Conference championships are here, and the Pac-12 Championship is on December 1. College football’s Week 13 will decide who will face the Washington Huskies. We know it’ll either be the Oregon Ducks or the Arizona Wildcats.
Let’s dive into the Pac-12 Championship scenarios and what each team needs to clinch their appearance in Las Vegas.
Pac-12 Championship Clinching Scenarios
The Washington Huskies, sitting at 11-0 overall and 8-0 in Pac-12 games, have already clinched their spot in the conference title game. They previously defeated the Ducks 36-33 at home on Oct. 14. Now, the Huskies have their eyes on finishing the season undefeated and winning the conference.
MORE: Pac-12 Standings
Finishing 13-0 would likely land Washington in the College Football Playoff. First, they must beat Washington State at home this week before jumping too far ahead. They might know their Pac-12 Championship foe by the end of Friday.
The Oregon Ducks would love to get another shot at Washington and a chance to make the Playoff. Oregon was arguably the better team in its first game against Washington, but couldn’t keep Roem Odunze from reaching the end zone twice in the second half. The game felt as evenly matched as it gets.
At 10-1, Oregon must first focus on Friday evening’s headlining matchup with Oregon State. Their rival comes to Eugune after a tough loss to Washington. The loss ended their bid to make the Pac-12 title game.
For Oregon to clinch its second chance against the Huskies, they must beat Oregon State or see Arizona lose to Arizona State. No other strings are attached, as they have the record advantage over Arizona. However, a loss and an Arizona win would cause Oregon’s season to be over prematurely.
Friday night’s contest will also have significance for QB Bo Nix. Nix is among the nation’s top Heisman Trophy candidates but is missing that big game moment. He’s been great for much of the year, but two standout performances could swing voting in his direction.
The plucky Arizona Wildcats are in a position that no one expected them to have at the start of the season. The Wildcats are on Oregon’s heels at 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the conference but would win a tiebreaker. It’ll take an Oregon loss and an Arizona win over Arizona State for them to make it.
Arizona has four AP Top 25 wins this season, more than any other team in the nation. Beating Arizona State may not be too difficult, as the 3-8 Sun Devils have been blown out twice in the last three weeks against top Pac-12 competition. Arizona State threatened Washington in a 15-7 loss, though, so it’s not a given this is a cakewalk.
Of course, Arizona will know its opportunity well before kickoff, as Oregon plays the night before. With a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, Arizona will either be a bit deflated for their final regular season game or charged up for the chance to win the Pac-12 in Week 14.
Arizona’s two losses came against Washington and USC in back-to-back weeks. However, they lost by only nine points combined and were in position to upset USC. The margins have been that thin in the conference all season.