- The Washington Huskies won the Pac-12 last season.
- The Huskies lost eight players to the 2019 NFL Draft.
- The Oregon Ducks and quarterback Justin Herbert struggled in away games last season, which cost them.
The Pac-12 conference was dominated by the North Division and that looks to be the case again in 2019.
Washington, who won the conference last season, enters the season with the same odds to make the College Football Playoff (+500) as Oregon. Are either a good bet to make it?
Washington Huskies’ 2020 CFP Odds
|Option||Odds at Bovada|
Huskies Lost A Lot Of Talent
The Huskies are one of the teams that tends to reload rather than rebuild, but it is worth noting that they lost a ton of talent off their 2018 team.
Eight of their players were taken in the NFL Draft, including many key members of their secondary, like star corner Byron Murphy and safety Taylor Rapp.
Byron Murphy! ??? pic.twitter.com/9QHno8hNjH
— WeAreDBnation (@WeAreDBNation1) September 16, 2018
It’s not worth worrying about too much, though, as the Huskies develop players very well and they have ample talent coming in – especially on offense with quarterback Jacob Eason.
Combined with an easy schedule, this team has a path to make it to the College Football Playoff.
Huskies Must Avoid Surprise Losses
The Huskies are always going to be relevant on a national level while Chris Peterson is on the sidelines. However, he’s had a tough time guiding his teams to the perfect – or close to perfect – seasons necessary to make it into the College Football Playoff conversation.
— Bri Amaranthus (@BriAmaranthus) October 13, 2018
Two years ago, it was a surprise loss at Arizona State that derailed their CFP hopes. Last year, an opening loss to No. 9 Auburn was forgivable, but how did they lose at Cal?
Washington Schedule Is Very Easy
Washington’s strength of schedule in the Pac-12 is No. 7.
They have an absolute breeze as they get USC, Oregon and Washington State at home. Their non-conference schedule includes Eastern Washington, Hawaii and BYU.
This team is more than capable of going undefeated and given that the schedule is so weak, one loss is all it takes for them to get scratched from the CFP list.
Oregon Ducks’ 2020 CFP Odds
|Option||Odds at Bovada|
Oregon Returns A Lot Of Talent
The Ducks are among the Pac-12 favorites because quarterback Justin Herbert is back. He’s expected to be one of the top quarterbacks taken in the 2020 NFL Draft.
With him back, along with the top two running backs and plenty on defense, this is arguably the most complete roster in the conference.
QB1 in the 2019 draft: Oregon QB Justin Herbert pic.twitter.com/Lggff1Z07M
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 13, 2018
The concern is that the offense had hiccups last year. Whether it was Herbert or the play-calling, this team scored just seven points against Michigan State in the RedBox Bowl, 25 at Utah, 15 at Arizona and 20 at Washington State.
Much of that came on the road as they averaged 41.3 points per game at home compared to 27.3 on the road.
Can they be more consistent – especially in away games? That will tell the story of their season.
Schedule Is Challenging
The issue is the schedule, which looks too tricky for them to get into the College Football Playoff.
They’ll start with Auburn in a neutral site matchup in Arlington, then they’ll also have to go to Stanford, Washington and USC. There’s got to be at least one loss in there.
What’s The Best Bet?
These are two good teams with star quarterbacks leading the way, but there are too many questions. For starters, nobody respects the Pac-12 right now, so these teams will have to go above and beyond to impress the committee.
Next, they’ll have to remain perfect.
It doesn’t take long for Justin Herbert’s (@Jherby) arm strength to POP on tape.
This kids got JUICE. Tight window and he allows his guy to win! pic.twitter.com/JiquTJGnrQ
— Brooks Austin (@Brooks_AustinFS) May 13, 2019
If I had to pick one, I’d go with Washington as they have a better chance of going undefeated given their simple schedule. At the same time, they always have that surprising loss somewhere.
As for Oregon, I’m just not ready to trust them on this level just yet. I’d bet against both teams making the playoff at -800.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.