Oregon was 10th in my preseason college football rankings, the Pac-12’s highest-ranked team (before any team and conference opt-outs and season postponements). Six weeks later, and five weeks before the Pac-12 is scheduled to start their season on Saturday, Nov. 7, the Ducks are no longer the 10th-best team in the FBS thanks to several notable player opt-outs, including offensive tackle Penei Sewell, arguably the best offensive lineman in college football.
With the Ducks’ tumble to unknown depths and several other factors, the Pac-12 finds itself in a familiar position with an unclear path to the College Football Playoff, which they’ve missed in each of the last five years. Even with a disastrous start in the Big 12, similarly delayed start for the Big Ten, uncertainty surrounding the viabilty of a second playoff team from the ACC, the Pac-12 is in tough spot to make their first playoff appearance since 2014.
This week on the High Motor podcast, we discussed the Pac-12’s playoff picture and asked, “Even if the conference has a playoff-caliber team, is the Nov. 7 start date too late to make up ground on other teams who’ve played four, five, six, or seven games?”
Listen below (or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else):