The fat lady is singing.
Oregon's victory over the Cardinal didn't just eliminate talk of the Ducks' 'Stanford Problem,' it effectively ended the Pac-12 North race. Oregon has a two game lead on the division with three to play, meaning one win in the last three will mathematically clinch for the Ducks. The South, meanwhile, gained clarity with Arizona State's victory over Utah, giving the division a clear leader for the first time.
1. Oregon (8-1, 5-1) 45-16 vs. Stanford
For the nth straight year, this was the de facto division title game. Unlike the last two, Oregon was the more physical team. The Ducks scored three touchdowns in their first three possessions, and wore the Cardinal out, allowing them to pour it on in the fourth quarter. The Ducks left the previously dominant Stanford defense in a heap in the middle of the Autzen Stadium turf, and sealed up the division in the process. Utah awaits in Salt Lake City, which isn't a game you can sleep on.
2. Stanford (5-4, 3-3) 16-45 vs. Oregon
Stanford's defense is still great (against everyone but Oregon), but that offense is god awful. That this is the second best team this division can muster says a lot of bad things about this division.
3. lossington (2-3, 6-3) 38-23 vs. Colorado
Cyler Miles came back from his concussion, and the Washington offense stopped looking completely inept. Of course, even Oregon State beat Colorado, so I'm not sure that's saying much.
4. California (3-4, 5-4) 45-31 vs. Oregon State
Sonny Dykes has Cal within one game of a bowl this season. While the remaining schedule (@USC, Stanford, and BYU) makes that far from a lock, its amazing what he has done with what was the biggest disaster in the FBS last season.
5. Oregon State (1-4, 4-4) 31-45 vs. California
At least you don't have to worry about Mike Riley's contract rolling over for another season.
6. Washington State (1-5, 2-7) 17-44 vs. USC
Connor Halliday's broken leg was a sad ending to his career, and he deserved more than the putrid product that Washington State put around him this year. Here's wishing a speedy recovery.
1. Arizona State (5-1, 7-1) 19-16 vs. Utah (OT)
You have to wonder what might have been if Taylor Kelly hadn't gotten hurt, and ASU hadn't lost to UCLA. But with OSU and WSU coming up, a ASU could have the division sewn up before they face Arizona in the season finale. Next week, a non-conference tilt vs. Notre Dame awaits, which could be a big win for the conference.
2. Utah (6-2, 3-2) 16-19 vs. Arizona State
Utah had a chance to escape Tempe with a win after a very good defensive performance, but an overtime field goal soared wide left. A game against Oregon in Salt Lake City will make or break the Utes' season.
3. UCLA (4-2, 7-2) 17-7 vs. Arizona
I have no idea what kind of voodoo pillow soft UCLA conjures up against the Arizona schools. I have no explanation for this result.
4. Arizona (3-2, 6-2) 7-17 vs. UCLA
Somebody forgot to send the Wildcats the memo that UCLA isn't actually any good.
5. USC (5-2, 6-3) 44-17 vs. Washington State
The Trojans have to go 1-2 in their final three for Seven Win Sark to live up to his moniker. Here's hoping they lose to Cal and UCLA before taking out Notre Dame.
6. Colorado (0-6, 2-7) 23-38 vs. lossington
The Buffaloes have Arizona, Oregon, and Utah left. Enjoy that 0-9 season, boys.
Notre Dame at Arizona State
UCLA at lossington
Oregon at Utah
Colorado at Arizona
Washington State at Oregon State