We made it to the Top 10! Here are the other posts if you would like to catch up.
10. November 28 – Cal 48 Arizona State 46
AK: Cal avoided a very disappointing finish to 2015 with Jared Goff going balls to the wall. Down three scores in the first half, Cal managed to score 38 points in the final six drives and shred an ASU defense that wouldn’t stop blitzing. There were over 930 yards passing between Goff and Bercovici. It was a satisfying finish to Pac-12 After Dark.
JF: What a way to end the regular season. I believe this one followed up the Stanford/Notre Dame game we will get to later and it was an absolute barnburner where neither team could stop each other until Jared Goff outdueled Mike Bercovici and put it to bed.
9. September 12 – Michigan State 31 Oregon 28
AK: How badly does Oregon wish they had a healthy Vernon Adams in East Lansing? Michigan State scored a solid 31 points, but the Ducks happily moved the football for parts of the game when Adams was on, and got a big boost in the return game. If Adams hits one pass late, the trajectory of Oregon’s season might have led them to Pasadena.
JF: The top-billed Pac-12 non-conference game lived up to expectations as they battled with the Spartans down to the wire and almost pulled off the win. This was almost like an exciting pre-Rose Bowl.
8. January 2 – Alamo Bowl – TCU 47 Oregon 41 2OT
AK: Great football game in an otherwise miserable bowl season. It did make a lot of people reconsider whether Vernon Adams should have actually won the Heisman. What a disaster for the Ducks, although it did convince Mark Helfrich that Don Pellum is not the long-term answer for Oregon at defensive coordinator, so long-term it might render some benefits.
JF: This may have been the national game of the year, but it loses points here since a Pac-12 team is the victim. Arguably the best comeback in bowl history and one of the best in college football history. This game was another that was like porn for Oregon haters.
7. November 14 – Arizona 37 Utah 3OT
AK: Utah’s Pac-12 title hopes evaporated when Devontae Booker got hobbled in the second half and the Utes offense ground into dust. Arizona’s shred and spread is pretty well-equipped to attack Utah’s defense, and Anu Solomon had his best game of the season to score another huge Pac-12 After Dark upset.
JF: The Wildcats played their best game of the season and traded punches with Utah into the night until Anu Solomon led them to victory in the third overtime. This was one of the best in-conference upsets in the conference this season.
6. October 31 – Stanford 30 Washington State 28
AK: I doubt anyone was expecting Stanford and Washington State to be a huge Pac-12 North matchup after WSU bumbled around against Portland State. Wazzu outplayed Stanford for much of the first half, but the Cougars couldn’t finish their drives (five field goals with no touchdowns put WSU up 15-3), and two bad turnovers turned into the crucial 10 Cardinal points late in the game.
JF: The North and the overall Pac-12 was on the line late in Pullman and the Cougars had the Cardinal on life support. The Cougars made it really hard on Cardinal to get the win in Pullman on Halloween, but just couldn't convert in the final seconds. This one was epic.
5. November 14 – Washington State 31 UCLA 27
AK: Cougar comeback #2! Washington State conceded a ton of yards but stiffened things up near and in the red zone, forcing a bunch of Bruin field goals. Washington State led for most of the second half before Josh Rosen took off to the end zone, and then the Cougars responded with an incredible one minute Luke Falk drill to win the game.
JF: Wow the Cougars played in a lot of great games this season. This one came down to the final play where the Cougars executed a mini-Hail Mary in the Rose Bowl for yet another Pac-12 classic that wrapped up not long before midnight.
4. October 10 – Washington State 45 Oregon 38 2OT
AK: Cougar comeback #3! Mike Leach might have saved his job here. Washington State was 2-2 and hadn’t played well for a month and there were serious questions about the Cougars. The Oregon Ducks had over 400 yards of rushing and built a 31-21 lead in the fourth quarter, but Wazzu managed to tie the game with a second left thanks to a Luke Falk 500 yard passing performance. It was another instance of Wazzu’s offense stepping up late and Oregon’s defense stepping down.
JF: The Cougars became the first Northwest team to beat the Ducks in almost 10 years in spectacular fashion. Overtime games are always tense, but this one seemed to be especially hanging by a thread for both teams through the final three periods of play.
3. October 29 – Oregon 61 Arizona State 55 3OT
AK: The epitome of Pac-12 After Dark. Arizona State racked up 742 yards and lost. Arizona State had 37 first downs to 19 for Oregon and lost. Oregon had a 100 yard kickoff return, two touchdown runs of 62 and 64 yards, and got an insane Vernon Adams touchdown catch to send things to overtime, and a still-disputed catch in the back of the end zone that ASU fans are still disputing. Sheer madness.
JF: Far from the most well-played game you will ever see but probably the most purely entertaining and fun. This went till past midnight pacific f****** time and got sent to overtime on maybe the most miraculous play in the Pac-12 I have ever seen that didn't include a band with Vernon Adams' Uncle Rico mini hail mary.
2. November 14 – Oregon 38 Stanford 36
AK: Stanford has an Oregon problem. The Ducks speed outflanked and outmaneuvered the Cardinal defense for most of the game, and Stanford just had no answers for much of the game. Oregon scored at nearly a point per play for most of the contest! The Cardinal still had their chances, but two insane fumbles between Kevin Hogan and the backup center might have been the difference.
JF: Very weird game that will be another classic in the file of the Oregon/Stanford 2010s rivalry. Just a handful of big plays from the Ducks and a couple bizarre unforced turnovers cost the Cardinal at least a shot at the national title. The failed two-point conversion in the end is a play that will live with both programs for the ages.
1. November 28 – Stanford 38 Notre Dame 36
AK: What a game. If not for the title game, this might have been the game of the year. It was back and forth affair with eight lead changes at the end of the first and the second half. Kevin Hogan had the game of his life as the Stanford defense struggled to hold down the Notre Dame offense, and both teams traded haymakers.
JF: Kind of a dream game with on the final day of the regular season as it was well-played, back-and-forth, came down to the final play and the Pac-12 team won in a nationally relevent game. Purely entertaining.