Pac-12 ultimate road trip: Week 12


We're taking a look at the best week-by-week trips to make in the Pac-12. My editors call it the Ultimate Road Trip. I call it dangling meat for you guys until we can start writing about actual games. Chow down, gang.

Welcome to Week 12.

Saturday, Nov. 21

  • Arizona at Arizona State

  • USC at Oregon

  • UCLA at Utah

  • Colorado at Washington State

  • Washington at Oregon State

  • California at Stanford

My choice: Uhm… Arizona at ASU ... I mean UCLA at Utah ... I mean USC at Oregon ... uhm…

Why: Well, we've got a heck of a week here, don't we? I see three games that could determine the South Division championship and a rivalry game that could provide plenty of fireworks.

This is the perfect storm. I've been your compass for the last 11 weeks. I think you're on your own this week.

Let’s first start with an inter-division game that could be played again two weeks later. Many people think the Pac-12 championship, and ultimately, a probable spot in the College Football Playoff, will be decided by USC and Oregon. At least that's the July hype. This is the game that will likely have the most national impact. The teams haven't met since 2012 in LA, when Kenjon Barner went all Kenjon Barner and rushed for 321 yards and five touchdowns. Matt Barkley threw five. Marcus Mariota threw four. There was a future Heisman winner, a future Biletnikoff winner and a ton of NFL talent on the field that night in a 62-51 win for the Ducks.

The Trojans clearly play in the tougher of the two divisions. So they'll be battle-tested. And Oregon will be coming off the Stanford game, which promises to be one of their most physical contests of the season. If I had to choose today, this is the game I'd go to.

But I’m not going to tell folks not to go to the Territorial Cup, either. Last year this was the game that determined the Pac-12 South championship. And it was also Rich Rodriguez's first victory in the series after Todd Graham and Co. won the previous two. It's also the season-finale for the Wildcats, and the end of a very long, bye-week-less season.

Speaking of the South, how about Utah and UCLA? It was a thriller in Pasadena last season (part of the epic Jael Mary, Stanford-Notre Dame, California-Washington State shootout day). This is another one that could swing the division one way or the other.

And for good measure, we have the Big Game, which many believe will be more competitive in 2015 than it's been the last few years.

This should be a pretty epic week. And there’s a good chance at least one of the divisions could be settled before it's over.