The last undefeated Pac 12 team fell from grace Friday night as the visiting Sun Devils pulled off an upset, defeating the hosting Bears 24-17. The loss potentially leaves the Pac 12 on the outside looking in for a playoff spot among the four participants chosen by the CFP Committee. At least one of the several one loss teams would need to run the table and finish 12-1 to attract the Committee’s attention, a long shot considering the extreme balance within the league this year. Oregon, Utah, Washington, California, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State all have only one loss on this early season, but unless one team steps up and creates a serious run, we may be looking at a two, or possibly three loss champion from the Pac 12 in 2019.
Around the Nation: North Carolina scared the beejabbers out of a sloppy Clemson team Saturday afternoon. The game’s outcome was decided in the last minute as the Tar Heels tried unsuccessfully on a two point try, falling to the Tigers 21-20. Wake Forest remains unbeaten at 5-0 as the Demon Deacons went on the road and survived Boston College 27-24. Likewise SMU remained unbeaten, improving to 5-0 by rolling over South Florida on the road, 48-21. This is the best start for the Ponies since the old SWC days of the 1983 season when they also started 5-0 before falling to #4 Texas 15-12. The Mustang’s best season in program history was a 10-0 run in 1982. A 17-17 tie with Arkansas in the regular season finale was the only blemish on the 1982 record. SMU went on to defeat Pittsburgh 7-3 in the Cotton Bowl. SMU finished 11-0-1 on the 1982 season with a #3 ranking in the Billingsley Report and #2 in the AP and Coaches Polls. Looks like Sonny Dykes may be putting together something special in Dallas. Stay tuned. Opposite the Pac 12, the Big 10 flourishes with undefeated teams. Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin and Minnesota all remain unbeaten after 5 weeks of play. That ties the SEC for the most unbeaten teams in a conference. The SEC boasts 5 unbeaten teams as well, with all 5 among the nation’s Top Ten Teams, #3 LSU, #4 Auburn, #5 Alabama, #6 Georgia and #7 Florida. Amazing. It will be interesting to see how conference play in the SEC shakes down in 2019. Can one or even two teams comes out of that slug fest unscathed? Hard to imagine. The Oklahoma defense is noticeably improved. The Sooners demolished Texas Tech 55-16 with the defense, at times, making plays reminiscent of the glory days of old. But the real test won’t come until they face Texas. My eyes are already glued toward the Red River Showdown on October 12.