Pac-12 South Standings and Championship Game Forecast: Week 7

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Saturday was quite the day for the Pac-12, as the biggest conference game of the preseason took place in Pasadena, and USC toppled previously undefeated Arizona in Tucson. What’s it mean for the Pac-12 South Standings?

A new leader. After a one week hiatus following the loss to Arizona State, USC now sits atop the South with a half game lead on Arizona State.

Here’s a look at the Pac-12 South standings and how each team fares in the hunt to get to the Pac-12 Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium.

Standings:

How will they make it?

USC: The Trojans created themselves a huge lifeline with the win over Arizona on Saturday night. It wasn’t pretty and failure to close out the game on offense allowed the Cats back in, only to falter on a missed field goal with seconds left. But for USC, a win is a win in the standings. And now they sit atop of the Pac-12 South, with key games at Utah and at UCLA remaining on the schedule. They’ll likely need to win both of those games to make a run at the division title. But with the Bruins losing to Oregon and still having a date with Stanford, the Trojans may be able to finish ahead of them even with a loss in late November. They just cannot afford a slip up in hostile places like Salt Lake and Pullman.Tiebreakers held: Arizona

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Arizona:

Rich Rod’s Cats are just a few inches from being a 6-0 Top 10 team, with full control of their destiny of both a conference and national title. Now they find themselves needing USC to lose at some point, which is still likely. Arizona doesn’t own a tiebreaker, but they still have games against UCLA, Utah and ASU on the schedule, giving them plenty of chances to make a serious run at the Pac-12 South crown. As much Saturday’s loss stings for UA, it wasn’t the end of the world. A win over UCLA on November 1st could be the knockout punch to the Bruins, and a huge coup for the Cats.

Tiebreakers held: None

Arizona State: If there was such a thing as a perfect bye-week for ASU, they just had it. The team they own a tiebreaker with (USC) won, while the team they lost a tiebreaker to (UCLA) lost. Plus, arch rival and South contender Arizona lost, who had previously been undefeated. The Sun Devils now control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South, and get to host Stanford as a reward. The Cardinal beat them twice last season. Can they get revenge?Tiebreakers held: USC

Utah: The bye week wasn’t quite as friendly as it was for Arizona State, but the Utes still control their own destiny. They own a tiebreaker over the Bruins and still have games against USC, Arizona State and Arizona upcoming. But they also get Stanford and Oregon sandwiched in there, making for an incredibly difficult second half of the season. It’s imperative for Utah to beat Oregon State in Corvallis this Thursday night, and then beat USC in two weeks in Salt Lake. If they can do that, look out. If not, the season may snowball on Kyle Whittingham.Tiebreakers held: UCLA

UCLA: Just like last season, the Bruins have now suffered two-straight losses in October, one of which coming to Oregon. Saturday’s boat racing in the Rose Bowl was perhaps the culmination of weeks of underperforming and it finally caught up with UCLA. The 1-2 Pac-12 record isn’t pretty, but if you’re a Bruins fan, it’s not over. UCLA still controls plenty of their own fate –though not all– as they host Arizona and USC. Winning out would prevent either team from catching them, barring a 3-way tie atop the division. But the Bruins need Utah and Arizona State to lose. Both have difficult second halves of the season, making it likely to happen. Jim Mora’s squad just can’t afford to slip up at any time now. They haven’t won in Berkeley in forever, making next Saturday’s tilt with the Golden Bears worrisome for Westwood.Tiebreakers held: Arizona State

Colorado: Basketball season kicks off in Boulder on November 14th against Drexel.

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