Pac-12 power ratings: Washington’s title odds drop as the stretch run begins; USC’s number soars

The Pac-12 is represented by two of the top ten betting favorites to win the College Football Playoff.

Washington’s epic win over Oregon raised the program’s profile, boosted quarterback Michael Penix Jr.’s Heisman Trophy campaign, and increased coach Kalen DeBoer’s bargaining power in negotiations for a contract extension.

But it did have one effect on the Huskies: it reduced their chances of winning the national championship.

The University of Washington’s odds of winning the College Football Playoff have dropped significantly in the last 48 hours, indicating growing confidence in the Huskies.

Prior to kickoff on Saturday afternoon, the Huskies were 13-to-1 to win the championship. According to the most recent BetMGM odds, they are 9-to-1 and in the same division as Florida State and Ohio State.

Here are the 10 betting favorites:

Georgia: 11-to-4 Michigan: 3-to-1 Florida State: 9-to-1 Ohio State: 9-to-1 Washington: 9-to-1 Penn State: 13-to-1 Oklahoma: 14-to-1 Alabama: 18-to-1 Texas: 18-to-1 Oregon: 25-to-1

Those numbers track with other major sportsbooks.

The Huskies are 9.5-to-1 to win the title at FanDuel and 8-to-1 at DraftKings.

Bovada is more optimistic, placing UW’s odds at 7.5-to-1.

And if you’re curious, USC is now 80-to-1 at BetMGM following the blowout loss at Notre Dame.

Prior to the wipeout, the Trojans were 22-to-1.

To the power ratings …

1. Washington (6-0/3-0)

Last week: 2 Result: beat Oregon 36-33 Next up: vs. Arizona State (7:30 p.m. on FS1)

Comment: The Huskies couldn’t have asked for a better post-Oregon opponent, as Montlake’s letdown this week will be as epic as the Oregon game itself.

2. Oregon (5-1/2-1)

Last week: 1 Result: lost at Washington 36-33 Next up: vs. Washington State (12:30 p.m. on ABC)

Comment: Don’t let the final score in Seattle overshadow the Ducks’ gutsy performance: they outgained UW by 126 yards and played well enough to win not only the game but also the conference championship. The challenge now is getting to Las Vegas.

3. Oregon State (6-1/3-1)

Last week: 3 Result: beat UCLA 36-24 Next up: idle

Comment: The bye comes at an ideal time as OSU prepares for back-to-back trips to Tucson and Boulder — a stretch that appears far more difficult now than it did in the offseason, particularly for a defense that has allowed 78 points in two conference road games.

4. Utah (5-1/2-1)

Last week: 7 Result: beat Cal 34-14 Next up: at USC (5 p.m. on Fox)

Comment: Assume quarterback Cam Rising won’t play the rest of the season, because after missing 10 months and undergoing a total knee reconstruction, Rising won’t be the same even if he does. Or something along those lines.

5. UCLA (4-2/1-2)

Last week: 5 Result: lost at Oregon State 36-24 Next up: at Stanford (7:30 p.m. on ESPN)

Comment: Defense progress is not quite equal to offense regression. Having said that, the schedule is easier this year (no Oregon or Washington). The conference, on the other hand, is more difficult. When you combine all of those ingredients in a pot, the resulting stew smells like mediocrity.

6. USC (6-1/4-0)

Last week: 4 Result: lost at Notre Dame 48-20 Next up: vs. Utah (5 p.m. on Fox)

Comment: In the interest of full disclosure, I did not include the Trojans in this week’s Associated Press top-25 ballot. They were blown out of the field in their lone matchup against a ranked opponent, Notre Dame. They battled unranked Arizona at home and unranked Colorado on the road, and their six victories came against teams with a combined record of 13-26. At this point in the season, that’s not a ballot-worthy resume.

7. Arizona (4-3/2-2)

Last week: 8 Result: won at Washington State 44-6 Next up: idle

Comment: I’m not sure which is more impressive: freshman quarterback Noah Fifita’s performance or the significantly improved performance at the line of scrimmage (on both sides of the ball). Combine those elements, and you have a team that should make the playoffs for the first time in six years.

8. Washington State (4-2/1-2)

Last week: 6 Result: lost to Arizona 44-6 Next up: at Oregon (12:30 p.m. on ABC)

Comment: It’s not time to panic in Pullman, at least not yet, with the postseason looming. WSU’s schedule eases considerably after the trip to Eugene, with Arizona State, Stanford, Cal, and Colorado following in quick succession. If you win two of those four, your bowl streak will continue.

9. Colorado (4-3/1-3)

Last week: 9 Result: lost to Stanford 46-43 (2OT) Next up: idle

Comment: While we do not believe it is likely, let us not rule out the possibility that CU will not win another game. The home games (Arizona and OSU) will be difficult, and the road games (UCLA, WSU, and Utah) will be difficult, especially since the game in Pullman is on a Friday.

10. Cal (3-4/1-3)

Last week: 10 Result: lost at Utah 34-14 Next up: idle

Comment: The Bears are exactly what we expected them to be: subpar on offense (again), better than average on defense (again), not nearly talented enough to compete with the best in the conference (again), and teetering on the brink of a sub-.500 record (again). However, changing coaches is not the solution.

11. Stanford (2-4/1-3)

Last week: 12 Result: won at Colorado 46-43 (2OT) Next up: vs. UCLA (7:30 p.m. on ESPN)

Comment: For history buffs, the comeback in Boulder was the largest in school history and the fourth-largest in conference history, trailing only UCLA’s 34-point victory over Texas A&M in 2017, UCLA’s 32-point victory over Washington State in 2019, and Cal’s 30 point victory over Oregon in 1993.

12. Arizona State (1-5/0-3)

Last week: 11 Result: did not play Next up: at Washington (7:30 p.m. on FS1)

Comment: With Stanford’s win, the spotlight on a winless conference season shifts entirely to ASU, which faces a brutal stretch run of opponents. In other words, the Sun Devils have already lost to Cal and Colorado and will not face Stanford.

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