more than one loss when Oregon and Stanford each finished tied at 7-2. While in the South Division, only once did the South Division produce a champion with less than two losses when ARIZONA STATE finished 8-1 in 2013.
CFP RANKINGS: WASHINGTON entered the first CFP ranking of the season at No. 5, then rose to No. 4 in week two, then dropped to No. 6 last week after its loss to USC. The top four teams won the past weekend, but No. 5 Louisville lost at Houston, which gives the Huskies an opportunity to move up one spot heading into the Apple Cup ... Week three’s rankings listed six Pac-12 teams, it’s the 10th time in 15 CFP rankings that the Pac-12 was representing by five or more teams ... UTAH is one of five schools (also Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Ohio State) that has appeared in all 16 CFP rankings (7 in 2014, 6 in 2015, 3 in 2016).
POLL NOTES: COLORADO jumps into the Top 10 this week, coming in at No. 9. The Buffaloes join WASHINGTON in the Top 10. That’s nine different Pac-12 teams that have now appeared in the AP Top 10 over the last three seasons ... Washington has been in the AP Top 10 for 12 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch in the Top 10 since it appeared in the Top 10 12 straight weeks in 1997 ... On Oct. 2, COLORADO (No. 21) made its first appearance in the AP poll since 2005. The Buffs are No. 9 in this week’s poll, the highest placing since it was slotted at No. 7 the week of Aug. 26, 2002.
PILING UP THE POINTS: WASHINGTON STATE has scored 50 or more points a record four times this season. It’s 125 combined points in back-to-back games (69 vs. Arizona, 56 vs. California) are the most ever for the Cougars over two games ... Seventeen times a Pac-12 team has topped 50 points in a game this season ... Washington State is averaging 42.5 points per game, ahead of the pace for its single-season school record (40.3 ppg set in 2007) ... WASHINGTON, which leads the Pac-12 with 44.7 points per game, is on pace to pass its single-season school record of 41.9 ppg set in 1991 ... At 37.2 points per game, CALIFORNIA is just 1.0 point behind its modern-era mark of 38.2 ppg established in 2014.
REVOLVING QUARTERBACKS: A total of 22 different quarterbacks have started this season, led by ARIZONA and ARIZONA STATE with three each. Only CALIFORNIA, UTAH, WASHINGTON and WASHINGTON STATE has started the same signal-caller for each of their games this season.
3 - Arizona, Arizona State (combined record: 7-15)
2 - Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC (combined record: 35-29)
1 - California, Utah, Washington, Washington State (combined record: 30-14)
35 TD PASSES: Washington’s Jake Browning, Washington State’s Luke Falk and California’s Davis Webb have each thrown 35 or more TD passes this season. Nine times over the last three seasons a Pac-12 quarterback has thrown 35 or more TD passes in a season. Prior to the 2014 season, a Pac-12 quarterback tossed 35 or more TD passes just four times. Here’s a list of the Pac-12 single-season leaders for TD passes:
43..........Jared Goff, California, 2015
42..........Marcus Mariota, Oregon, 2014
39..........Cody Kessler, USC, 2014
39..........Matt Barkley, USC, 2014
38..........Luke Falk, Washington State, 2015
38..........Matt Leinart, USC, 2003
37..........Jake Browning, Washington, 2016
37..........Sean Mannion, Oregon State, 2013
37..........Andrew Luck, Stanford, 2011
36..........Luke Falk, Washington State, 2016
36..........Matt Barkley, USC, 2012
35..........Davis Webb, California, 2016
35..........Jared Goff, California, 2014
|Fri., Nov. 25||Site||Local Time/TV|
|6/5 WASHINGTON (10-1) at 23/23 WASHINGTON STATE (8-3)
Series: WASH leads, 70-32-6. Last: WASH, 45-10 (2015)
Washington has won three in a row, six of the last seven in the series.
|Martin Stadium (32,952)||12:30 p.m. PT
|ARIZONA STATE (5-6) at ARIZONA (2-9)
Series: ARIZ leads, 48-40-1. Last: ASU, 52-37 (2015)
Arizona State has won four of the last six, including two of the last three in Tucson.
|Arizona Stadium (55,675)||7:30 p.m. MT
|Sat., Nov. 26||Site||Local Time/TV|
|Notre Dame (4-7) at 12/12 USC (8-3)
Series: USC leads, 46-35-5*. Last: Notre Dame, 41-31 (2015))
USC has won 10 of last 14 in the series, but Notre Dame has take two of last three in Los Angeles.
|LA Coliseum (93,607)||12:30 p.m. PT
|OREGON (4-7) at OREGON STATE (3-8)
Series: ORE leads, 63-45-10. Last: ORE, 52-42 (2015)
Oregon has won the last eight games in the series, averaging 46.4 ppg in that eight-game span.
|Reser Stadium (45,674)||1 p.m. PT
|UCLA (4-7) at CALIFORNIA (4-7)
Series: UCLA leads, 53-32-1. Last: UCLA, 40-24 (2015)
UCLA has won seven of the last eight played in Pasadena. Cal’s lone win in that span of games came in 2009.
|Memorial Stadium (62,467)||4 p.m. PT
|21/20 UTAH (8-3) at 9/9 COLORADO (9-2)
Series: COLO leads, 31-28-3. Last: UTAH, 20-14 (2015)
Utah has won the last four and six of the last seven in the series.
|Folsom Field (50,183)||5:30 p.m. MT
|Rice (3-8) at 26/27 STANFORD (8-3)
Series: Rice leads, 1-3-0. Last: STAN, 34-7 (1964)
|Stanford Stadium (50,000)||5 p.m. PT
Rankings listed (AP/Coaches poll)
* Not included one win vacated due to NCAA penalty
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