The Pac-12 conference has not had a representative in the college football playoff since the Washington Huskies qualified in 2016. Since the new playoff format started, only Washington and Oregon have represented the conference in the postseason. That has a chance to change this season. This year, the Pac 12 has two strong candidates to make the college football playoff in Oregon and UCLA.
Oregon probably has the best chance out of the two teams to make the college football playoffs, especially after their big win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus this past weekend.
Mario Cristobal, the head coach of the Oregon Ducks, has done an outstanding job recruiting and getting the best out of those recruits. He is a Nick Saban disciple and has brought a lot of physicality to the Pac 12. Cristobal made a great hire a few years ago when he had to replace his offensive coordinator. Cristobal hired Joe Moorehead, who is one of the brightest offensive minds in the game.
Moorehead called an excellent game against Ohio State. The Ducks physically imposed their will against the Buckeyes. Every team that makes the college football playoff has to have solid quarterback play, and the Ducks have that in Anthony Brown. He is not the flashiest guy, but he does all the little things the right way.
After this surprising victory, Joel Klatt, an analyst at Fox Sports and who called the Oregon –Ohio State game, had some very interesting comments about Oregon football and the Pac-12.
“What a monumental win, not only for the program, the Oregon Ducks but for that conference, the Pac-12, That’s where I will start. They have needed a win like this like they’ve needed air to breathe in the last few years. This has been a conference that everybody has passed over in recognition for national awards and playoff conversations,” Klatt said.
Many people who cover college football wondered if this was the year Chip Kelly could get the Bruins to play solid football in all three phases and finish games. They showed they can against a solid SEC opponent in LSU that they are for real. They have a dynamic quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
When UCLA and Oregon face off in the Rose Bowl on October 23rd, this has a chance to be one of the biggest games of the season. Most importantly, the Pac-12 has a very good chance of being part of the biggest games again.
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Photo courtesy of Joseph Maiorana of the USA Today.