ESPN's SP+ predicts winner of Oregon-Washington rematch in Pac-12 Championship
Bill Connelly’s SP+ likes the Ducks in the final Pac-12 Championship.
On Friday, the third-ranked Washington Huskies will face the fifth-ranked Ducks in Las Vegas for the conference title. The game is believed to be a play-in for the College Football Playoff. It’s the first matchup between two league teams inside the AP top five in nearly 50 years.
A storybook ending if ever there was one.
Connelly’s predictive model has Oregon winning 36-28. It gives the Huskies a 31% chance to win the rematch.
Oregon arrives at Las Vegas at 11-1. The only blemish on the record is a 36-33 loss to UW on Oct. 14 — a defeat that has sat with the team ever since. Led by a ferocious defense and a high-flying offense, Oregon leads in the nation in scoring margin — outscoring opponents by an average of 29 points a game — and is the only team in the FBS to score at least 30 points in every game.
The Ducks are heavily favored.
But Washington has risen to overcome every single test put in front of it this season. A top-10 showdown with Oregon the first time around? Yep. A ranked USC team on the road? UW put up 52. A ranked Utah team the following week? UW shut the Utes out in the second half. A top-15 Oregon State team in Corvallis? Washington made crucial fourth-quarter plays to win by two.
And then, last weekend, with the title game looming, Washington made enough plays in the fourth quarter to survive Washington State in the Apple Cup and kick a walk-off field goal for a 24-21 win. Washington continues to find a way to win football games, and it became the first conference team since 2010 Oregon to go 12-0 during the regular season.
Friday’s matchup will feature future NFL wideouts and Heisman finalist quarterbacks, elite offensive lines and aggressive play-callers. It should be a fantastic matchup.
Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT on ABC.