The Pac-12 Championship Game is coming up, a mere three weeks away with the Oregon Ducks sitting back and waiting to see who wins the South. Five of the division’s six teams are still mathematically alive, making for a wild final three weeks.
USC Trojans got their Week 12 win early, beating Cal 38-30 on Thursday night while being a spectator on Saturday and needing help.
Help, they got.
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First, the Arizona Wildcats, whom the Trojans own a head-to-head tiebreaker over, beat the Washington Huskies on a last-second field goal on the leg of Casey Skowron. Then, in surprisng fashion, the sixth-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils were shocked in Corvallis, losing to Oregon State 35-27 in what could be the upset of the year in college football.
The ASU loss pops the Pac-12 South race wide open, putting USC, UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State all on even footing with two losses, and just two weeks remaining in the season.
At the moment, UCLA controls their own destiny, as they have wins over Arizona and ASU, and play USC upcoming. If the Bruins win the rivalry game and then beat Stanford, they will win the South and get a rematch with Oregon.
For USC to win the South, the Trojans must beat UCLA next Saturday and then have ASU lose one of their final two games against either Washington State or Arizona. They cannot win the Pac-12 without beating the Bruins next week.
With the Trojans holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over Arizona, they could finish the season tied with the Wildcats at 7-2 and take the division crown. USC however cannot win a head-to-head tiebreaker with ASU, and the only tie with UCLA that’s possible –at 6-3– would give the Bruins the edge.
So it’s a ‘Beat the Bruins and hope ASU loses’ situation. Happy rivalry week, USC fans. The rivalry game is for nearly all of the marbles, as it should be.