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Pac-12 Games to Watch: Week 8

NCAA Football: Washington State at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Every Pac-12 team is in action this week. This year might have the most parity in the Pac-12 since the Utah Utes and Colorado Buffaloes joined in 2011. At the halfway point, there are seven teams that could realistically still win the Pac-12 North or South. In the North, The Oregon Ducks, Stanford Cardinal, Washington Huskies, and Washington State Cougars all only have one conference loss in the Pac-12 North. In the Pac-12 South, the Colorado Buffaloes, USC Trojans, and Utah Utes all have one or two losses in the Pac-12 (the Arizona Wildcats also only have two conference losses, but they are to USC and Utah, so they need a lot of help to win, and they do not look like a good team). Today is separation Saturday. Oregon-Washington State have a huge Pac-12 North showdown. USC-Utah has huge Pac-12 South implications. Colorado lost for the first time last week at USC, and now they have to travel to Washington. Obviously, the USC-Utah game is the biggest game of the week for Utah, but here are two other Pac-12 games to watch.

Colorado Buffaloes at #15 Washington Huskies - 1:30 p.m. MT - FOX

Colorado built a 5-0 record against five teams that had losing records. Their undefeated record got a blemish when they faced USC. Is Colorado for real, or are they a fluke? A loss to Washington today would really hurt their chances in the Pac-12 South with a second conference loss. A loss would not eliminate Colorado from winning the Pac-12 South, but it would require USC to lose two conference games. If Utah can beat USC and Washington beats Colorado, Utah would be tied atop the Pac-12 South with a tiebreaker over USC.

#12 Oregon Ducks at #25 Washington State Cougars - 5:30 p.m. MT - FOX

If you are not going to the USC-Utah game, you can keep your TV tuned to FOX and catch our second Pac-12 game to watch. As this is a Pac-12 North showdown, this game has no bearing on Utah’s Pac-12 South chances. But, there is one thing to consider. (Now I know this is a huge if, but go with me...) If Utah wins the Pac-12 South, this game has an implication on who Utah could play. Utah matches up best against Stanford and Washington and does not matchup as well against Oregon and Washington State. I think it would be better if WSU wins. Oregon has already played Washington (win) and Stanford (loss), so if they beat WSU, they would be in a great position to win the Pac-12 North, with their game at Utah in November, their only remaining game against a team with a winning record. If WSU wins, they still have to play Stanford and Washington to win the North, and Oregon would need WSU and Stanford to both lose at least two games. Washington and Stanford would both control their own destiny with a WSU win (Stanford controls their own destiny either way but Washington would not with an Oregon win).