It looked like we were in for a full month of #Pac12AfterDark, especially in the South, but the division races have become simple as the calendar turns to the final month of the regular season.
Colorado (6-2, 4-1) is in the driver’s seat with a one-loss lead and three of its final four games at home (with struggling Arizona as the lone road game). The Buffs have a loss to spare as long as it’s not to Utah.
The Utes (7-2, 4-2) have to handle ASU and Oregon to set up a winner-take-all showdown with Colorado.
USC (5-3, 4-2) is still alive but the Trojans need to win out, including at Washington and at UCLA, and hope Colorado and Utah both lose. USC has beaten Colorado but lost to Utah. If the Utes beat the Buffaloes to force a three-way tie, Utah would win the division having beaten both Colorado and USC.
The North was simplified a long time ago. As long as neither Washington nor Washington State loses two of its next three games, the winner of the Apple Cup will win the division.
The South contenders (minus USC) should be rooting for the Huskies to win out. If Washington makes the College Football Playoff, either Washington State or the South champ will be selected to play in the Rose Bowl. Oh, for such a consolation prize as that.
As for the Wildcats? The UA has to beat Oregon State to avoid being the worst team in the conference.
The Cats were tied for last place in the South in 2011, first place three years after that, and now last place again two years later. No one likes the inconsistency but it shows things can change quickly. Buckle up for another rebuilding job and the next big wins have to be on the recruiting trail.
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