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Utah loses to Oregon, Pac-12 misses College Football Playoff

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Dec 6, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks safety Brady Breeze (25) intercepts a pass intended for Utah Utes wide receiver Demari Simpkins (3) during the first half of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 cannot have nice things.

That’s the dispatch Friday night from Santa Clara, where the conference ate its own. The Pac-12 watched its championship game turn into a College Football Playoff elimination game. Utah, the shining hope of a downtrodden league, played the first half with the poise of a herd of panicked wildebeest in a 37-15 loss to Oregon.

And so the weakest of the Power Five conferences will miss the playoff for the third straight season, and for the fourth time in the six years of the playoff’s existence. No other Power Five league has missed the playoff more than twice. It is a major problem for the Pac-12, without an easy solution in sight.

This playoff snub was the cruelest yet for the West Coast. In the previous two seasons, the Pac-12 was eliminated from consideration weeks ahead of the championship game. This time, the Utes were exactly where they needed to be with one game to go.

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