It’s the midway point in the Pac 12 season, or close enough, and the boys in the front office have done it again.

The conference has one viable playoff contender, No. 7 Washington, but has positioned it perfectly to be eliminated as soon as this Saturday.

The league knew Washington, going into the season, was that most likely contender.

So, after a winning trip to UCLA last weekend, UW had to fly back to Seattle straight over Eugene, the site of this weekend’s game against hated Oregon.

Washington will play two straight road games while Oregon waits, in their luxury Nike-funded complex, after an open week.

This sets up well for the Ducks, who likely have no shot at the playoff even if they beat the Huskies thanks to a come-from-ahead loss to Stanford and playing three non-con stinkers.

I’ve been around a long time but don’t pretend to know everything about the Pac, so here are my mid-season power rankings paired with a nice Willamette Pinot and some things I didn’t know.

 

1: Washington: I knew this was a veteran Huskies team, but not that the Huskies, for the first time since 1995, did not have a true freshman play in the season opener…

2: Oregon: I knew Marcus Mariota played at Oregon and that current players Troy and Travis were brothers, but not that Matt Mariota, younger brother to Marcus, was listed on the roster as a junior tight end…

3: Colorado: I knew the Buffs were 5-0 for the first time since 1998, but not that they were 2-0 in conference for the first time since joining the Pac…

4: Washington State: I knew East Carolina grad-transfer QB Gardner Minshew II was having a good season, but not that he has thrown for at least 300 yards in every start…

5: USC: I knew the Trojans boasted a good all-time record against Colorado, this week’s opponent at the Coliseum, but not that the record was 12-0 by a combined score of 419-169… The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.