There were some big changes in win projections this week (generated using G.A.W.P., learn more here), as teams showed what they were made of and either measured up- or didn’t. Several out of conference losses have dropped the bowl participants significantly, although the PAC still projects to have more teams than slots.
Arizona and ASU both lost games that this metric felt they were heavily favored to win, which has cratered their win expectations, especially when combined with a drop in their average win probability for the remainder of the season. Washington edged USC this week for the playoff spot, the big win over Stanford at home not impressing the model as much as it impressed the pollsters. The battle for spoiler is between Colorado and UCLA, although Utah continues to climb as well.
Cal course-corrected from their big opening win, dropping an average of 7.99% chance to win each remaining game on the schedule. G.A.W.P. only gives the Bears a 27% chance to make a bowl game. Washington is the class of the league, but Oregon continues to impress and is given a 1% shot at going undefeated.
Right now, nine teams have more than a 50% chance of being bowl eligible. Oregon State, Cal and ASU continue to be the league’s bottom dwellers, but Arizona’s loss has nearly knocked them out of the running, as well.
This list will continue to shrink as the games get tougher, but early returns suggest it will at least be large enough to fill every bowl spot.
Week 2 wasn’t the undefeated weekend the PAC 12 need to make a lot of at-large bowl noise, but the strongest contenders largely held serve and while the conference may not get the most bids, the teams that make it will be battle-tested.
Key Game This Week
UCLA Bruins at Memphis Tigers
Saturday, September 16 at 9:00 Pacific/10:00 Mountain
It’s not the most thrilling contest, but in a pretty weak schedule it’s the best we’ve got. The line is close and Memphis has been built in a way that will play into UCLA’s weaknesses. Although not an epic opponent, this game will at least give us an idea of how much of UCLA’s success has been related to the strength of their competition.