By: Evan Brunelle
It’s officially August, which means that at long last, there will be college football played THIS MONTH. In a little over three weeks, the Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators will kick off from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL, marking the official start of the 2019-2020 season. Over the next couple weeks, I will break down the top questions to think about going into the season, and they’ll surely be answered as the season goes on.
10. Will the PAC-12 get a birth in the College Football Playoff?
Last year, the PAC-12 was one of the two odd men out when it came to the CFP selection.
While the Big Ten also did not have a team represent their conference, they had two teams [Ohio State (5), Michigan (7)] finish just outside the four team selection and ultimately play in the New Year’s Six bowls. In the final CFP ranking, the PAC-12’s three highest ranked teams were Washington (9, 10-3), Washington State (13, 10-2), and Utah (17, 9-4).
While Washington and Washington State both presented solid cases for the committee, they fell short of the four team field. The Pac-12 has only been represented twice in the five year existence of the CFP, the least out of any Power Five conference.
Washington returns a lot of talent for head coach Chris Petersen, Oregon hopes to have another standout year from QB Justin Herbert with a highly touted recruiting class under emerging head coach Mario Cristobal, and Washington State hopes to build off last year’s promising season after QB Gardner Minshew had a breakout year under fan-favorite HC Mike Leach.
While these three teams are the most likely to compete, don’t be shocked to see a team like Colorado or USC in the conversation as well. But will a team from the West Coast win enough games AND play a strong enough schedule to deserve a spot in the final four? This is definitely something to watch for into December when the committee selects this year’s CFP participants.
Cover photo via: Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times
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