The UCLA Bruins can win the Pac-12 South Division with a victory on Saturday night against the USC Trojans. But the Bruins can also book their ticket to the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Football Game on Friday if the Colorado Buffaloes beat the Utah Utes. Colorado is in Salt Lake City to battle the Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium in a 12:30 p.m. Friday kickoff.
With USC ineligible for postseason play, UCLA has a one-game divisional lead over both Utah and the Arizona St. Sun Devils. The Bruins hold the two-team tiebreaker with Arizona State thanks to their 29-28 win in Pasadena on November 5, but the Utes hold the two-team tiebreaker with UCLA thanks to a 31-6 win over the Bruins in Salt Lake City on November 12.
|Pac-12 South Division Standings|
|*USC is ineligible for postseason play|
If there is a three-team tie, the Sun Devils would win the division by virtue of ASU and Utah having a superior record within their division than UCLA (would be 3-2 each compared to 2-3 for the Bruins), and Arizona State's 35-14 win over Utah on October 8. The Sun Devils host the California Golden Bears Friday night in Tempe.
If Utah should lose to Colorado, they would fall to 4-5 in the Pac-12. That would leave a worst-case scenario for the Bruins of tying Arizona State at 5-4 (should the Bruins lose and Sun Devils win), and since UCLA owns the tiebreaker with ASU that would give the Bruins the division before they even played on Saturday night.
However, the is the little matter of Utah being a huge favorite over Colorado on Friday, favored by as many as 22 points per our friends at Odds Shark. The Buffaloes have struggled mightily in their first season in the Pac-12, at 2-10 overall and 1-7 within the conference. Colorado is 0-6 on the road this season, and they carry the burden of a 23-game road losing streak into Friday's contest in Utah. The last road win for the Buffaloes came on October 27, 2007 against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
If Colorado can find a way to get that elusive road win on Friday, the Bruins can start celebrating a day early.
The inaugural Pac-12 Championship Football Game will be played on Friday, December 2 at 5 p.m. PT on Fox. For more UCLA football news and information, be sure to read Bruins Nation.