Saturday was a humbling day for a lot of people involved in Pac-12 football, including those of us who try to forecast what will happen in those games.
The Pac-12 has been a fairly predictable conference this season, but not so this weekend. Washington State's 49-37 victory over Utah played out about as expected, and the same might be said of Stanford's 63-13 defeat of Cal - except for the part about the Cardinal scoring 63 points. And then Washington topped that production in a 69-27 win over Oregon State, after leading 48-0 through three quarters. Coupled with Oregon's 42-16 loss at Arizona, the Oregon schools were blasted by a total of 111-43. Who could have seen that coming?
The Ducks' loss enabled Stanford to win the Pac-12 North title. The Cardinal will meet Arizona State in the Dec. 7 championship game, thanks to ASU's 38-33 defeat of UCLA. The Sun Devils nearly blew a 35-13 lead, but stopped a UCLA drive that reached the 6-yard line in the last five minutes.
Individually, Stanford's Ty Montgomery scored touchdowns the first four times he touched the ball against Cal, with a 31-yard run and receptions of 50, 12 and 72 yards. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota's interception-free streak ended at 343 attempts.
Looking ahead to a Thanksgiving weekend that features five rivalry games (if you count Utah-Colorado), the most meaningful contest is Arizona vs. ASU in the Territorial Cup. That's because the Sun Devils can determine if they'll host the Pac-12 title game or they'll have to visit Stanford.
Saturday's results also clarified that the Pac-12 will have nine bowl-eligible teams. That means two teams likely will have to find vacancies outside of the conference's affiliations.
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