The top teams in the Pac-12 square off Friday night, as No. 10 Washington (4-0) hosts No. 7 Stanford (3-0) at 9 p.m. ET. Washington, which is favored by 3.5 points, is playing for its College Football Playoff life. In fact, so is Stanford.
This one should be a barnburner.
“This is probably the most significant game that (Washington) has had in five, six, eight, maybe even 10 years,” PAC-12 Network host Mike Yam said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “That’s how huge this game is for them. Knowing they’re a top-10 team, knowing the expectation level is potentially a College Football Playoff spot – this game is sort of like a play-in game. The reality is, the Pac-12 is only going to get one team. And the other death sentence that this conference has is the fact that they play on the West Coast. So one of them is going to have two losses and is going to really probably have to overcome a lot.”
Yam then took aim at the “East Coast bias” that many believe permeates all of sports, especially college football.
“If you live on the East Coast or the Midwest, you have no problem taking a team from the Big Ten or the SEC that doesn’t necessarily have to play tough opponents and slot them in (one of the top spots),” Yam said. “The AP Top 25 poll is an absolute joke. Michigan, if I’m not mistaken, just got a first-place vote. Tell me who they’ve played. Who have they beaten?”
Yam is not mistaken. No. 4 Michigan (4-0) received one first-place vote in this week’s poll. The Wolverines have beaten Hawaii, UCF, Colorado and Penn State. The best team of that bunch, without question, is Colorado (3-1), which just beat Oregon, 41-38, in Eugene this past Saturday.
“They’re better than advertised, but are you telling me that AP voters realize how good Colorado is?” Yam asked. “To me, it’s hogwash. If you look at defensively what Washington’s got and the fact that it’s a Chris Petersen team, I don’t think they’re overhyped. I certainly think they belong in the top 10. I think they’re going to be able to compete against Stanford.”