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The best 2016 Pac-12 football games left on the schedule

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The last two weekends will be pure joy.

NCAA Football: Washington State at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

We only have a month left of the season and we are getting to where every game is infinitely important. It has been a strange season, so a lot of the games already played we thought were really important at the time like Stanford/Washington aren’t and a lot of games left on the schedule no one was excited about are now THE games that matter this season.

With that in mind, here is a 12-pack of the best games of the final month of Pac-12 regular season play.

12. The Territorial Cup (Arizona State at Arizona) November 25

Low stakes, but high pride. One thing to keep in mind here is that Arizona State might have five wins coming in, needing a win to get to a bowl game and help keep Todd Graham off the hot seat.

11. The Civil War (Oregon at Oregon State) November 26

There likely will not be anything other than pride at stake in this year’s Civil War, but that might make it even more fun as these two teams could be evenly matched for the first time in almost 10 years. Emotions should be high as the Beavers try to end an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry.

10. The Big Game (Stanford at Cal) November 19

Okay, the last of the low stakes rivalry games. I’m putting this one higher than the two above because there will be bowl implications and Cal has their best chance to win in a long time and snap a six-game losing streak in the rivalry.

9. UCLA at Colorado November 3

This is a last ditch effort for UCLA to try and salvage the season and at least make a bowl game while also being another quiet test for Colorado. I would also expect this to be Josh Rosen’s return, which could make it a game which should be on upset watch on a Thursday night.

8. Cal at Washington State November 12

This one becomes a lot more important if Cal can somehow find a way to beat Washington in Berkeley the week before, but still should be incredibly important even if they don’t. Mike Leach’s spread against the Bear Raid is always fun and has high potential to produce not just a lot of offense, but entertaining and well-played offense.

7. Washington at Cal November 5

One of the land mines between Washington and the College Football Playoff and Pac-12 Championship Game. This one is more intriguing than it might seem because the Huskies are coming off a road game at Utah and because the only team who can realistically challenge the Washington schools in the North is Cal, but if they are, they HAVE to win this game.

6. USC at UCLA November 19

This game isn’t nearly as exciting as it looked going into the season, but it is still a must-watch. The Trojans may still be alive in the South race and UCLA could be fighting for their bowl eligibility along with both coaches fighting for their job security.

5. USC at Washington November 12

The Trojans may not be a juggernaut right now, but this might end up being Washington’s toughest game before the Apple Cup. The Trojans are still maybe the most-talented teams in the Pac-12 and getting better each week right now, so they might be a very scary opponent when they come up to Seattle in few weeks.

4. Washington State at Colorado November 19

This became an epic showdown? Who would have thought going into the season? This has become a huge second-to-last game showdown between the secondary division favorites with massive implications. Whoever wins this game will likely still have a great shot at winning their division and whoever loses might be put in a tough spot going into their last game.

3. Washington at Utah October 29

The only game this weekend on the menu. The Huskies get what might be their only first real test as they head to Salt Lake City. The Utes are hard to read, but at 7-1, they are a serious threat to a Husky team that nearly lost to Arizona the last time they went on the road in the South. Also, Utah quarterback Troy Williams is actually a Washington transfer.

2. Utah at Colorado November 26

The Rocky Mountain Showdown, or whatever you want to call it, will most likely decide the South. It should be one of the most electric environments in Boulder in ages and the Buffs have a very good shot at winning the game, and in the bigger picture, winning the South.

  1. The Apple Cup (Washington at Washington State November 25

We could be setting up for one of the biggest Apple Cups of all-time. Even if one of these teams has one more loss than the other going into the game, the North will still be at play because of a tie-breaker. So strap in and tune into The Palouse where the Huskies try to grab a win and possibly keep their Playoff hopes alive.