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CU running back Phillip Lindsay, right, is 66 rushing yards away from reaching 1,000 for the season.
CU running back Phillip Lindsay, right, is 66 rushing yards away from reaching 1,000 for the season.

Two weeks remain in the regular season, and the Pac-12 South division is far from settled.

In fact, Colorado is one of three teams still in the hunt for the South championship.

No. 12 CU (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) leads the division by a half game over Southern California (7-3, 6-2) and a full game over Utah (8-2, 5-2).

While several scenarios could play out over the next couple of weeks, here’s a basic look at how this week’s games impact CU’s division title chances.

If CU beats Washington State …

1. The Buffs clinch the South if USC loses to UCLA and Utah loses to Oregon.

2. The Buffs stay in first but don’t clinch if USC and/or Utah also win.

If CU loses to Washington State …

1. The Buffs stay in the race if USC also loses.

2. The Buffs are eliminated if USC wins.

Considering USC is a heavy favorite against rival UCLA, the Buffs’ chances of winning the South are significantly better if they can take care of business against Washington State.


• CU comes into Saturday’s game against No. 20 Washington State having lost 23 consecutive games against ranked opponents. In each of those games, however, CU was unranked.

• The last five times CU has been involved in a matchup of Top 25 teams, the Buffs came out on the wrong end. In each case, the opponent had a higher ranking.

• This is the first time since 2012 that the team leading the South division faced the team leading the North this late in the regular season. In 2012, North leader Stanford defeated South leader UCLA in the regular season finale. They met in the Pac-12 title game a week later and Stanford won that matchup, too.

• CU running back Phillip Lindsay needs just 66 rushing yards to reach 1,000 on the season, which would be just the 15th 1,000-yard season in CU history. Lindsay has 311 receiving yards on the season, and could become the first player in school history with 1,000 rushing and 300 receiving yards in the same season.

• With 59 career touchdown passes, CU quarterback Sefo Liufau needs just one more to tie the school record of 60, held by Cody Hawkins (2007-10).

• The Buffs have been dominant at Folsom Field this season, going 4-0 and winning easily. At Folsom, the Buffs have outscored the opposition, 163-39 and they’ve outgained their opponents 2,044 to 731.

• Washington State is riding an eight-game winning streak. The Cougars have not won nine in a row since a 9-0 start to the 1930 season.

• The Cougars are seeking their second win against a Top-15 team this season (they knocked off then-No. 15 Stanford, 42-16, on Oct. 8). Coming into the year, they had not defeated a Top-15 team since 2003.

• CU and Washington State have both had punt returns go for touchdowns in the past two weeks. Prior to that, neither team had had returned one for a touchdown since 2005.

Brian Howell:, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.

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