What is each Pac-12 team playing for?

November, 7, 2012
11/07/12
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For some, there is a lot to play for, like the prospect of playing in a national championship game, the Rose Bowl, or even playing in a bowl game. For at least three teams in the Pac-12, the bowl dream in 2012 is over. But that doesn't mean they don't have anything left to play for. So across the blogosphere we're taking a look at each team and what's left for it in 2012.

Pac-12 North Division

Oregon (9-0, 6-0)
Playing for: A national championship, for starters. The Ducks have rolled through their season and dropped 62 on USC at home last week. The highest team achievement in college football is well within Oregon's grasp.

Oregon State (7-1, 5-1)
Playing for: The Beavers are still very much in the hunt for the North Division title and therefore a shot at the Rose Bowl. They have to get through Stanford this weekend. If they can do that, the Civil War should be awfully exciting.

Stanford (7-2, 5-1)
Playing for: Like the Beavers, the Cardinal are still in the thick of things for the North and a spot in the Rose Bowl. This weekend is huge -- as is next week's game at Oregon. Stanford has had success against Oregon State in recent years, but the track record against Oregon, especially on the road, isn't great.

Washington (5-4, 3-3)
Playing for: After a brutal first half of the schedule -- which they emerged from 3-3 -- the up-and-down Huskies have had some offensive struggles, but are still in position to gain bowl eligibility and get to a pretty decent middle-tier postseason spot.

California (3-7, 2-5)
Playing for: If it's not too late, maybe Jeff Tedford's job. The Bears are out of postseason contention for the second time in three seasons, but they could make a statement about their coach -- and play super spoilers -- this weekend with Oregon coming to town.

Washington State (2-7, 0-6)
Playing for: Well, a conference win would be a good start. But this season has shown that new head coach Mike Leach is looking for a certain type of player. And if you don't cut it, you're out. Some guys might be playing for jobs next year.

Pac-12 South Division

UCLA (7-2, 4-2)
Playing for
: Complete dominance and supremacy over the city of Los Angeles. The Bruins control their future from here on out -- and if they can get by USC they'll have another shot in the conference title game to play a BCS game on their home field.

USC (6-3, 4-3)
Playing for: The Trojans are still in contention for the South title, but they'll have to get through a surging UCLA team to do it. And I'm sure they'd like another crack at Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game with a shot to go to the Rose Bowl on the line.

Arizona State (5-4, 3-3)
Playing for: It's a tougher scenario than either UCLA's or USC's, but the Sun Devils aren't out of South contention yet. But first and foremost, they have to win out -- and beating USC on the road this weekend would be a huge first step. And of course, there is always the rivalry game with Arizona.

Arizona (5-4, 2-4)
Playing forr: Bowl eligibility is a good place to start, which the Wildcats can achieve at home this weekend against Colorado. They were in a great position after knocking off USC, but the UCLA loss pretty much knocked them out of South contention. I'd imagine a midlevel bowl game would be considered a pretty good first year for Rich Rodriguez. And of course, there is always the rivalry game with Arizona State.

Utah (4-5, 2-4)
Playing for: If Reggie Dunn can keep returning kickoffs for touchdowns, the Utes still have a fighting shot at making the postseason. They need to win two of their final three -- including at Washington this week and home to Arizona next week. Could be a very interesting November in Salt Lake City.

Colorado (1-8, 1-5)
Playing for: A win, any win, anything that the Buffaloes can hang their hat on and call it a step in the right direction. Jon Embree owes it to the few seniors he has to not give up on this year and play for next year (and there are no signs that he has). However, all of the youngsters who have played this year are getting very valuable experience.

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