Posted on October 9, 2018 by: Tony Krikorian
The Pac-12 is slowly losing steam in regards to sending representation to the College Football Playoff – and last week’s games certainly did not help. Here are my quick thoughts after Week 6.
1. The Pac-12 is insanely unpredictable: Week 6 showed why the Pac-12 is considered one of the lower ranked Power 5 Conferences in the country. Two of the top teams in the conference – Washington and Colorado – barely won against UCLA and ASU, respectively. Stanford has lost two in a row and most recently lost big to Utah, who also has not had a particularly good season. And Washington State won, but pulled away late in the game against a struggling Oregon State team.
The conference is littered with parity. Our “best” teams haven’t had significantly better performances than the “worst” teams. And while this makes each contest more interesting because no one knows who might win on any given day, it hurts how people view the conference as a whole. To switch up a common aphorism, “a descending tide beaches all boats.”
However, it ain’t all bad. There are two teams that still have an outside chance at making the CFP – Washington and Colorado. Washington continues to have one of the best defenses in the country and their only loss is to Auburn. Unfortunately for the Huskies, Auburn was upset by unranked Mississippi State last week and dropped 13 spots in the AP Poll to #21. That does not help UW.
Colorado, on the other hand, is still undefeated. The only knock against them is that their schedule is not the strongest, but if they continue to win Colorado would obviously be in the CFP discussion. The Buffs also have one of the most dynamic players in all of college football. Which leads me to my next thought…
2. Laviska Shenault will find himself at the Heisman ceremony, but won’t win: Shenault currently ranks 3rd in the nation in both catches (51) and receiving yards (708) and has helped lead the Buffs to a 5-0 start. He has 6 receiving touchdowns and 4 rushing touchdowns on the year. He’s averaging a little over 10 catches a game and has had more than 125 receiving yards in four of five games. Most recently against ASU, he had 13 catches for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns to go along with 2 rushing touchdowns.
Shenault has been incredible and, if he continues on this path, will undoubtedly find himself at the Heisman ceremony. Unfortunately for him, the Heisman winner usually is the most dominate player from one of the teams that make it to the College Football Playoffs – and the Buffs won’t be one of those teams. I’m just happy he is only a sophomore, so we get to watch him again all next year.
3. Again – dammit all, Stanford: I should have never jumped on the bandwagon.
Since jumping on, Stanford has lost two in a row, most recently in a 40-21 loss at home to the Utes. The Farm fell out of the Top 25 and had their Playoff hopes slashed all in the same week. Bryce Love was hurt and sat out, but even when he has played the run game has not been as dominate as in recent years.
Stanford currently sits in second place in the North with a lot of football in front of them and the potential to still win the division. But at this point – for the good of the conference – I have to put all my eggs into Washington and Colorado’s baskets.