PAC-12 Championship Picture Clears Up

I’m sure you’ve heard the cliche, “They control their destiny,” plenty of times over the past few weeks. In the PAC-12, here are the teams that control their destiny:

North: Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford

South: UCLA, USC

Oregon has three conference games remaining: @ Cal, vs. Stanford, and @ OSU. The Ducks are expected to be favorites in all three of those games, and it looks like the Ducks can only be stopped by their own hand. Odds that the Ducks win the North: 95%

Oregon State has three conference games remaining as well: @ Stanford, vs. Cal, and vs. Oregon. The Beavers have a huge matchup this weekend, as a win would somewhat validate their slightly inflated top-10 ranking. Cal shouldn’t be a problem for OSU at home, but they’ll be running into a proverbial buzz saw when Oregon comes to town. Odds that the Beavers win the North: 30%

Stanford has the most challenging remaining schedule by far: vs. OSU, @ Oregon, and @ UCLA. Going 3-0 would be nothing short of spectacular for the Cardinal, but while beating OSU at home isn’t too far fetched, winning at Autzen, and then beating UCLA on the road is rather hard to grasp. Offense will be necessary to keep up with Oregon and UCLA, and at the moment, it’s hard to see Stanford scoring along side both Oregon and UCLA. Odds that the Cardinal win the North: 20%

UCLA finishes the season @ WSU, vs. USC, and vs. Stanford. UCLA has a challenging path to the championship game, but it isn’t too far out of the question to see the Bruins meeting the Ducks for the second year in a row in Autzen Stadium. The Bruins will have to really fall on their faces to lose in Pullman, and the Bruins seem to be up to the task of scoring with their cross-town rivals. Should UCLA beat the Trojans (a tall task as it is), they win the conference out-right. I’d be the farm on UCLA beating WSU, and give the Bruins a 50/50 chance at knocking off SC. Odds that UCLA wins the South: 75%

USC only has two conference games left: vs. ASU, and @ UCLA. The Trojans will most likely take care of business against the Sun Devils, although it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Todd Graham out-coach Lane Kiffin. I’d say USC wins by a large margin against ASU, then gets into a shootout with UCLA. At the moment, USC might be a few paces behind Oregon for the conference crown, but still owns LA. I’m not saying that won’t change on Nov. 17th, but USC should beat UCLA, and then crush Notre Dame at home. The only wild card is Lane Kiffin. He has the opportunity to fall flat on his face in these final two weeks, but I just don’t see any of the remaining defenses able to match up with the Trojans. Odds that USC wins the South: 70%

Duck fans, any team Oregon has beaten can lose as long as the Ducks have played, or will play them at some point in the season. If I had to indicate one team to root for it would be UCLA, since the Bruins could push their way into the top 15 or even the top 10 should they win out. Wouldn’t hurt a bit to have a win over an elite opponent on a day when no other teams play.

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Josh Schlichter

Josh Schlichter

Josh is a College Football enthusiast from sunny Southern California. He has written for several self-operated prep sports blogs, as well as multiple SB Nation sites. In High School, Josh played football for four years, and helped create and operate the team's no-huddle system. Most of Josh's football knowledge branches from watching College Football his entire life, and is backed up by his first hand experience in both option and spread offenses. Above all, though, he is a proud student at the University of Oregon. @joshschlichter