Desmond Howard says conference has overtaken SEC

In recent years, the SEC has dominated college football, winning five out of the last six national titles. However, according to ESPN College GameDay analyst Desmond Howard, it’s the Pac-12 that is the best conference this season.

During his appearance on ESPN First Take on Friday, Howard was asked if he expects a Pac-12 team to make the playoffs this season. He not only believes they will, but he also expressed his admiration for the league’s performance throughout the year.

“At the beginning of the season, I didn’t pick a Pac-12 team to get to the College Football Playoff,” Howard admitted. “However, as the season progressed, I began to realize the immense talent and depth in the Pac-12. This conference currently has seven teams ranked in the AP top 25.”

Unbelievably, the Pac-12 boasts seven teams in the top 20 of the AP Poll. These include: No. 7 Washington, No. 8 Oregon, No. 10 USC, No. 15 Oregon State, No. 16 Utah, No. 18 UCLA, and No. 19 Washington State.

This weekend, several of these teams have crucial matches. Oregon and Washington will face off in Seattle, while USC plays at Notre Dame.

Howard anticipates that multiple Pac-12 teams will remain strong contenders for the rest of the year.

“I know you’re used to hearing about the SEC as the dominant conference week in and week out, year after year,” Howard explained. “But this year, it’s the Pac-12 that stands out. As we witness these teams play and the season unfolds, I firmly believe that the Pac-12 will likely have a team in the College Football Playoff.”

Howard also noted that even if the Pac-12 doesn’t have an undefeated team, it still has a chance to secure a playoff spot. He cited Ohio State’s inclusion in the previous year’s College Football Playoff, despite losing late in the season to Michigan, as evidence for this.

This season marks the final year of the Pac-12 in its current form, providing an opportunity for a remarkable finish.

“When the College Football Playoff committee evaluates teams, they consider the resume and the wins accumulated throughout the season. I believe this will strengthen the Pac-12’s case for a playoff berth,” stated Howard. “Let’s not forget that just last year, a highly-ranked Ohio State team suffered a significant loss against their arch-rival, Michigan, at home. Despite this, they managed to reach the College Football Playoff through other means. So even if Washington loses at the end of the season, I think they would have a solid argument to make it in.”


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