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Ranking the Pac-12 football games of 2015 - 11-20: Getting close to the top

Avinash Kunnath & Jack Follman continue their countdown to the best Pac-12 football game of 2015.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Part one:

Part two:

Part three:

Part four:

20. December 30 Holiday Bowl – Wisconsin 23 USC 21

AK: Wisconsin 23, USC 21: Pac-12 South title curse continues! The Trojans had no interest in being back in San Diego and spent much of the game going touchdown or three and out. Wisconsin's defense held USC under 300 yards and made sure they never sniffed victory.

JF: Not a ton of points scored here, but was tight throughout and another USC game where it seemed like they had victory right in their grasp but just couldn't make that play or two they needed to make it happen.

19. November 13 – USC 27 Colorado 24

JF: Oh Colorado, Oh. I think this was a Thursday or a Friday night game and a very fun one as the Trojans had to fight back to keep their South title hopes intact and pulled it off in the final minutes.

18. September 4 – Boise State 16 Washington 13

JF: The Return of Chris Petersen ended in heartbreak for the Huskies, but was an entertaining second half as the Huskies roared back after doing nothing in the first half and almost sent it to overtime until they missed a long field goal as time expired.

17. September 19 – UCLA 24 BYU 23

JF: The first classic game of the Josh Rosen era was a nail biter in the Rose Bowl the Bruins barely, barely pulled off.

16. September 12 – Washington State 37 Rutgers 34

AK: Cougar comeback #1! It was a game that Washington State probably would have won handily if their special teams didn’t run around with its pants on fire. A punt return touchdown and a kick return touchdown gave Rutgers a late lead, forcing Luke Falk to put together a clutch drive. It was one of three Washington State wins that came down to the wire.

JF: This was the turning point for the Cougars as they pulled off a miracle on the East Coast that probably saved their season. Also a defining moment for Luke Falk that was the start of his All-Pac-12 run.

15. November 21 – UCLA 17 Utah 9

JF: The South was fought for in Salt Lake City and UCLA ground out a tough as nails win against a battered Utah team and forced mistakes at just the right time. UCLA proved they can win a smashmouth affair on the road.

14. September 19 – Colorado 27 Colorado State 24

JF: This underrated rivalry produced another gem as the Buffs pulled out a must-win against their bitter rivals in the final moments.

13. October 24 – Washington State 45 Arizona 42

AK: Offense engaged, defense optional. Washington State and Arizona combined for over 1100 yards, but Wazzu did lead the entire way. The Wildcats kept on trying to come back, but Arizona’s defense tended to be much much worse than the Cougars.

JF: The conference's two most wide open offenses met up in Tucson for a shootout for the ages with both teams fighting for potential bowl eligibility. Luke Falk and the Cougars were clutch down the stretch as they were almost all season and scored a huge victory for the program.

12. January 3 – Cactus Bowl – West Virginia 43 Arizona State 42

AK: Neither team could stop each other, which is all I want from my bowl game  between the fifth or sixth best team from Pac-12 and Big 12. This was pleasing, although ASU has to be frustrated they couldn't win in their backyard. Still confused why Todd Graham didn't go for two.

JF: I believe this wrapped up the non-championship bowl season and was a late-night treat if you don't mind the absence of defense with West Virginia squeaking by the Sun Devils by one in a quasi home game for ASU.

11. September 19 – Cal 45 Texas 44

AK: You usually end up around the top ten when your game is decided on a missed extra point Texas built an early 24-14 lead, only to give up 31 unanswered points in 15 minutes. Seemed like it was all Bears, but Cal could not stop Jerrod Heard in his first major start and gave up tons of big plays to surrender a three touchdown lead in the 4th. And then Texas missed the extra point.

JF: What a game. What a finish. This was as entertaining as I can ever remember the Bear Raid being, but the Cal defense somehow couldn't stop a horrible Texas offense down the stretch but got saved in the most incredible of ways with the missed extra point.