There is a lot of football left to play in the 2017 season in what could be a year without a Pac-12 team as one of the four College Football Playoff elites. The three-team race in both divisions could be decided in the final week of the season with the last ones standing headed to Santa Clara on Dec. 1. Here’s three games that carry great significance in the last month of the season.
3. Nov. 10: Washington Huskies vs. Stanford Cardinal
With the 13-7 loss to Arizona State, Washington will have to win out from here to be considered for the College Football Playoff. But the biggest block in the road for last year’s runner-up could be in Palo Alto vs. Stanford. The Cardinal has emerged as a much stronger team as of late after dropping two early back-to-back road games (USC, SDSU). This battle is likely going to be for a Pac-12 North crown.
2. Nov. 11: USC Trojans vs. Colorado Buffaloes
The last two meetings between the Buffs and Trojans have been decided by mere possessions. A total of six points has separated the teams during that time, with USC winning both contests in the fourth quarter. This year could be CU’s chance to claim victory, snapping an 11-game losing streak dating back to 1927. It would also shuffle the Trojans out of the Playoff picture for good with another loss. The Trojans average margin of victory over opponents this season is only 10 points, and three of the games decided within a field goal or less.
1. Nov. 25: Washington Huskies vs. Washington State Cougars- The Apple Cup
The Apple Cup in the State of Washington is a glorified holiday and this year is no exception. In a what might be a play-in game for the Pac-12 championship, both the Huskies and Cougars will need to win out to draw the nation’s attention. The last time Washington State won the in-state rivalry was in 2012— a 31-28 overtime upset of then No. 25 Washington in Mike Leach’s first season. Since that time the Huskies have dominated the Cougars, rattling off four-in-a-row by a combined score of 148-57. Despite the down years for the WSU, this could be the year a vulnerable Washington team is ripe to be picked off.