There was plenty of chaos this season in the Pac-12 (some before dark and still more after dark).
It was difficult to narrow down the five best games because no matter what you wanted, you got it in the Pac-12 this year. Crazy upsets? Sure. High scoring? Obviously. Last-second comebacks? Got ‘em.
But here’s one group’s choices for the five best games:
1. No. 9 Stanford 38, No. 6 Notre Dame 36
There were only two top-10 matchups on the final weekend of the regular season (the other was No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Michigan), and Stanford-Notre Dame lived up to its billing. Behind a stellar performance from quarterback Kevin Hogan (269 passing yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions) and a game-winning field goal from Conrad Ukropina the Cardinal knocked the Fighting Irish out of the College Football Playoff picture. The win gave Stanford momentum heading into the Pac-12 championship game and got people talking about the possibility of the Cardinal sneaking into the Playoff if chaos ensued during championship week.
2. Washington State 31, No. 19 UCLA 27
Most thought this would be a season in which the Cougars could win six games. Did anyone think one of those wins (which ended up being eight by the end of the regular season) would be against UCLA? Nope, especially not against a ranked UCLA, on the road. But Luke Falk and Gabe Marks had other plans, marching Washington State down the field and snagging a win right out from under the Bruins. Marks’ 21-yard touchdown catch was one of his best all season and the defense held on a final attempt from Josh Rosen and the UCLA offense as coach Mike Leach picked up one of the biggest wins of his Cougars tenure.
3. Oregon 38, No. 7 Stanford 36
The Ducks went on the road with an offense that was beginning to function like they knew it could, and Christian McCaffrey was churning out big performances game after game for the Cardinal. But two botched snaps from Hogan led to Stanford's second loss of the season and put them in a must-win position against Cal the following weekend in order to secure a spot in the Pac-12 title game.
4. Cal 48, Arizona State 46
Cal quarterback Jared Goff and Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici combined for one of the most impressive all-around quarterback games this season. The two combined for nine touchdown passes, 937 passing yards and 57 completions. But it was Cal kicker Matt Anderson who made the difference in the end, making a 26-yard field goal as time expired to give the Bears the win. Cal outscored Arizona State 38-19 in the second half and Goff notched a career-best 542 passing yards.
5. Arizona 37, No. 10 Utah 30
With bowl eligibility on the line the Wildcats put together a huge, double-overtime win at home to pick up their only win against a ranked opponent and kick Utah out of the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 South. Backup quarterback Jerrard Randall came up big in place of the injured Anu Solomon and Arizona rushed for 158 yards, the second-most given up by Utah in 2015.