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Nobody on Utah's media platform was what you'd call chipper after USC spoiled Utah's undefeated bid Saturday, but nobody was crying, either. Quarterback Travis Wilson's caked-on eye black was not running down his cheeks, nor was he sniffling about opportunities lost. Coach Kyle Whittingham was not staring off into the distance, bereft and bleary-eyed.

Utah can still win the Pac-12 South.

It can still win the Pac-12 Championship.

It can still play in its first College Football Playoff — as three one-loss teams did last season — and win it — like last year's Week 9 AP No. 13, Ohio State.

"We still have a good season ahead of us, still on top in the South, so we have to make sure we learn from this," Wilson said.

Power 5 membership came with, if not exactly a "get out of jail free card," at least a commuted sentence. This isn't 2008, when near-losses to Oregon State, New Mexico and TCU nearly doomed Utah's special season, or 2010, when TCU ended the suspense in early November.

That said, Utah fans might want to start hoping for a little help.

The Pac-12 will likely be shut out of the playoffs unless either Utah or Stanford wins out, and even in that scenario, the four spots could go to one-loss teams in the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Big 12.

Both Stanford and Utah have only played one currently ranked team — No. 24 UCLA and No. 15 Michigan, respectively — and have just one ranked opponent remaining — No. 9 Notre Dame and the Bruins.

It would help the conference's chances tremendously if both North and South leaders won the remainder of their regular season games.

In that scenario, the loser of the Pac-12 Championship Game in Santa Clara, Calif., on Dec. 5 would likely land in the Rose Bowl — or if the Pac-12 is still somehow shut out of the playoffs, the Fiesta Bowl.

But based on the win likelihoods of ESPN's Football Power Index, mocked by eventual crow-eaters last week for giving unranked USC a 72 percent chance of beating undefeated Utah, there's only a 5.4 percent chance of Stanford and Utah meeting with just two losses between them.

Granted, the Pac-12 could land two New Year's Six berths anyway. The Fiesta Bowl took the three-loss Wildcats after eventual runner-up Oregon walloped them in Santa Clara last season.

And playoff talk aside, FPI gives Utah a 17.5 percent chance of winning the Pac-12 and a fate no worse than the Rose Bowl.

Bad news, though, if you think the computers are onto something: That's a lesser chance than FPI gives USC, at 20.9 percent, a sleeping giant seemingly awoken in Los Angeles.

"I don't know how they were 3-3 going in, but they're really good," Whittingham said. "Can't give them enough credit."

As Wilson noted, Utah has just one loss to two for USC, UCLA (FPI: 5.1% chance to win conference) and Arizona State (0.3%), but the Trojans now hold a head-to-head trump card against the Utes.

FPI sees USC's visit to Cal this week as its most perilous, with a 33.1 percent chance of being upended by a Golden Bears team trying to prevent a second straight midseason tailspin. The Trojans later host Arizona and UCLA and visit Oregon.

What FPI can't measure is whether the sickening feeling of defeat will condition Utah to avoid it or simply weary Utah. Whittingham said his team couldn't let USC "beat us twice," as TCU seemed to do in 2010, when the Utes looked out of sorts in a 28-3 loss at Notre Dame the following weekend.

Omnipresent senior linebacker Gionni Paul said Saturday night was a reality check. Senior safety Tevin Carter felt they'd been "big-headed." USC wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster might have said it best with his actions, calling forth junior cornerback Dominique Hatfield as he rolled to the sideline and tossing Hatfield out of bounds with a single hand, like you'd chuck a fish back into a lake.

Midway through the second quarter, it began to crystallize that a memorable season wasn't going to come easy for Utah.

Now, we'll see if it's to come, at all.

Twitter: @matthew_piper —

Oregon State at Utah

P Saturday, 5 p.m.

TV • Pac-12 Network