Welcome to SoCon Challenge week! We’ve made it.
The slate this week is decidedly underwhelming especially when you’re a Husky fan looking at the rest of the landscape. There’s no question that the Washington game is by far the best game from a national interest standpoint, assuming of course that those east of the Mississippi are at all interested in football that occurs Westward.
This week I put together a full chart of the probabilities of each team finishing in each place in the Pac-12 standings. Washington gets to clinch a spot in the Pac-12 title game with either a win over Oregon State or a loss by Arizona. Obviously we would prefer a win by Washington. That’s also because a win by Arizona would increase the chances that Oregon misses out as being the opponent in the championship game.
If you are mostly in the camp of rooting for UW’s strength of schedule improving, opponent in the Pac-12 title game be damned, then you’re rooting for USC over UCLA. There’s a chance that a 9-3 USC sneaks into the backend of the rankings this week with a decisive enough win and it helps UW’s tiebreakers.
Elsewhere in the country you’re of course rooting against any non-Washington team that has 0 or 1 losses. There just aren’t going to be many realistic chances for them to lose unless a 21+ point underdog pulls off a massive shocker.
SUGGESTED VIEWING/ROOTING GUIDE (all times PT)given that
9:00 AM: #11 Louisville (9-1) at Miami (6-4), ABC
DraftKings Betting Line: Miami -1
This is the weakest morning slate we’ve had in some time. The only one of the teams with zero or one losses who seemingly has a realistic chance at losing in this slot is Louisville. The Cardinals are also the worst ranked of those squads and therefore the weakest threat to the Huskies in CFP consideration. Still, a win here by Miami means that Florida State, if they finish undefeated, would have 0 wins against teams with fewer than 3 losses. The ACC getting more muddled only helps bring down FSU’s resume. Especially on a week where the Seminoles get a break to play North Alabama...
11:30 AM: Utah (7-3) at Arizona (7-3), Pac-12 Networks
DraftKings Betting Line: Arizona -1
It’s reasonable to argue that Washington should be rooting for each side of this game. The only way that the Huskies could theoretically miss the Pac-12 championship game involves Arizona winning out because they introduce some chaos into the 3-way tiebreakers having not played Oregon which means head-to-head goes out the window. However, if you want to play Arizona rather than Oregon in the Pac-12 title game, it necessitates the Wildcats winning out since they will likely win a 2-way tiebreaker with Oregon.
12:30 PM: #2 Georgia (10-0) at #13 Tennessee (7-3), CBS
DraftKings Betting Line: Georgia -10
Another week, another game that we keep pretending Georgia has a chance to lose before they inevitably cruise by several touchdowns. Still, if the Bulldogs were going to pick up a loss before the SEC title game it would have to be here. And if they lose here, great. Otherwise, it’s probably best for UW’s CFP chances if they just go ahead and win out and guarantee that the SEC only gets one spot. Would you feel comfortable about UW making it in ahead of a 1-loss Georgia and a 1-loss SEC champ Alabama? I didn’t think so. Go Vols.
4:30 PM: #5 Washington (10-0) at #10 Oregon State (8-2), ABC
DraftKings Betting Line: Washington +2.5
5:00 PM: #7 Texas (9-1) at Iowa State (6-4), FOX
DraftKings Betting Line: Texas -7.5
It appears that Texas lost their star running back Jonathan Brooks to an ACL tear right when they just got back QB Quinn Ewers. The Longhorns have now won each of their last 2 games by a single field goal when they got off to big leads then almost completely blew them. Washington hasn’t exactly been blowing teams off the field lately either but Texas seems to be one of the shakier teams still in CFP contention with their recent results. A loss by Texas would eliminate the Big 12 from the CFP hunt. The Cyclones have won 4 of 5 with the only loss coming by a touchdown at Kansas.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.