With just two weeks to go until conference championships, the latest CFB Playoff Poll offers some sobering news for the Pac-12; they might just be left out of the playoff. In a week that didn’t offer many upsets, no one in the top five outside of Ohio State played a ranked team, the biggest changes were at no. 1 and no. 6.
Ohio State reclaimed the top spot in the poll this week following their 28-17 victory over no. 10 Penn State, dropping LSU to 2 after the Tigers crushed hapless Arkansas by a 36-point margin. Clemson and Alabama rolled, remaining at 3 and 5 respectively, while Georgia received a legit challenge from Texas A&M. But the Bulldogs held off the Aggies to earn a 19-13 win and keep hold of the fourth spot.
The biggest impact from this week’s poll is Oregon’s drop after their disastrous loss to Arizona State on the road. The Ducks went down by ten points, 24-14, with a little over 7 minutes left in the 4th. They’d tighten the margin to 24-21 before an 81-yard touchdown pass from the Sun Devils restored the ten point lead with a little under four minutes left. The Ducks answered with another TD to cut the deficit to 31-28 but it wasn’t enough. ASU recovered Oregon’s onside kick following the score and the rest was history.
Oregon suffered their second loss of the season and likely eliminated the Pac-12 from a chance to compete in the college football playoff. This could mark the 3rd straight year where the Pac-12 won’t send their conference champion to the playoff. Utah remains the highest ranked Pac-12 team at 6; if they stay without a second loss and defeat Oregon in the championship, will it be enough to get them into the top four? We’ll know in a couple weeks.