Oregon will get a chance at redemption on Friday when the Ducks take on Arizona in Levi’s Stadium with the Pac-12 title on the line.
Arizona won the Territorial Cup over Arizona State last Friday, and coupled with with UCLA’s loss at home to Stanford, earned the South Division title.
That means the Wildcats and Ducks will meet for the second time this season. Arizona handed Oregon its only loss, 31-24 in Eugene on a Thursday night in early October.
The Ducks can secure a berth in the first four-team playoff while the Wildcats could make a serious case of their own to be invited to the tournament with a win and some other upsets.
It was an exciting season in the Pac-12, especially in the South Division that took until the final day to decide.
Here’s a look at my rankings in the preseason. Check out how close, or far off, I was:
1. Oregon; 2. UCLA; 3. USC; 4. Stanford; 5. Washington; 6. Arizona State; 7. Oregon State; 8. Arizona; 9. Washington State; 10. Utah; 11. Colorado; 12. California.
And here are my final regular-season rankings:
1. Oregon (11-1, 8-1): Ducks jumped out to a 30-0 lead and coasted to a Civil War win, their seventh straight.
2. Arizona (10-2, 7-2): Wildcats could be team of destiny. It started with a Hail Mary against Cal and they had another fortunate win over UW.
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3. UCLA (9-3, 6-3): Bruins let a South Division title slip through their fingers. It was that kind of season for a team many picked to play for national title.
4. Arizona State (9-3, 6-3): Sun Devils held the top spot for a few weeks but finished by dropping two of last three.
5. Utah (8-4, 5-4): Utes surprised many, especially me, who had them at No. 10 to start.
6. USC (8-4, 6-3): Trojans throttled Notre Dame to end on a positive note. They were close to a 10-win season.
7. Stanford (7-5, 5-4): An up-and-down season for the Cardinal, who spoiled UCLA’s season in the final game of the season.
8. Washington (8-5, 4-5): Huskies put together two solid wins in the last two weeks, and nearly had three straight but lost heartbreaker at Arizona.
9. Cal (5-7, 3-6): Bears Had a chance to become bowl eligible but fell short at home against BYU. Still, a good season to build on in Berkeley.
10. Washington State (3-9, 2-7): Cougars were down 31-0 at home to Huskies before scoring final 13 points.
11. Oregon State (5-7, 2-7): Beavers are just 6-12 over their last 18 games. Sure, they have more wins than WSU, but lost head to head.
12. Colorado (2-10, 0-9): As I said last week, “still winless in the Pac-12.”