After their 53-30 thrashing of the Stanford Cardinal (9-1, 7-1) on Saturday night, the Oregon Ducks (9-1, 7-0) are now in the driver's seat of the Pac-12 North. If the Ducks win either of their final two games— they host the USC Trojans and the Oregon State Beavers— they will host the Pac-12's inaugural conference title game in Eugene. If the Ducks were to drop both of those games, then the Stanford Cardinal would be next in line, provided that they win their final conference game this coming Saturday vs. the Cal Bears.
So, who would the Ducks play? Well, that's where it gets complicated. The Pac-12 South is currently being led by USC (8-2, 5-2) but due to a ban on postseason play stemming from the Reggie Bush scandal, the Trojans are ineligible to play in the title game this season. The team that presently controls their own destiny is the UCLA Bruins (5-5, 4-3) who are tied in second place with the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-4, 4-3). Thanks to a 29-28 victory over the Sun Devils two Saturdays ago, the Bruins hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over ASU, and if they win out, they will represent the South in the Pac-12 Championship. But, of course, it's not that easy. UCLA finishes up with Colorado and USC, and for a team that's right at .500 and coming off of a 31-6 loss to Utah, neither of those games are gimmes, and in fact, the Bruins are likely to be major underdogs vs. the Trojans. If that doesn't make the Sun Devils, who finish the season by hosting the Arizona Wildcats and Cal, the likely favorites for the division, it at least leaves the door open. This is a race that will in all likelihood go down to the season's final weekend.
Here are the Pac-12 standings heading into Week 12:
- Oregon Ducks: 7-0 (9-1)
- Stanford Cardinal: 7-1 (9-1)
- Washington Huskies: 4-3 (6-4)
- California Bears: 3-4 (6-3)
- Oregon State Beavers: 2-5 (2-8)
- Washington State Cougars: 2-5 (4-6)
- USC Trojans: 5-2 (8-2)
- UCLA Bruins: 4-3 (5-5)
- Arizona State Sun Devils: 4-3 (6-4)
- Utah Utes: 3-4 (6-4)
- Colorado Buffaloes: 1-6 (2-9)
- Arizona Wildcats 1-7 (2-8)
For more on the Pac-12, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.