Entering Week 13, the Pac-12 had just four bowl-eligible teams, and not a single team had been eliminated. The Pac-12 now has seven eligible teams and three out of contention for a bowl.
The crazy Saturday started with California snapping a 9-game losing streak to rival Stanford in the “Big Game” with a 24-20 victory. Chase Garbers scored from 16 yards out with 1:19 remaining to put the Golden Bears ahead for good. With the loss, Stanford fell to 4-7, meaning the Cardinal will miss a bowl for the first time since 2008 – Jim Harbaugh’s second season on campus.
Arizona State and Washington also became becoming bowl-eligible on Saturday in unlikely fashion.
The Sun Devils snapped a 4-game losing streak by handing No. 6 Oregon its first Pac-12 loss of the season and likely ended the Ducks’ playoff hopes. The teams combined for 39 fourth-quarter points. Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels passed for 408 yards and three touchdowns for Arizona State in the victory.
Not to be outdone in fourth-quarter points, Washington’s State and Oregon State combined for 48. The Cougars scored the game’s final 13 points in the last 2:10 to stun the Beavers in a match-up of 5-5 teams. After Dezmon Patmon reeled in a 14-yard touchdown from quarterback Anthony Gordon with more than two minutes to play, the Cougars forced a turnover on downs capped a 58-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run from Max Borghi with two seconds remaining. At 5-6, Oregon State will have to channel its inner Sun Devil and upset Oregon to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2013. Among Power 5 teams, only Kansas has gone longer without a bowl appearance.
Arizona State and UCLA fell out of bowl contention with losses to ranked teams. The Wildcats were throttled by No. 7 Utah 35-7, while UCLA couldn’t keep up with rival and 23rd-ranked USC in a 52-35 defeat.
Colorado kept its bowl hopes alive – at least for one week – with a 20-14 home victory over Washington. Colorado quarterback Steven Montez accounted for 279 total yards in the victory. The Buffaloes were able to preserve the win by running the final 5:09 off the clock. For Colorado to become bowl-eligible, it will need to upset Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday night. Colorado hasn’t won a road game against a ranked team since 2002.
- Bowl-Eligible: Clemson (11-0), Virginia (8-3), Virginia Tech (8-3), Wake Forest (8-3), Louisville (7-4), Pittsburgh (7-4), Florida State (6-5), Miami (6-5)
- Do or Die: Boston College (5-6), North Carolina (5-6)
- Eliminated: Duke (4-7), NC State (4-7), Syracuse (4-7), Georgia Tech (3-8)
- Overview: Duke, NC State and Syracuse were all eliminated from bowl contention with ACC losses. Boston College will have to defeat Pittsburgh and North Carolina will need to top NC State to become bowl-eligible.
Big 12 (6)
- Bowl-Eligible: Baylor (10-1), Oklahoma (10-1), Oklahoma State (8-3), Iowa State (7-4), Kansas State (7-4), Texas (6-5)
- Do or Die: TCU (5-6)
- Eliminated: Texas Tech (4-7), West Virginia (4-7), Kansas (3-8)
- Overview: Texas Tech and West Virginia fell out of bowl contention with hard-fought losses on Saturday. TCU will need to beat West Virginia on Friday in Fort Worth to avoid missing a bowl game.
Big Ten (8)
- Bowl-Eligible: Ohio State (11-0), Minnesota (10-1), Michigan (9-2), Penn State (9-2), Wisconsin (9-2), Iowa (8-3), Indiana (7-4), Illinois (6-5)
- Do or Die: Michigan State (5-6), Nebraska (5-6)
- Eliminated: Purdue (4-7), Maryland (3-8), Northwestern (2-9), Rutgers (2-9)
- Overview: Purdue fell out of bowl contention while Michigan State and Nebraska kept their hopes alive. The Spartans will close with Maryland at home while the Cornhuskers visit Iowa.
- Bowl-Eligible: Utah (10-1), Oregon (9-2), USC (8-4), Arizona State (6-5), California (6-5), Washington (6-5), Washington State (6-5)
- Do or Die: Colorado (5-6), Oregon State (5-6)
- Eliminated: Arizona (4-7), Stanford (4-7), UCLA (4-7)
- Overview: Arizona State, California and Washington State became bowl-eligible with wins by a combined eight points. Arizona, Stanford and UCLA were all eliminated from bowl contention. Oregon State will need to upset Oregon to play in a bowl. Colorado will need to upset Utah.
- Bowl-Eligible: LSU (11-0), Alabama (10-1), Georgia (10-1), Florida (9-2), Auburn (8-3), Texas A&M (7-4), Kentucky (6-5), Tennessee (6-5)
- Do or Die: Mississippi State (5-6), Missouri (5-6)
- Eliminated: Ole Miss (4-7), South Carolina (4-7), Vanderbilt (3-8), Arkansas (2-9)
- Overview: Tennessee and Kentucky each became bowl-eligible on Saturday. Mississippi State will need to beat rival Ole Miss on Thanksgiving to get to six wins. Missouri will need to beat Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Photo courtesy of California athletics