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The PAC 12 is still in the CFP race, but much still has to go right for them

Oklahoma v Baylor Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the results of Week 12 feeding into the updated CFP selection committee’s most updated rankings, there are a few insights that we can divine affecting the odds of one of three remaining PAC 12 teams in the conference championship race getting into the CFP.

Here is what we know:

USC

Now ranked but with no shot at getting into the CFP, the Trojans end their regular season this weekend by hosting UCLA. If they win, they only need Utah to lose to either Arizona or Colorado in one of their final two to claim the South and completely end the chances of a PAC 12 CFP appearance.

Utah

The Utes are currently ranked seventh in the CFP rankings. At this point, it is going to take a few losses from teams in front of them for them to get into the Playoff even if they beat Oregon in a P12 Championship matchup and win the conference with one loss. Their one-loss schedule would clearly be the softest of any other one-loss teams that are in the race.

Oregon

Oregon has the best odds of any P12 team ironically due to the loss that they suffered to Auburn. The fact that UW was ranked when they beat them helps a little too. However, the Ducks also have a very soft schedule due to another down year in the PAC that will not stack up well against other one loss teams if the current crop stays intact. They will also require some help.

So, with all of these CFP odds requiring a little assistance, who should PAC 12 fans be rooting for today?

PAC 12 CFP Rooting Guide, Week 13

#22 Oklahoma St at West Virginia

Root for: West Virignia

What does a somewhat meaningless Big 12 game have to do with the PAC? Oklahoma is shaping up as the top threat for taking the CFP spot that both Oregon and Utah are eyeing. Their strength of schedule already includes two wins over teams that were ranked in the top 15 (Texas #11, Baylor #13). Those two teams are somewhat flawed and might fall enough in the rankings for Oklahoma’s strength of schedule (SOS) to fall more. However, OKST is stil ahead of the Sooners. It would be far better for the PAC if the Cowboys were unranked when Oklahoma plays them.

#9 Penn State at #2 Ohio State

Root for: Ohio State

This one has huge implications for the entire CFP field. A Penn State win gives the Lions clear control of the Big Ten East but also opens the door more widely for a possible two-B1G team scenario where the winner of the conference is joined by Ohio State in the Playoff. An Ohio State win effectively eliminates Penn State from the CFP field and leaves us with only a remote chance that the Big Ten might send both Minnesota and Ohio State to the dance.

So, yeah, root for the Buckeyes.

West Carolina at #5 Alabama

Root for: a sloppy Alabama offense

The loss of Tua Tagovialoa to a brutal hip dislocation injury was difficult to watch. Many observers felt that it was the end of the line for Alabama’s CFP appearance streak. That the committee kept the one-loss Tide ranked at #5 is an interesting tell. The implication is that the committee is giving Nick Saban the benefit of the doubt. If the Alabama blows away West Carolina and then wins (in any way) against Auburn - the same Auburn team that already beat Oregon - then there is zero chance that they get passed over by the PAC 12 champion. But if they look sloppy in this tune-up game, then there is a chance that they may fall behind one or both of the PAC 12 teams after the committee absorbs the implications of the Tua loss. That might be enough to keep the PAC 12 champ in it even if Alabama beats Auburn next week. Maybe.

Texas A&M at #4 Georgia

Root for: a huge upset

The Bulldogs are in an interesting position. They have a great resume with big wins over Florida and Notre Dame - both top 10 teams when they played them - not to mention last week’s win over #12 Auburn. They are very likely going to win the SEC West. If they do, the question becomes whether or not they are a CFP team in the event that they lose a tight one-score game to #1 LSU in the SEC championship. Could Georgia with two losses jump a PAC 12 or Big 12 Champion?

I think it is at least possible enough that testing fate would be unwise. Georgia’s wins are that compelling. Thus, a road upset by the Aggies would be welcome news for PAC 12 fans.

#10 Minnesota at Northwestern

Root for: Northwestern

The remote possibility of both Minnesota and Ohio State going to the CFP gets eliminated if the Gophers falter here. Go Wildcats.

Obviously, it goes without saying that both Oregon and Utah have to keep winning in order to create the most appealing PAC 12 championship game possible. So you may have to stomach rooting for the Ducks if you want to see the PAC in the CFP.

Or you could just not.

The choice is yours. Your gameday schedule is below. This is your open thread. Enjoy.

College Football Viewing Schedule, Week 13

Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
#9 Penn State at #2 Ohio State 9:00 AM FOX FoxSportsGo.com
Western Carolina at #5 Alabama 9:00 AM ESPN WatchESPN.com
#8 Minnesota at Northwestern 9:00 AM ABC WatchESPN.com
Samford at #12 Auburn 9:00 AM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
Illinois at #20 Iowa 9:00 AM BTN FoxSportsGo.com
#22 Oklahoma State at West Virginia 9:00 AM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
BYU at UMass 9:00 AM NESN FloFootball.com
UCF at Tulane 9:00 AM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Ball State at Kent State 9:00 AM ESPN+ ESPN+
East Carolina at UConn 9:00 AM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
Liberty at Virginia 9:00 AM ACCNX WatchESPN.com
Kansas at Iowa State 9:00 AM Fox Sports Net FoxSportsGo.com
Michigan State at Rutgers 9:00 AM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
South Alabama at Georgia State 11:00 AM ESPN+ ESPN+
Air Force at New Mexico 11:00 AM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
Boston College at #16 Notre Dame 11:30 AM NBC NBCSports.com
Texas State at #25 Appalachian State 11:30 AM ESPN+ ESPN+
Georgia Southern at Arkansas State 12:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Texas A&M at #4 Georgia 12:30 PM CBS CBSSports.com
#19 Texas at #13 Baylor 12:30 PM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
#15 Michigan at Indiana 12:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
SMU at #23 Navy 12:30 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Mercer at North Carolina 12:30 PM ACCNX WatchESPN.com
Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech 12:30 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
UCLA at USC 12:30 PM ABC WatchESPN.com
Marshall at Charlotte 12:30 PM Stadium Facebook
Louisiana Tech at UAB 12:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
North Texas at Rice 12:30 PM NFL NFLNetwork.com
Western Kentucky at Southern Mississippi 12:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Nebraska at Maryland 12:30 PM BTN FoxSportsGo.com
East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt 12:30 PM SEC Alternate WatchESPN.com
UT Martin at Kentucky 12:30 PM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
Purdue at #14 Wisconsin 1:00 PM FOX FoxSportsGo.com
#18 Memphis at South Florida 1:00 PM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
UTEP at New Mexico State 1:00 PM None FloFootball.com
California at Stanford 1:00 PM Pac-12 Networks Pac-12.com
Syracuse at Louisville 1:00 PM ACC Network WatchESPN.com
San Jose State at UNLV 1:00 PM AT&T SportsNet AT&T SportsNet
Old Dominion at Middle Tennessee 1:30 PM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
Coastal Carolina at UL Monroe 2:00 PM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
Troy at Louisiana 2:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Florida Atlantic at UTSA 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Arkansas at #1 LSU 4:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Temple at #17 Cincinnati 4:00 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
#24 Kansas State at Texas Tech 4:00 PM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
Miami at Florida International 4:00 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
#6 Oregon at Arizona State 4:30 PM ABC WatchESPN.com
Houston at Tulsa 4:30 PM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
Abilene Christian at Mississippi State 4:30 PM SEC Alternate WatchESPN.com
Tennessee at Missouri 4:30 PM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
Duke at Wake Forest 4:30 PM ACC Network WatchESPN.com
TCU at #10 Oklahoma 5:00 PM FOX FoxSportsGo.com
Oregon State at Washington State 6:00 PM Pac-12 Networks Pac-12.com
#7 Utah at Arizona 7:00 PM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
Washington at Colorado 7:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
#21 Boise State at Utah State 7:30 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Nevada at Fresno State 7:30 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
San Diego State at Hawai'i 8:00 PM Spectrum Sports Facebook