Stanford still controls its destiny in the Pac-12 North, but Oregon is lurking
Despite its 38-36 home loss to Oregon last Saturday, Stanford can still win the Pac-12 North by simply beating California at home this Saturday.
While that's easier said than done, the path to the Pac-12 title game is very clear for the Cardinal. However, if Stanford manages to lose to Cal, the Pac-12 North picture becomes much murkier.
If Stanford were to lose to Cal, Oregon would have the inside track at the Pac-12 North title. The Ducks would need to beat USC and Oregon State to finish at 7-2 in the Pac-12, which would tie Stanford's 7-2 mark.
Washington State, who beat Oregon earlier this season, can also finish the season with a 7-2 conference record by beating Colorado and Washington.
However, if all three teams finished with a 7-2 conference record, the Ducks would win the three-way tie because they would have only lost one game to Pac-12 North opponents. In this scenario, the Cougars and Cardinal would have both lost twice to Pac-12 North foes.
Stanford can simplify the process by beating Cal. But if they fail to close it out, the Ducks could snatch the title away.