Pac-12 Notebook: BCS title game a long shot now

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Stanford may have won the Pac-12 North Division title on Thursday night, but the Cardinal also likely kept the conference from getting a team into the BCS Championship game.
The Cardinal moved up one spot to No. 4 in the BCS Standings with a 26-20 home win over Oregon, which fell from No. 2 to No. 6. Oregon looked to have a strong chance to move up to No. 2 if it finished the regular season undefeated, but now it looks unlikely that the Ducks or Cardinals can get into the top two.
That means the Pac-12 champion will likely head to the Rose Bowl and Oregon would likely land an at-large berth in a BCS bowl game if it can finish the season without another loss.
Stanford leads the North at 6-1 while the Ducks are second at 5-1. With a head-to-head victory over the Ducks, Stanford only needs to beat USC and Cal to defend its division title.
The South Division is not quite as easy to figure out, but Arizona State avoided an upset at Utah to remain in first place at 5-1. UCLA and USC both won to improved to 4-2, but Arizona's loss to UCLA put the Wildcats at 3-3 and likely knocked them out of the race.
All three South contenders have a tough match-up this week with UCLA hosting Washington on Friday night before USC hosts Stanford and Arizona State hosts Oregon State on Saturday.
1. Oregon lost a lot on Thursday night. The Ducks likely had their chance of winning the Pac-12 Conference and reaching the BCS Championship game evaporate and quarterback Marcus Mariota fell down the list of Heisman candidates.
2. Stanford is the one team that has found a formula to slow down the Ducks. Stanford has held Oregon to an average of 17 points in two wins over Oregon during the past two seasons while the Ducks are 20-0 against every other team during that time.
3. Ed Orgeron has brought excitement back to USC. The Trojans have won four straight to move into second place in the South and are nationally relevant again, as shown by ESPN's decision to host College GameDay at USC before the Stanford game on Saturday.
4. Jim Mora rolled the dice and came out a big winner at Arizona. Mora's move to put linebacker Myles Jack at running back would have backfired if he struggled or got hurt, but he averaged 20 yards per carry and ran for a score while also continuing a dominant season on defense.
5. The worst team in the conference will be crowned on Saturday. Colorado and California both remained winless in conference this week heading into their showdown in Boulder on Saturday.

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