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Pac-12 the good, the bad and the unknown week 12: Colorado and Washington State lived up to the hype

Colorado came out on top in a showdown of Pac-12 surprise powers for 2016

NCAA Football: Washington State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Colorado vs. Washington State - The Buffs pulled away late, but that was a great game that lived up to its billing in Boulder. It was especially fun to watch two programs that have struggled so much the past 15 years, play well, in a big game.

Falk vs. Liufau - These two veteran quarterbacks exchanged shots for most of the game in one of the most fun quarterback battles we have seen all season.

Phillip Lindsay - One of the most underrated players in the nation. He showed why is right there with Christian McCaffrey in the argument for best running back in the conference. He had 144 yards and two touchdowns rushing and five receptions for 50 yards.

Justin Herbert - Herbert put together a monster game on the road against one of the conference’s best defense with 300 plus passing, three touchdowns without a pick and 44 yards rushing with a TD. He also threw a perfect strike to Darren Carrington for the winning score.

Oregon’s defense - This unit has been picked on and made fun of all year, so it was nice to see them hold Utah’s offense to just 21 points (they got 7 from a special teams gaffe) and do what they needed to do to get the Ducks a win.

USC staying strong - Knowing USC in recent history, I held off on declaring them as having officially turned the corner going into Saturday, because they have been so inconsistent as a program since Pete Carroll left, but they took care of business at UCLA. They could make some serious noise if they get into the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Ronald Jones & the USC offensive line - Sam Darnold is getting a lot of hype, but the USC offensive line is the biggest reason why the Trojans have become a force. This ultra-talented, veteran group is living up to their potential, turning Jones back into a star and giving Darnold all the time in the world to find receivers.

McCaffrey’s last ride - I think we saw Christian McCaffrey take a magnificent bow in his Pac-12 conference career in The Big Game. He sadly has been forgotten because of Stanford’s slow start and his early injuries, but his 284-yard, three touchdown performance against Cal was a thing of beauty.

Oregon State - It has been a rough start for Gary Andersen, but this was another big win for the Beaver program. Blowing out any Pac-12 team is a big step forward in the evolution of the Oregon State program and sets them up for the chance for a nice finish to the season if they can win The Civil War.

Washington’s defense - The Husky offense looked a little out of sync again, but the Husky defense stood up against Arizona State. They gave up just 15 yards rushing and held the Sun Devils just three points while the game was still in-play.

The Bad

Utah loss for the Pac-12 - Oregon’s upset of Utah was not good for the Pac-12. It really stings Washington because winning at Utah was their biggest win. It doesn’t help USC because their loss to Utah looks worse now. It doesn’t help Colorado, because they have less to gain in style points by beating Utah next week and it makes the Colorado/Utah game a little less marquee next week.

The Unknown

Oregon/Utah review - Did #Pac12Refs finally get it right. From an objective view, it seemed to me they made the right call in giving Carrington the touchdown, but I could understand if Utah fans were a little pissed given what was called on the field. I would love to hear what the majority of the conference thought.

Pac-12 hot seat coaches - The burners are on high all around the conference (Arizona/Arizona State/Cal/Oregon/UCLA). Will we see any of these programs make a move in the next couple of weeks or this season?