Washington is the top Dawg. The Huskies are the Pac-12's only remaining unbeaten team, and they certainly look like the league's most complete squad at this point. Friday's 44-6 dismantling of defending champion Stanford -- the Cardinal's worst loss since Jim Harbaugh's first season there in 2007 -- makes Washington the Pac-12's legitimate contender for the College Football Playoff.
The extent of Stanford's fall is tough to gauge. Yes, the Cardinal were humiliated. But we'll give Stanford the benefit of the doubt -- three Pac-12 titles in four years should earn at least that -- and project another resurgence from David Shaw's squad. Such bounce-backs have become an annual occurrence for the Cardinal, after all. It's reasonable to view Friday's whipping through a prism of Washington excellence and not count Stanford out of the New Year's Six picture unless it loses to a weaker team than the Huskies.
Oregon's bowl outlook has taken a beating. After a 51-33 loss to Washington State, the Ducks' porous defense faces Washington and California in its next two games. There's a real danger that Oregon could fall to 2-5, especially because the Golden Bears are one of the teams whose bowl stock rose Saturday, with a 28-23 upset of Utah.
At this rate, the Ducks won't make a bowl game. They must win four more games to attain eligibility. That's certainly possible, but we can't justify projecting that to happen unless their trajectory changes.
As for the rest of the projections, Colorado continues to surge and is alone atop the Pac-12 South, USC moves up the pecking order but still has more to prove, and the Cougars are back in the picture. Arizona State suffered a blow at the hands of the Trojans, while Arizona fell out entirely. Here's the full rundown:
College Football Playoff semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Washington
Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual: Stanford
Valero Alamo Bowl: UCLA
Holiday Bowl: Colorado
Foster Farms Bowl: Utah
Hyundai Sun Bowl: USC
Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State
Cactus Bowl: California
At large: Washington State