SANTA CLARA—Friday was a championship night for Washington. A great, commanding, night of purple majesties.

But how about those USC Trojans?

If you can believe it, the Trojans may have won the day.

Washington had to work hard for its spoils; USC didn’t have to lift a finger.

Washington may now have to play Alabama and why would USC want to try that again?

Most teams have to play their way into the Rose Bowl–USC may have watched its way in.

First things first.  Washington clinched the Pac 12 title with a decisive, 41-10 win over Colorado at Levi’s Stadium. That win likely secured a spot in the four-team playoff, unless the playoff committee thinks it should now drop its No. 4 team after a 31-point blowout win.

You never know with these people. The first year of the playoff, TCU got short-sheeted after a 55-3 win over Iowa State.

Chairman Kirby Holcutt said this week the committee was “struggling” with No. 4  Washington vs. No. 5 Michigan, seen as some as a warning shot to Seattle.

The committee might be able, now, to put some separation between the “razor thin” margins between these two candidates.

Washington finished 12-1 to Michigan’s 10-2. Washington won its conference; Michigan failed to win its division.

Washington beat Colorado, 41-10, on a neutral field. Michigan beat Colorado, 45-28, in Ann Arbor.

Leaving Washington out of this year’s playoff after Friday night would be an unpardonable sin, a gaffe equal to leaving USC out of the 2003 title game.

So, naturally, Washington is worried. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.