Flawless Finish For Arizona State May Be Only Hope Of Pac-12 Reaching College Football Playoff

Written By C.J. Pierre on October 6, 2021
Arizona State Leads Pac 12 College Football Hopefuls

The state of the Pac-12 Conference is not strong.

The college football Power 5 conference that often suffers from an “East Coast bias” is in danger of being left out of the College Football Playoff.

Before the season started, the Pac-12 had five teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Now, after just five weeks of play, there are only two: No. 8 Oregon, which lost in heartbreaking fashion to rival Stanford on Saturday, and No. 22 Arizona State, which upset then-20th-ranked UCLA on the road.

Now the conference that was already facing long betting odds to make it to the college football playoff has an even taller mountain to climb. But if you wanted to bet on a Pac-12 team to shock the college football world, the Sun Devils may be the team for you.

Arizona sportsbooks like ASU to reach Pac-12 championship game

Within the Pac-12, Arizona State has arguably looked the best on the field. All four of its wins have come by at least 19 points. Their only loss came on the road against still-undefeated and No. 10-ranked BYU.

Furthermore, many online sportsbooks in Arizona are buying in on ASU this season. Many sports betting apps that allow you to place a wager on conference champions have the Sun Devils first or at least tied for first.

However, the Sun Devils are still a long shot to win the national championship due to the current state of the conference. According to FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona, the Devils don’t even crack the top 20 to win the title, holding the 23rd-best odds. In fact, most sports betting apps aren’t even giving you the option of betting on the Sun Devils to make the CFP.

That might be because of ASU’s schedule going forward and oddsmakers projecting more losses. They have road games with Utah and Washington. Both teams were ranked entering the season. Not to mention the Sun Devils also play USC at home.

However, Arizona State could make a big jump in the eyes of the betting experts with a win over Stanford. As of Monday, they are favored to win that game with the spread at . A major win in a standalone primetime matchup over the team that just upset Oregon could move the line on the Sun Devils.

Tough road for Pac-12 to make College Football Playoff

If you are a college football fan, you have seen the twists and turns of what it takes for your team to contend for the national championship. But since the College Football Playoff was put in place in 2014, no Power 5 conference has suffered more than the Pac-12.

In the seven years of the playoffs, the Pac-12 has only been a part of two: Oregon in 2015 and Washington in 2017. The Pac-12 has missed out on the last four playoffs.

After Oregon upset Ohio State earlier this season, many thought this would be the year for the conference. But Saturday’s loss to Stanford may have killed the Pac-12’s hopes. Even if both Oregon and ASU win the rest of their games and played each other in the Pac-12 championship, it would be tough.

Right now, both No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Georgia are basically shoo-ins. And No. 5 Cincinnati is on the verge of being the first non-Power 5 school to make the playoff. Of course, there is also the potential for undefeated Big Ten and Big 12 champions.

The good news for the Pac-12 is that the ACC may be in even worse shape. Clemson has suffered two shocking losses and has not looked good in four of their five games this season. Also, a Pac-12 champion Oregon may have the edge over a Big 10-winning Ohio State.

We are only five weeks into the season, but the Pac-12’s hopes to get into the dance may rest on both Arizona State and Oregon winning the rest of their games. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will announce its first of six rankings on Nov. 2. And then we will see where the Pac-12 stands.

Photo by AP / Darryl Webb
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C.J. Pierre

CJ Pierre is a multimedia journalist currently residing in the Phoenix-Metro Area in Arizona. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. CJ has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career. Most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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