Utah's loss to Arizona dumps Pac-12 from College Football Playoff

The Pac-12 chances of back-to-back appearances in the College Football Playoff are officially gone.

The conference had two teams within striking distance — Stanford and Utah — and both lost in upsets on Saturday.

Stanford lost to Oregon earlier in the day, leaving Utah as the conference’s lone hope to continue the quest for a spot in the CFP’s Top 4. But it was not to be. Arizona upset No. 10 Utah 37-30 in double-overtime thanks to the heroics of backup quarterback Jerrard Randall. Randall replaced starter Anu Solomon, who suffered a head injury while attempting to slide in the fourth quarter.

Randall did not look confident. He threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the game and missed three other passes badly. But when the game was on the line and the Wildcats needed a touchdown in double-overtime, Randall made a near perfect 25-yard throw to Nate Phillips for what ended up being the game-winning score.

Jerrard Randall throws a 25-yard TD pass to Nate Philiips.
Jerrard Randall throws a 25-yard TD pass to Nate Philiips.

Utah tried to match the touchdown on its second possession of overtime, but couldn’t find an offensive rhythm, something that has plagued the Utes since their loss to USC on Oct. 24.

Utah was down 10 points on two different occasions in the first half, but stormed back in the second to take a 27-20 lead in the third quarter. Solomon’s six-yard run tied the game and the teams traded field goals in the fourth quarter to ultimately send the game to overtime.

The teams traded field goals again in the first overtime before Randall gave the Wildcats the improbable win.

Not only does this loss take the Pac-12 out of playoff contention, it also takes the Utes out of the Pac-12 South driver’s seat. Utah now has two conference losses, which makes it tied with USC and UCLA, which is currently locked in a close contest with Washington State. If UCLA loses, USC would control the Pac-12 South because it holds the head-to-head against the Utes. Utah still has to play UCLA and Colorado. USC’s remaining games are against Oregon and UCLA.

For more Utah news, visit

For more Arizona news, visit

- - - - - - -

Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty comments and college football discussions on Facebook