It's been a whacky 2017 college football season, to be sure. One of the conferences that has contributed to the chaos is the Pac-12, which no longer has an unbeaten, their top SOS plays has two losses and their best team has played absolutely nobody.
The Huskies are the lone team in the conference with just one loss — a 13-7 fade at Arizona State — which gives them the best shot by default. Run the table and they'll be in the Top 8, if not Top 4. They'll need help, though.
It's difficult to imagine Washington jumping the Oklahoma-TCU winner, and it's conceivable a two-loss Oklahoma team gets in ahead of a one-loss Pac-12 Champion Washington, especially if the Sooners lose Saturday to TCU and win out, including a rematch with the Horned Frogs in the Big 12 title game.
The Irish may take care of the Hurricanes this weekend, but that wouldn't necessarily push Washington ahead of Miami. But the ACC title game likely eliminates either Miami or Clemson, assuming they end up representing their divisions, as it sits now.
There's no way Miami OR Clemson ends the season without a loss. If Notre Dame beats Miami this Saturday and then the 'Canes beat Clemson, Miami would certainly have a case over Washington, but the Tigers would be essentially knocked out with a second loss.
The Badgers will be favored in their final three regular season games — vs. Iowa and Michigan, @ Minnesota — and may still be the underdog in the Big Ten title game. There's no chance a one-loss Washington jumps an unbeaten Wisconsin. If the Badgers loses before the conference championship, they could still have an argument over a one-loss Huskies, but strength of victory in this scenario would be close.[divider]
The Trojans have to hope Washington wins out and lends them a very good opponent in the Pac-12 title game. Their two losses are at WSU and at Notre Dame. Their best win thus far is over Stanford Week 2. They need a better one.
The Cougars beat USC, but the reason they're the conferences third-best chance is Washington State's two losses are significantly worse — 37-3 at California and 58-37 at Arizona. WSU's win over USC matters, but suggesting that's enough to flip the two schools is foolish. Plus, USC is much more likely to get to the Pac-12 title game than is WSU, who have to visit Washington in a few weeks.
In addition to Washington's and USC's needs, Washington State would also likely need Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Auburn to lose again, especially since the three aforementioned Big Ten teams also could end the year as two-loss conference champions and with as good or better wins and certainly better losses than the Cougars — as could Oklahoma State.
Same goes for Auburn, too, and they'd have wins over Georgia (twice) and Alabama, but nobody with a registering IQ believes that's plausible.[divider]
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