Since the 5th week of the conference schedule we pretty much knew exactly who was going to be fighting for the Pac-12 Championship. After losing a really close game to USC in their first conference game, Utah went on a tear and never lost again. However, they never had to play Oregon. This is one of the few Championship Games this year where there is not a rehash of a previous game in the season. Utah plays in by far the harder of the divisions but Oregon feels like the stronger team. Because their loss was earlier in the season, Utah has managed to jump the polls steadily since their loss. Here is what we know so far.
Oregon’s two losses come from Auburn (they just beat Alabama) at the beginning of the season (27-21), and Arizona State (31-28). Utah embarrassed Arizona State 21-3 mid season so you would think that scores a bunch of points for Utah in the equation. Hold on though, Utah lost to USC 30-23 while Oregon beat that same squad 56-24. These two teams are more even than that though. Take a look at some of these stats:
|Yards Per Game||453.6||452.3|
|Passing Yards Per Game||239||273.6|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||214.6||178.6|
|Points Allowed Per Game||11.3||15.8|
|Yards Allowed Per Game||241.6||331.3|
While Utah appears to have the more balanced offense, you can see that they are both powerhouses in terms of offense and allow very few points per game in an offensively driven conference. On paper I would give a slight edge to the Utes of Utah but something tells me that Oregon will eventually find a way to win this game. It would speak to the level of chaos currently roaming the college football world. If Oregon wins there is no way they end up ahead of a Georgia, Alabama, or even a Baylor/Oklahoma squad. If Utah wins they will most likely be poised to be in the college football playoffs.
If this doesn’t get you hyped up for the game, I don’t know what will.