The Pac-12 South is the wildest division in college football, after Arizona State threw lifelines to USC and everyone else with a win over Utah.
A week ago, it looked like Utah would be coasting on Swoop’s motorcycle to Santa Clara with a Pac-12 South crown. But an injury to quarterback Tyler Huntley and an 18-point loss to Arizona State later, the division is now entirely up for grabs, with all six teams still in the race, including embattled USC, to appear in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Let’s look at how the Pac-12 South shapes up as a whole after Week 10 and going into Week 11…
Pac-12 South Standings (as of 11/3)
- Utah (4-3)
- USC (4-3)
- Arizona (4-3)
- Arizona State (3-3)
- Colorado (2-4)
- UCLA (2-4)
How will they make it to the Pac-12 Championship Game?
Tiebreakers held: Arizona, USC, UCLATo win the South: Win out + ASU lossWeek 10: Loss at Arizona State, 38-20Week 11: vs. Oregon
With four-straight wins featuring 40-point display, the Utah Utes not only looked to be in cruise control in the Pac-12 South, but perhaps the best team in entire conference. But their November curse hit hard Saturday, when quarterback Tyler Huntley went down with a broken collarbone to help lead to a shocking loss to Arizona State in Tempe. The defeat isn’t a knockout blow —the only help they need is an ASU loss— but the Utes will have to get off the mat quickly with backup quarterback Jason Shelley, became the Oregon Ducks come to Rice-Eccles in Week 11.
Tiebreakers held: Arizona, ColoradoTo win the South: Win out + Utah loss + ASU lossWeek 10: Win at Oregon State, 38-21Week 11: vs. California
A week after seemingly being dead in the Pac-12 South race, Arizona State’s win over Utah breathed life into the sails of USC’s chances to repeat as conference champions. They don’t control their own destiny, but might be a good bet on getting to Santa Clara, given the circumstances. Without Tyler Huntley, Utah’s season could be in disarray. And ASU, despite their recent run, still feels unlikely to finish the season on what would be a five-game winning streak. Both teams play Jekyll and Hyde Oregon the next two weeks, who are more than capable of helping out USC, who will be favored against Cal and UCLA.
Tiebreakers held: ColoradoTo win the South: Win out + Utah loss + USC lossWeek 10: Win vs. Colorado, 42-34Week 11: Off
At Texas A&M, Kevin Sumlin was known for strong starts and disastrous Novembers. Could he be doing the opposite in Tucson? Arizona won it’s second-straight on Friday night, with a home win over Colorado to go to 5-5 overall and 4-3 in conference. The victory pulled them into a three-way tie for first place in the Pac-12 South, despite being left for dead weeks ago. They need help, but certainly are in the thick of things in the division with a healthy Khalil Tate resurrecting his season.
Arizona State (3-3)
Tiebreakers held: USC, UtahTo win the South: Win outWeek 10: Win vs. Utah, 38-20Week 11: vs. UCLA
Going into Week 9, Herm Edwards’ Sun Devils were pulling up the rear in the Pac-12 and looking a precarious route to bowl eligibility, with USC, Utah and Oregon looming in a four-game stretch. But how quickly things have changed. ASU has surged with two big wins over the Trojans and Utes, making them the only team in the Pac-12 who controls their own destiny in the division. It won’t be easy though, with tough road games at Oregon and Arizona on the docket.
Tiebreakers held: UCLA, Arizona StateTo win the South: Win out + two USC & Arizona lossesWeek 10: Loss at Arizona, 42-34Week 11: vs. Washington State
Colorado is in a total tailspin, losing four-straight games, and now get No. 10 Washington State at home in Boulder as a treat. A loss to the Cougars would end their season, and they’ll still need a ton of help even with an upset win.
Tiebreakers held: ArizonaTo win the South: Win out + two Utah losses + Arizona lossWeek 10: Loss at Oregon, 42-21Week 11: at Arizona State
At 2-7 overall, things aren’t great for UCLA. But they somehow, someway, have a relatively plausible route to Santa Clara for a team with as ugly of a record as they have. Chip Kelly’s Bruins get ASU and USC the next two weeks and wins there would go a long way in blowing up the divisional race. They’ll need Utah to struggle without Huntley, while Arizona falls as a presumed underdog at Washington State. Of course, this all assumes UCLA beats Stanford to end the year, something they haven’t done since like John Elway was on the Farm. Or was it Plunkett?