Utes Pluck Ducks, Leaving Pac-10 Once Again Out of Title Picture

Oregon Ducks And Utah Utes NCAA Football Background

  • So Long, Pac-12 as league fades into November
  • Ducks, Utes still favorites to play in Pac-12 title game
  • Beavers, Cougars still have odds set at (+1800) for championship appearance

Utah running back Tavion Thomas scored three touchdowns and Britain Covey returned a punt 78 yards as the Utes routed the Oregon Ducks, 38-7, on Saturday night. The conquest of the Ducks once again effectively ended any hopes that the Pac-12 had to put a team into the College Football Playoff.

The Pac-12 hasn’t had a team in the mythical CFP, which does not allow the inclusion of every BCS college football conference, since 2016 when Washington made the Final Four.

Oregon had it’s way paved as it needed to win out which included defeating Utah twice with the second time being in the Pac-12 championship game.

The Ducks’ odds to win the national championship went from (+2500) to (+20000) in one fatal swoop. Some online sportsbooks had the Ducks at (+30000) while only a couple gave Oregon (+10000) odds.

Utah started the season 1-2 but has rebounded to win six out of its last seven as the Utes are playing as well as anyone right now. Utah is still listed at (+30000) by some oddsmakers. The Utes dominated Oregon as they rushed for 208 yards on 50 carries in controlling the line of scrimmages and taking a 28-0 halftime lead.

Well, at Least There is the Pac-12 Title Game

Oregon hosts Oregon State at Autzen Stadium on Saturday and if the Ducks win that game, they will rematch with Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game in Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Oregon is posted as a 7-point favorite; however, if the Beavers win and Washington loses to Washington State, the Beavers would play in the Pac-12 championship game. The Cougars are a 1-point favorite over the Huskies with the game played in Seattle.

Utah now has odds at (-180) and Oregon is at (+210) to win the Pac-12 championship and the winner is now likely to go up against the loser of the Ohio State-Michigan game in the Rose Bowl.

Oregon State has not won the Pac-12 since 1956 and the Beavs are at (+1800) to get into it and win.

In comparison:
Last week Oregon had odds at (-125) and the Utes were hanging at (+110). Oregon State was also posted at (+3000), so the Beavers moved upward with their 24-10 win over Arizona State.

The Sun Devils were at (+5000) and officially were excused from the playoff race with that ‘L’.

Cougars Still Prowl

It’s been the most incredible of seasons at Washington State and the fact that the Cougars go into the last week of the season with a chance to win the Pac-12 North and play Utah in the title game is the exclamation mark at the end of the sentence.

Please Note:
While the oddsmakers give the Cougs (+1800) odds to make it, Washington State has to of course beat Washington and then have Oregon State beat Oregon. If those two scenarios pan out, the Cougars, Ducks and Beavers would all end up 6-3 and Wazzu would win the tiebreaker in the case of a three-way tie.

The Cougars have not won a Pac-12 title since 1930 and with Coach Nick Rolovich giving up on his team and being fired so he could selfishly stay in his anti-vaccination stance, this would be a monumental accomplishment by a gritty team.

How We Got to This

At the beginning of the season, Oregon had odds at (+250) to win the Pac-12 title for the third season in a row as this is still in play.

Washington came in at (+250) and USC (+400) and as both teams struggled, coaches Clay Helton and Jimmy Lake were fired in-season. A week after Washington’s 26-16 loss to Oregon, news came out that Lake struck a player’s helmet after the player was involved in an altercation with an Oregon player on the sidelines. Lake was suspended for the Huskies’ 35-30 loss to Arizona State and then subsequently dismissed. USC AD Mike Bohn immediately fired Helton after a 42-28 loss to Stanford in Week 2 as the Trojans brass immediately gave up on the season and the players to try to start hiring a coach in-season.

The Trojans lack of a defense has kicked them to a 4-6 record after UCLA embarrassed them 62-33 in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last week.

USC is 93rd in the nation it total defense, giving up 417.7 yards per game and 32.2 points (103rd/BCS).

Arizona State stayed in play most of the season, but with the long odds we mentioned as Herman Edwards’ squad started at (+450) while the ever-present Kyle Whittingham had the Utes in fifth at (+500).

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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