It’s a tradition for Oregon State to ruin the plans and ambitions of other teams. By beating Arizona State 35-27 they didn’t just take out the Sun Devils from playoff contention, they also made the race for the Pac-12 South division title wide open again, meaning it’s going to take us a bit more time before we know who comes out of the division to play for the conference championship.
Because Arizona State had a number six national ranking and only one conference loss before traveling to Corvallis and losing in front of 40,525 fans, winning out meant making the playoff. And now, they’re sharing the lead for the division with USC, UCLA and Arizona, while Utah, with three losses, are still in the picture. And the Sun Devils are no longer going to be a playoff team.
Arizona State, who lost to UCLA earlier this season, have to play a home game against Washington State, usually a given win, and then make the short trip to play Arizona in a game that might decide the title in the division between two very fierce rivals.
USC have just one more conference game remaining before their Notre Dame showdown. They’ll play their rivalry game on the road against UCLA, and by the road we mean in the same city as their own campus.
UCLA, who looked like they’re out for the count, have new life and reason to live. They play USC and Stanford, both games at home, and might be in the most comfortable position to finish first.
Arizona have the most difficult of the remaining schedules, having to play on the road against a three-loss Utah team that are loved by the committee and then at home against Arizona State.
And Oregon State? They got a big game from Terron Word and Storm Woods as the two combined to run for 273 yards and score two touchdowns.
But in terms of playing for something? It’s only about making a bowl game for a third straight year, something that hasn’t happened since their 2006 to 2009 run while ruining the playoff hopes of their bitter rivals, Oregon. They need to win against either Oregon or Washington to clinch a bowl berth. They’ve already kinda ruined it for Arizona State. Maybe the same kind of motivation can end their Civil War losing streak.