Pac-12 picks, Week 10: Conference title race coming into focus
Washington could take a big step toward clinching a spot in Las Vegas.
Not that any of you are particularly eager yet to entertain Pac-12 standings scenarios that don’t involve an undefeated Washington team, but it is true that the Huskies still possess some margin for error.
They can lose any one of their four remaining games and still be assured of a spot in the conference championship game. The math is fairly simple: Washington, Oregon and USC are the only teams with one or fewer losses in league play, and the Ducks and Trojans play each other next week — meaning either Oregon or USC is guaranteed to finish with at least two losses, which would guarantee a one-loss team (or, potentially, two of them) a spot in Las Vegas come Dec. 1.
I point this out not only to note that a loss Saturday at USC would not, by itself, cost Washington significant ground in the Pac-12 title race … but also to note that the Huskies could take a massive step toward securing a bid in Vegas by winning. A 6-0 conference record would effectively put them three games up on USC — two games in the loss column, plus the tiebreaker — and make it so that a loss to Utah or Oregon State would not materially harm their Pac-12 title hopes, so long as they take care of business in the Apple Cup.
Of course, there are grander aspirations at stake, and any loss, to any team, would back the Huskies into a corner with regard to the College Football Playoff rankings. But with last season’s tiebreaker frustration in mind, it can be helpful to game out the possibilities (and not just for I.P. McFarland’s travel itinerary).
I’m also partially trying to distract from another abysmal performance picking Pac-12 games by yours truly. I put up a 2-4 record last week, which means I’m now 4-11-1 over the last three weeks. So I’m hoping for a strong finish to move back above .500.
All games Saturday. All lines courtesy of BetMGM. All rankings via the CFP.
Last week: 2-4 ATS (3-3 straight up)
Season: 27-30-1 (54-12)