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Oregon's loss to Washington opens door for USC to get to Pac-12 championship

USC is one of four one-loss teams atop the Pac-12

The race for the Pac-12 football championship just got a lot more interesting. 

Washington upset Oregon 37-34 in a thrilling ballgame in Eugene on Saturday. The loss drops Oregon to 6-1 in the Pac-12 and creates a four-way tie atop the standings. 

USC (7-1), Oregon (6-1), Utah (5-1) and UCLA (5-1) are all deadlocked. Utah (vs. Stanford) and UCLA (vs. Arizona) should both win tonight to maintain the four-team tie. 

That four-way tie will no longer exist after next weekend, because all four teams play each other. Oregon's loss opens the door for USC to get to the Pac-12 title game with a win over UCLA next Saturday. If Oregon had remained unbeaten, and lost to Utah, there would still be the possibility of a three-way tie atop the conference.

Now, there can only be two one-loss teams left after next weekend. 

The Trojans are hoping they are one of them.


So what happens if multiple teams tie for first? With the move away from North and South divisions this season, tiebreakers will be necessary to determine who plays in the Pac-12 championship game. 

Here are the multiple-team tiebreakers, according to the Pac-12:

In the event of a tie between more than two teams, the following procedures will be used. After one team has an advantage and is “seeded”, all remaining teams in the multiple-team tie-breaker will repeat the multiple-team tie-breaking procedure. If at any point the multiple-team tie is reduced to two teams, the two-team tie-breaking procedure will be applied.

  1. Head-to-head (best cumulative win percentage in games among the tied teams). If not every tied team has played each other, go to step 2.
  2. Win percentage against all common conference opponents (must be common among all teams involved in the tie)
  3. Record against the next highest placed common opponent in the standings (based on record in all games played within the conference), proceeding through the standings.
    1. When arriving at another group of tied teams while comparing records, use each team’s win percentage against the collective tied teams as a group (prior to that group’s own tie-breaking procedure) rather than the performance against individual tied teams.
  4. Combined win percentage in conference games of conference opponents (ie, strength of conference schedule)
  5. Highest ranking by SportSource Analytics (team Rating Score metric) following the last weekend of regular-season games.
  6. Coin toss