Conference championship weekend got off to a wild start on Friday with No. 13 Oregon taking down No. 5 Utah, 37-15, in the Pac-12 championship game.
The loss knocks the Utes out of the College Football Playoff and opens up the door for No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Baylor, who will meet on Saturday in the Big 12 championship.
With the win, Oregon most likely punched its ticket to the Rose Bowl for the first time since defeating Florida State in Pasadena in 2015.
Oregon Jumped Utah in the First Half, Building a 20-Point Lead at Halftime
Oregon showed up in a big way on the big stage of the Pac-12 championship game at Levi’s Stadium on Friday night.
The Ducks were locked in from the start and dominated the Utes in the first half, building a 20-0 lead at halftime.
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert hit a wide-open Johnny Johnson III for a 45-yard TD to highlight the huge performance.
Utah rallied to cut the deficit to 23-15 late in the third quarter, but two rushing scores from Oregon’s CJ Verdell in the fourth sealed the victory for the Ducks. The sophomore running back finished with 208 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Impact on College Football Playoff Rankings
The unveiling of the final College Football Playoff rankings and the selection of the top four teams that will advance to the national semifinals will take place on Sunday, following this weekend’s conference championship games.
Coming into this final week, the rankings were as follows:
1. Ohio State (12-0)
2. LSU (12-0)
3. Clemson (12-0)
4. Georgia (11-1)
5. Utah (11-1)
6. Oklahoma (11-1)
7. Baylor (11-1)
8. Wisconsin (10-2)
9. Florida (10-2)
10. Penn State (10-2)
Two of Saturday’s marquee championship games will go a long way in deciding this season’s College Football Playoff.
With Utah going down in Friday’s Pac-12 championship game, the Big 12 championship game could be a potential play-in game for the final four.
No. 6 Oklahoma will meet No. 7 Baylor at 12 p.m. ET at AT&T Stadium. The winner will have an inside track to get into the CFP if No. 4 Georgia goes down to No. 2 LSU in the highly anticipated SEC Championship game, which will kick-off shortly after 4 p.m. ET.