As it stands, Stanford (8-2 [7-1]) controls its destiny for the Rose Bowl. If they beat Cal, they will clinch the divison. If Stanford were to lose, though, it leaves the door open for Oregon (7-3 [5-2]) and Washington State (7-2 [5-2]) to move in. Oregon has the second best chance to make it in as all they need to do is tie with Stanford. If Washington State tied with Stanford, they would lose on the head-to-head tiebreaker. If Stanford lost to Cal, Oregon beat USC and Oregon State, and Washington State beat Colorado and Washington, there’d be a pretty intricate three game tie.
Pac-12 Tiebreaker Situation
When it comes to multiple teams, there are many layers that have to be taken into effect:
Best Result in Head to Head Games
Between the three teams, the first tiebreaker is the best record in head to head games. These three teams are involved in a classic circular win scenario where Oregon beat Stanford, Stanford beat WSU, and WSU beat Oregon. This leaves all of them 1-1 and moves to the next level.
Record in Intradivisional Games
This level focuses on each team’s record in the Pac-12 North:
Oregon: 4-1 (if they win out)
Stanford: 3-2 (if they lose to Cal)
Washington State: 3-2 (if they win out)
Now that we have that figured out, here’s the list of the scenarios.
Oregon and Washington State lose at least once or Stanford wins: Stanford
Stanford loses, Washington State wins out: Stanford
Stanford loses, Oregon wins out: Oregon
Stanford loses, Oregon and Washington State wins out: Oregon
So, there you have it. It will be an interesting two weeks and certainly no one thought Oregon and Washington State would be in a position to play spoiler for Stanford after the first month of the season.
(Let me know if I missed something here as well!)