Predicting Vegas: Will It Be The Ducks Or Beavs Facing USC In Final Pac-12 Championship Game?

By 750 The Game Staff

You want a juicy Pac-12 storyline for 2023? Take your pick.

The final season of football in the “Conference of Champions” as we know it. The country’s best group of quarterbacks all going head-to-head. A returning Heisman winner. An Oregon State program with the biggest chip a 10-win team could possibly have on its shoulder.

Needless to say, plenty is riding on this season of Pac-12 football.

John Canzano is getting ready for the action and made his preseason prediction for who will make the final Pac-12 championship game in Las Vegas on Fri. Dec. 2nd.

But first, a disclaimer.

“Giving a prediction now, before anybody’s played a game, I will give you a right to change your  mind in, say, Week 5, after we’ve seen some football,” Canzano prefaced, before delivering his preseason prediction.

“Here’s what I will say for my prediction right now,” he continued. “I think USC gets to the title game. I think they’ve got the best player in Caleb Williams. And defensively they’ll be better than they were a year ago.”

Since 2022, the conference has done away with division winners clashing in the title game, and instead takes the top two finishers in the conference standings. That leaves more room for a possible rematch from a regular season bout, much like we saw last year with Utah twice getting the best of USC.

So, who will be other program to join the Trojans in Vegas?

The process of elimination is a good place to start.

“I think Utah’s schedule is brutal,” Canzano said. “And I think Washington’s schedule is too difficult down the stretch. I don’t like it. I wouldn’t feel great picking those teams.”

That only leaves a couple more contenders to choose from.

“I’m going to say USC,” Canzano said, “and the winner of the Civil War will make the Pac-12 Championship game.”

Now wouldn’t that be something? The last true season of Pac-12 football, and what could very well be the last rivalry bout between the Ducks and the Beavs for the foreseeable future, with a trip to Vegas on the line?

Canzano says: buckle up.

“I think it’s one of the Oregon teams, Oregon or Oregon State, against USC in Vegas for the final Pac-12 Championship. It could be a rematch of USC vs. Oregon in the regular season, or it could be Oregon State’s last opportunity to play USC. But I think it’s USC and one of the Oregon schools at the end of the rainbow.”

Oregon State has not won in Autzen Stadium since 2007. But after earning a preseason AP Poll nod for the first time in a decade, the Beavers are poised for one of the program’s most memorable seasons.

The Ducks, on the other hand, want redemption. Their trip to Vegas seemed imminent last season after starting 8-1, but the Beavers ripped the rug out from under their in-state rivals’ feet in the Civil War game in Corvallis.

Oregon State visits Oregon on Fri., Nov. 24th at 5:30 p.m. on FOX.

Listen to Canzano’s full comments on who he thinks gets to Vegas at the (—) mark of the podcast below.

John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.