This is the second of two games tonight involving top-25 ranked teams, this time it’s a high-stakes showdown of PAC-12 royalty. Although early in the season this game could have definite implications for both the conference playoff and potentially a CFP birth. Especially after a horrendous bowl season last year where the PAC-12 actually set the record for the worst bowl performance after only Utah was able to win their game.
I also think the winner of this game safely moves into the top-10. This could also determine the outcome for the North Division, which is widely expected to be contested by this Stanford team and Washington. Washington started the season with a narrow loss to Auburn and with a win Stanford would move into sole first place. When Stanford and Washington play in November it could very well be for all the cookies in the North. So it’s imperative that Stanford have as good of a record as possible going into the contest at Washington.
In addition to Northern division implications, it could blow open the South Division if USC loses. ESPN analysts expect the Southern division to go USC and Utah, first and second respectively. Utah’s road will be really difficult this year with Washington and Oregon at home and USC and Stanford on the road, but USC will want to avoid any concerns.
This rivalry has totally belonged to USC who lead 61-32-3 all time. Though the Cardinal have won 6 of the last 10, despite USC winning the last two contests. Both sides sent a lot of talent to the NFL so both sides come in with something to prove.
Currently predictions are on the side of the Cardinal at the Farm but by less than a touchdown despite playing at home. Really what this reads to me is “get ready for a wild game” and I expect it to be tightly contested by both sides due to the importance of this game for the postseason. Let’s be honest, this is the first real match up where PAC-12 After Dark could come into play… I’m certainly intrigued…
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