Before the season ever started, many fans were targeting the 2017 Apple Cup as a potential repeat of the year before: A game in which the Washington State Cougars and Washington Huskies would be playing for the right to represent the North Division in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Turns out, only WSU was able to hold up its end of the bargain: Before Washington’s game with Utah was even over, the Huskies were officially eliminated from contention for the Pac-12 North title when the Stanford Cardinal beat the California Golden Bears in the Big Game.
The Cardinal, who play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish next week, finished at 7-2 in the conference. USC, which defeated UCLA earlier in the evening, will represent the South after finishing 8-1.
Washington currently is tied with Utah, but even if the Huskies complete that victory and also defeat WSU, the best they could do is end up in a tie with Stanford at 7-2, which they would lose on a tiebreaker by virtue of their head-to-head loss to the Cardinal last week.
Meanwhile, WSU would also tie the Cardinal at 7-2 with a win over Washington, but because the Cougars won their head-to-head matchup with Stanford, WSU would be declared division champs.
Again, these are the only two scenarios for the North: Either WSU or Stanford will play USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game. UW will not.