Undefeated UW Huskies clinch spot in Pac-12 Championship game
Nov 18, 2023, 8:02 PM | Updated: 9:39 pm
(Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
The No. 5-ranked UW Huskies are bound for the Pac-12 Championship game for the first time since 2019.
The Huskies didn’t get any help on Saturday with Utah falling to Arizona 42-18 – a Utah win would have clinched Washington’s spot in the title game – but UW punched its ticket anyway after coming came away with a big win, holding off No. 10-ranked Oregon State 22-20 in a pivotal Pac-12 clash for both teams in rainy Corvallis.
Washington remains undefeated at 11-0, while Oregon State falls to 8-3 and is officially eliminated from Pac-12 title contention with three losses in conference play. The Beavers needed a win over the Huskies or for both Utah to beat Arizona and Arizona State to upset Oregon. None of those three results went Oregon State’s way.
The Huskies will look to wrap up a perfect regular season with the Apple Cup next weekend in Seattle against Washington State. The Cougars trounced Colorado 56-14 in Pullman on Friday to snap a six-game losing streak and get to 5-6. That means a WSU upset over Washington would get the Cougars to 6-6 and make them bowl-eligible.
Who the Huskies face in the conference championship is still up in the air, but the field is more narrow.
Five teams, including Washington, entered Saturday with a path to the Pac-12 Championship. Thanks to Saturday’s results, UW is in and the Huskies’ opponent will be one of two teams: Oregon or Arizona.
Oregon took care of business against Arizona State with a 49-13 win, and at 10-1 and holding just one conference loss – which came at Washington – the Ducks are the favorite to play the Huskies in Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 1 in what would be a highly-anticipated rematch.
With Arizona beating Utah, the Wildcats are alive and have more than a puncher’s chance of making it to the title game.
Utah, like Oregon State, is eliminated with three conference losses.
For Oregon to make it to the Pac-12 Championship game, there are two paths.
One is for the Ducks to beat Oregon State in their annual rivalry game next Friday. That would leave Oregon as the lone one-loss team in the conference behind Washington. Last year, the Beavers upset the Ducks 38-34.
The Ducks can also clinch if Arizona falls to Arizona State.
Arizona needs two things to happen: A win over ASU and an Oregon loss to Oregon State.
If the Wildcats win and the Ducks lose, both teams would have two Pac-12 losses and the Wildcats would edge the Ducks due to a tiebreaker. In this scenario, since Arizona and Oregon didn’t play each other this year for a head-to-head tiebreaker, the next tiebreaker is the two schools’ top common opponent. That would be Washington, which beat both Arizona and Oregon in October.
After that, though, the two teams’ next-highest common opponent is Oregon State. The Wildcats beat the Beavers a few weeks ago while in this scenario, the Ducks did not.
Check out the Pac-12 standings and all tiebreaker rules here.
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