Pac-12: Stanford, Oregon lead the North, UCLA the South

The NCAA football season is at its halfway point and conference schedules are just beginning. On the West Coast, the Pac-12 is turning into a very competitive conference in both the North and South divisions.

Thus far, it looks as if the winner of the North division will host the conference championship game in December. To date, the North, which has produced the first two conference bowl champions, is 10-4 in conference play, while the South is 2-8.

The only unbeaten team in the South is UCLA. If the Bruins able to host the final game, they will have earned it as the Bruins still must face the Stanford Cardinal and Oregon Ducks on the road during the regular season.

Currently in the North, the Stanford Cardinal sits at 3-0 in conference play and 5-0 overall. Oregon is undefeated in the North at 2-0 in conference play and 5-0 overall as well as Oregon State at 2-0 and 4-1 overall.

Washington State is 2-1 in conference play and 4-2 overall, while Washington is 1-1 and Cal 0-2.

Even though Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State are undefeated in conference play, only Stanford has faced teams that could factor into the Pac-12 race.

Stanford’s first three opponents this season in Pac-12 play have been Arizona State, Washington and Washington State and the three are 4-3 combined in conference play.

Oregon however has only played Cal and Colorado and Oregon State has defeated Colorado and Utah. Those three teams have no wins in conference play this season.

Stanford, even though they play both Oregon and Oregon State later, has the advantage early with getting both Washington schools out of the way.

Even if the two Washington schools were to win their remaining conference games, they would need Stanford to loss two and the Cardinal has not done that in 4 seasons.

In the South division UCLA is 1-0 in conference play and 4-0 overall. Trailing them is Arizona State at 1-1, Arizona 0-1 and Colorado, USC and Utah all at 0-2.

UCLA is on track to take the South. Their only Pac-12 game thus far was a win over Utah last Thursday and this week takes on a weakened Cal.

However, after this week, UCLA has a set of more difficult opponents with two straight road games at Stanford then Oregon.

Just the Bruins and Utah are the sole teams in the South that were unlucky to draw both the Cardinal and the Ducks this season from the North division. The added misfortune for UCLA is they must play both teams on the road. Nevertheless, UCLA could lose both and still be in control their division if it were to win its other conference games.

That too is true for both Arizona State and Arizona. Though both already have lost a conference game, either can win the South by winning out, since UCLA is on the calendar for both this season.

It is still early but the leaders in each division are the teams most feel would be there UCLA in the South and powerhouses Oregon and Stanford in the North.

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