Pac-12 race update: Week 13

November, 20, 2013
11/20/13
3:00
PM PT
Checking in once again on where things stand in the divisional races. Here’s where we are heading into Week 13.

North

Remember last week’s scenario? Yeah, go ahead and forget about that. We still have clarity, but the whole thing got shot to Hades in the wake of USC’s victory over Stanford. Back in the driver’s seat are the Oregon Ducks, who once again control their Rose Bowl destiny -- though not their national championship destiny. The path for Oregon is to win its next two games. The first is this weekend at Arizona and then next week at home in the Civil War. If they do that, it will win the Pac-12 North and advance to the conference championship game. If it drops either of those games, the control switches back to Stanford, which wraps up its conference season this week against Cal. Stanford plays Notre Dame in a nonconference season finale. Because Stanford holds the tie-breaker over the Ducks, Stanford would win the league if both teams finish with identical conference records.

South

We’ll know a lot more by the end of this weekend. Arizona State can clinch the South Division with a victory at UCLA. The Sun Devils are in the strongest position, needing only to win one game because they already have a tie-breaker over USC. For the Bruins, they need two wins to wrap it up. To win the division, UCLA has to beat ASU at home and then win at USC in the regular season finale. But they still control their destiny in the sense that if they win out, they’ll be South champs for three straight years. USC is still in the mix, though a few things need to happen. USC needs Arizona State to drop both of its remaining games (that means cheering for UCLA this weekend, Trojan fans, so have fun with that) and USC has to win at Colorado and then beat UCLA in the finale. Because of the earlier loss to ASU, the Trojans would be on the outside should it come down to a two- or three-team tie-breaker.

As a reminder, here’s how the Pac-12 handles tie-breakers.

Two-Team Tie
  1. Head-to-head competition between the two tied teams. (a.) If no game is played between the two tied teams or that game ends in a tie, the following tie-breaking procedures would be applied:
  2. Record in games played within the division.
  3. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (Based on record in all games played within the conference), proceeding through the division.
  4. Record in common conference games.
  5. Highest BCS Ranking following the last weekend of regular-season games.
  6. Total number of wins in a 12-game season. The following conditions will apply to the calculation of the total number of wins: (a.) Only one win against a team from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision or lower division will be counted annually. (b.) Any games that are exempted from counting against the annual maximum number of football contests per NCAA rules (current Bylaw 17. 9.5.2) shall not be included.
Multiple-Team Ties

The following procedures will only be used to eliminate all but two teams, at which point the two-team tie-breaking procedure will be applied.
  1. Head-to-head (Best record in games among the tied teams).
  2. Record in games played within the division.
  3. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all games played within the conference), proceeding through the division.
  4. Record in common conference games.
  5. Highest BCS ranking following the last weekend of regular-season games.

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