It’s not as big a point of discussion as what happened with the Big Ten, but the Pac-12 is sorting through plenty of issues when it comes to its championship game.
The USC Trojans are poised to represent the Pac-12 South in the conference championship provided they beat UCLA on Saturday. The Pac-12 North, however, is in serious question. The Washington Huskies, who lead the division at 3-1, were slated to play Oregon in what essentially would have decided the division winner. The Huskies were hit by a COVID-19 outbreak, however, and the game was canceled and declared a no contest. That means Washington wins the division.
However, there are legitimate questions as to whether the Huskies can recover in time to play the Pac-12 title game. According to Dave Mahler of 950 KJR in Seattle, Oregon would potentially be asked to take their place if Washington can’t play.
What I’m hearing the Pac 12 plan is for now: Winner of south goes to Champ game. UW will get shot to play. If not cleared medically, Oregon will go. Idea of Colorado/USC in Champ game if both win tomorrow is off the table barring unforeseen circumstances
— Dave “Softy” Mahler (@Softykjr) December 12, 2020
This will come as a frustration to the second place team in the Pac-12 South in particular. That may end up being an unbeaten Colorado, who played one fewer Pac-12 game than USC and didn’t get the chance to play the Trojans. They would argue they deserve the right to play for a conference title more than anyone from the North, but that’s not how it works.
As important as this is, it’s ultimately lower stakes than other conferences. The Pac-12 just doesn’t look playoff-bound no matter what.