The showdown between the PAC 12 North winner No. 13 Oregon Ducks and the PAC 12 South winner No. 5 Utah Utes has been diminished with the Ducks loss to the unranked Arizona State Sun Devils. Respect for the conference now hinges on the Utes and their vaunted defense to win the championship in a game that is forecast to be sloppy and wet at Levi’s Stadium about an hour outside of San Francisco. It will be hard to have a convincing win in those conditions and will be up to the Utes defense to impress the College Football Selection Committee in order to be voted for the fourth and final spot in the playoffs. With the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners and No. 7 Baylor Bears playing at AT&T Stadium in Arlington which has a retractable roof for the BIG 12 championship game, there will be none of the weather sloppiness that will plague the PAC 12 championship game. The highly ranked Sooners and Bears will have an exciting game that could sway the playoff committee in their perception of the best team deserving of the fourth spot because of the offensive fireworks that are sure to happen. A gritty defensive struggle might not be enough to attract the votes needed for the Utes to make the playoffs, so it looks like the Utes defense will have to have a stellar game and not just a gritty win in order to be selected for the playoffs.