What a great College Football season that this has been. There have been so many twists and turns and we at Elldee Sports do not think the twists are finished just yet. The PAC-12 Championship game, in Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, is a de-facto playoff play-in game for the Utah Utes so they will be playing with everything to gain. With that being said, The Oregon Ducks would love nothing more than to crash the Utes party and deny them a playoff berth!
Utah’s Kyle Whittingham is, quite possibly, the most underrated coach in all of college football. He has a team built from cast-offs, players who are by no means average but not considered the cream of the crop by the “big schools”. In fact, the Utes have made it to #5 and only 7 points from perfection with a team that has consistently received a lower recruiting ranking than this week’s opponent. That is because these players have not let arbitrary rankings define them. Leaders Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss, both from Hallandale High School in Florida, have bought into this program and the coach. They have had amazing seasons and the offense has been supported by the #3 defense in the country. Expect these guys to give their all and hope to reach heights never before seen by this program.
What can be said about the Oregon Ducks? They came into the year with sky high expectations, great recruiting classes, beautiful facilities, and a future 1st-round NFL pick at QB to lead them. What else could you want? Well, turns out that they could’ve used two more wins. They opened the season in dominating fashion, handling a highly-touted Auburn team at a neutral site until crumbling in the 4th quarter and dropping the opening game. Yes, they should have beaten Auburn, the same team that just beat Alabama. The Ducks handled the adversity well and reeled off nine consecutive wins before letting complacency take hold once again. They dropped a game at Arizona State after positioning themselves in the driver’s seat for the playoffs. For Oregon players and fans, this has got to be extremely frustrating. It is clear they have one of the best teams in the country but cannot seem to keep their heads right. All is not lost, though, as QB Justin Herbert has another chance to impress the NFL scouts and lead his team to the Rose Bowl during his Senior year. The defense is top 25 caliber and the offense is averaging the exact same amount of yards as the Utes so this game should be an all out brawl.
So who wins this matchup? The Utah Utes with a shot at the playoffs or the Oregon Ducks with nothing to lose? After running the numbers through the Elldee Sports Formula, it appears that the bright lights and pressure of the situation will be too much for Utah. Oregon will win this convincingly, even though they come in as the underdog!
Oregon 43 – Utah 26
Oregon +6.5 and Over 46