The Pac-12 South division has been less than impressive this season. With USC still ineligible for the postseason, the mediocre have risen. Either Arizona State, Utah or UCLA will take on Oregon or Stanford for the inaugural Pac-12 title game a few weeks from now.
Each team has one game left. Arizona St. and Utah are favored in their matchups against Cal and Colorado, respectively while UCLA is certain to be an underdog against arch rival USC.
Here is how the Pac-12 South will shake out under each possible scenario.
In this case, it's easy. UCLA will represent the South against the Ducks or Cardinal. Yes, the potentially 6-6 Bruins will be one win away from the Rose Bowl. Or one loss away from no bowl at all. You can sense the excitement down in Westwood.
If UCLA loses, then the scenarios shoot off in all different directions. If two teams end up tied, the first tie-breaker is always head-to-head.
If Utah wins and Arizona St. loses, Utah will be tied with UCLA and take the division by virtue of their blowout win over the Bruins last Saturday in Salt Lake City
If Utah loses, UCLA takes the division even if Arizona St. wins by virtue of their head to head victory two weeks ago in Pasadena.
Here we have tie-breaker carnage. If UCLA loses and ASU and Utah both win, then all three teams are tied at 5-4. Here is how the champion would be determined step-by step:
1st tiebreaker—Head to head matchup: we have a circular knot here, with UCLA beating Arizona St., who beat Utah, who beat UCLA. This tiebreaker is no help.
2nd tiebreaker—Record within the division: Taking away games played against the Pac-12 North, UCLA would be 2-3 with the loss to USC. Arizona St and Utah, by winning their games next week, would finish at 3-2. Result: UCLA eliminated.
3rd tiebreaker—Now that UCLA is eliminated, the tie-breaker reverts back head-to-head matchup. Arizona St. beat Utah back handily last month, giving them the edge.
Result: Arizona St. wins Pac-12 South.