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Insta-reaction to Pac-12 developments on (and off) the sphere …
1. The 2019 North Race, RIP
Started: Aug. 29
Ended: Oct. 19 at Three:50 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time)
It’s over, people.
It’s not November … it’s not even the final Saturday of October … and it’s over.
Oregon has received the North barring a collapse larger than what occurred in opposition to Stanford final 12 months, larger than what occurred in opposition to Auburn this 12 months — a collapse that merely can’t be fathomed.
After overpowering Washington within the second half for a 35-31 victory, the Geese have a four-game lead on the Huskies, Stanford and Cal (together with the head-to-head outcomes).
They’ve a three-game lead on Washington State, which visits Eugene subsequent week.
Their closest pursuer is Oregon State, which — for all its enchancment — merely isn’t able to holding tempo with the Geese over the second half.
Nope, it’s over.
Oregon will signify the division within the convention championship sport in Santa Clara on Dec. 7.
2. What of the anti-North?
There have been 4 groups tied for first place within the South when Saturday started and two groups tied when the day ended.
USC and Utah are atop the division after dominating wins over Arizona and Arizona State, respectively.
The Trojans have a greater case for management in the intervening time due to the head-to-head win over the Utes.
However we’d argue Utah has a extra manageable schedule:
USC video games remaining:
at Colorado (1-Three in convention)vs. Oregon (Four-Zero)at Arizona State (2-2)at Cal (1-Three)vs. UCLA (2-2)Opponent convention document: 10-10
Utah video games remaining:
vs. Cal (1-Three)at Washington (2-Three)vs. UCLA (2-2)at Arizona (2-2)vs. Colorado (1-Three)Opponent convention document: Eight-13
We’d take Utah’s schedule day-after-day of the week and twice on Friday (as lengthy it’s not a highway Friday).
The Utes have extra dwelling video games than USC and just one matchups that might be thought-about daunting: At Washington in two weeks.
The Trojans have two main challenges: Oregon, in fact, and the journey to Tempe.
USC owns the tiebreaker, which means Utah should end one sport forward of the Trojans with a purpose to win the division.
Run the desk, and the Utes can be in strong form.
Lose as soon as, and USC must drop two.
(Which is solely doable.)
Three. Oregon and the CFP.
The Geese aren’t out of the Faculty Soccer Playoff race — they by no means have been.
Their path narrowed after the loss to Auburn and, frankly, it stays slender.
Sure, they pummeled 5 opponents after the come-from-ahead loss to the Tigers and picked up a gritty highway win Saturday.
However what was true on Aug. 31 stays true at this time:
The Geese should run the desk, and they want every kind of assist.
One-loss Oregon with no marquee non-conference wins isn’t leaping zero/one-loss Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State or Alabama/LSU.
The Geese want a two-loss champ in one of many different Energy 5 — and possibly in two (due to the potential for an at-large contender from the SEC).
And right here’s what else the Geese want: Assist from throughout the Pac-12.
When crafting its top-25 rankings, the playoff choice committee makes use of victories over ranked opponents as a software for differentiating between groups on the identical tier.
If playoff rankings had been launched at this time, the Geese would have zero wins over top-25 groups.
Washington wouldn’t be ranked — not with three losses.
Nor would Stanford, Cal or Colorado.
And searching forward, we see simply three alternatives for the Geese to gather victories over probably ranked groups:
USC, Arizona State and the Pac-12 title sport.
None of these are assured, in fact.
So it turns into a matter of Oregon 1) having the chance to play ranked groups throughout the convention, 2) successful these video games and three) getting advantageous leads to different conferences.
That’s a slender path.
The Geese now should do the unthinkable:
Root for Washington.
Four. USC, Utah and Oregon draw the road
The three most important wins of Week Eight (primarily based on the division races) had been fueled, partly if not solely, by protection.
Particularly, by the Utah and USC defensive traces — the most effective on the convention — and by Oregon’s complete protection, which has playmakers at each degree.
* Utah mustered one of the vital dominant performances we’ve seen in a few years.
The Utes held ASU to a few factors, 4 cross completions and 136 complete yards. Quarterback Jayden Daniels was beneath strain or flushed from the pocket on each play.
USC held an Arizona offense that had been averaging 35.5 factors and 509 yards to simply seven factors and fewer than 300 yards.
The Trojans shut down Khalil Tate, pressured Arizona to alter quarterbacks and allowed a landing solely after constructing a 34-Zero lead.
* And whereas the Geese produced 35 factors and wore down UW within the second half with their operating sport, don’t overlook the work of Oregon’s protection:
Washington generated a 74-yard landing drive on the opening possession of the second half.
After that, UW managed 100 yards.
Yep, 100 yards from the Huskies offense over the ultimate quarter-and-a-half.
It’s all too clear: The facility within the convention is with … the facility.
The groups with the most effective defensive fronts — entrance traces or entrance sevens — received the three largest video games on probably the most vital Saturday of the season so far.
5. QB woes
We hate to return to this subject, but it surely’s of utmost significance and the state of affairs is worsening.
The Pac-12 has sustained a run of accidents to quarterbacks in contrast to any we are able to keep in mind.
The newest developments included Stanford beginning a 3rd stringer Thursday and Utah’s Tyler Huntley struggling a leg damage that prevented him from ending the sport.
By our depend, accidents have pressured six groups to start out a backup, and 4 groups have gone to their third stringer.
The listing …
Arizona: Khalil Tate and Grant GunnellArizona State: Jayden DanielsCal: Chase Garbers, Devon Modster and Spencer BraschColorado: Steven MontezStanford: Okay.J. Costello, Davis Mills and Jack WestOregon: Justin HerbertOregon State: Jake LutonUCLA: Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Austin BurtonUSC: JT Daniels, Kedon Slovis and Matt FinkUtah: Tyler Huntley, Drew Lisk and Jason ShelleyWashington: Jacob EasonWashington State: Anthony Gordon
And it’s not but November.
6. Bonus merchandise: Bowl cheat sheet
We’re previous the midway level and are slowly gaining readability on the postseason math.
Right here’s the newest …
Arizona: should win two of 5 to qualifyArizona State: should win one in all fourCal: should win two of fiveColorado: should win three of 5Oregon: certifiedOregon State: should win three of fiveStanford: should win three of fiveUCLA: should win 4 of fiveUSC: should win two of 5Utah: certifiedWashington: should win one in all fourWashington State: should win two of 5
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