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Updated Pac-12 South scenarios, tiebreakers

A typical showing from #Pac12AfterDark left UCLA in control of its own destiny in the Pac-12 South, but five teams remain in contention to win the division that features more ranked teams than any in college football.

We outlined the tiebreakers and some potential scenarios last week, and have now updated it to include USC over Cal, Arizona’s improbable win against Washington, Utah’s double-overtime win against Stanford and Oregon’s State landscape-changing upset of previous division-topper Arizona State.

If UCLA (5-2 Pac-12) beats Stanford and USC -- both games are at home -- it will play Oregon on Dec. 5 in the Pac-12 championship. Obviously great news for the Bruins, but for the Pac-12’s College Football Playoff chances, well, not so much. Should a two-loss Pac-12 South team beat Oregon, it seems unlikely the conference would be represented in the first four-team playoff.

If the Bruins drop one of their remaining games, things get interesting.

In the case of a two-team tie, the tiebreaker is head-to-head. That part is probably understood, but where things get hazy is when there are three or more teams tied. For that we turn things over to the official rulebook:

Multiple-Team Ties.

In the event of a tie for a division championship between more than two teams, the following procedure shall be used to eliminate all but two tied teams, at which point the two-team tie-breaking procedure shall be used.

1. Head-to-head (best record in games among the tied teams).

2. Record within the division

3. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all games played within the Conference), proceeding through the division.

4. Record in common Conference games.

5. Highest ranking in the College Football Playoff poll entering the final weekend of regular-season games.

Here's where the contenders stand entering this week:

UCLA

Pac-12 record: 5-2

Pac-12 South record: 3-1

Wins: Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Arizona, Washington

Losses: Utah, Oregon

Remaining games: USC, Stanford

USC

Pac-12 record: 6-2

Pac-12 South record: 2-2

Wins: Stanford, Oregon State, Arizona, Colorado, Washington State, Cal

Losses: Arizona State, Utah

Remaining games: UCLA

Arizona

Pac-12 record: 5-2

Pac-12 South record: 1-2

Wins: Cal, Oregon, Washington State, Colorado, Washington

Losses: USC, UCLA

Remaining games: Utah, Arizona State

Arizona State

Pac-12 record: 5-2

Pac-12 South record: 3-1

Wins: Colorado, USC, Stanford, Washington, Utah

Loss: UCLA, Oregon State

Remaining games: Washington State, at Arizona

Utah

Pac-12 record: 4-3

Pac-12 South record: 2-1

Wins: UCLA, Oregon State, USC, Stanford

Losses: Washington State, Arizona State, Oregon

Remaining games: Arizona, at Colorado

Here's a look at some hypothetical situations to show how the tiebreaker system works.

Hypothetical No. 1

  • ASU beats WSU and Arizona to finish 7-2

  • USC beats UCLA to finish 7-2

Tiebreaker steps:

  1. ASU wins the division based on its head-to-head win against USC.

Hypothetical No. 2 (four-team tie)

  • Utah beats Arizona and Colorado to finish 6-3

  • ASU loses to WSU, but beats Arizona to finish 6-3

  • UCLA beats USC, but loses to Stanford to finish 6-3;

  • USC also finishes 6-3

Tiebreaker steps:

  1. Record in games among tied teams: Utah would be 2-1; ASU would be 2-1; UCLA would be 2-1; USC would be 0-3. USC is eliminated, creating a three-team tie between Utah, ASU and UCLA, which all beat each other.

  2. Pac-12 South records: ASU 4-1, UCLA 4-1, Utah 4-1

  3. Record vs. USC: All three beat USC. Next step would be record vs. Arizona: All three beat Arizona. Next step would be record vs. Colorado: All three beat Colorado.

  4. Record in common conference games: The only common Pac-12 North opponent to add is Stanford, which eliminates UCLA. ASU would win the division because of its win against Utah.

Hypothetical No. 3 (five-team tie)

  • Utah beats Arizona and Colorado to finish 6-3

  • ASU beats WSU, but loses to Arizona to finish 6-3

  • UCLA beats USC, but loses to Stanford to finish 6-3

  • USC and Arizona also finish 6-3

Tiebreaker steps:

  1. Record in games among tied teams: Utah 3-1; Arizona 1-3; ASU 2-2; UCLA 3-1; USC 1-3. Utah would win the division because of its win against UCLA.

Got all that?

For Arizona to win: The only way Arizona wins the South is if it wins out, UCLA beats USC and Stanford beats UCLA.

For Arizona State to win: If ASU wins out and UCLA loses at least once, the Sun Devils will win the division.

For UCLA to win: Beat USC and Stanford.

For USC to win: If ASU loses to either WSU or Arizona and USC beats UCLA, the Trojans will win the division.

For Utah to win: See Hypothetical No. 3, which appears to be the Utes' best chance.

Questions? Hit me up on Twitter.