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The Pac-12's Best College Football Games of 2018

The Pac-12's Best College Football Games of 2018

The Pac-12's Best College Football Games of 2018

The Pac-12 probably embraced the start of a new year. The 2018 season was not especially kind to the conference, which got pummelled on the PR front before it even started for its 1-8 bowl record to conclude the '17 campaign. An officiating controversy marred a great USC-Washington State game (that just missed the cut for this countdown), and a second straight season with the conference's championship excluded from the College Football Playoff gives fodder to naysayers.

Despite the national PR gaffes, the on-field product in 2018 was often entertaining, and always unpredictable. Cal's emergence, College GameDay visiting Washington State for the first time, Herm Edwards adding intrigue at Arizona State, Mario Cristobal bringing Nick Saban influence to Oregon, Washington State setting a new program record for wins, and more all contributed to an interesting 2018 Pac-12 campaign.

10 Best Pac-12 Games of 2018

10. UCLA 34, USC 27 – Nov. 17

College Football Top 25 Rankings: USC
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Down the stretch of a trying campaign for USC football, the Trojans had two streaks still intact: One was its undefeated record at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum under head coach Clay Helton, and the other was a three-year run over cross-town rival UCLA. The former ended on Oct. 27 and spiraled into a three-game losing skid; the latter all but ensured USC would finish below .500 for the first time in 18 years.

UCLA endured its own trying times in 2018, albeit for much different reasons. The Bruins limped through the program's worst start in more than seven decades but came on strong with three conference wins on the back half. The third was the most gratifying, as the Bruins outlasted the Trojans in a way-more-entertaining-than-it-had-any-right-to-be back-and-forth contest.

UCLA's win included quarterback Wilton Speight showing off some surprising dual-threat ability, but the real highlight was SoCal native and former FCS back-up Joshua Kelley setting the rivalry's single-game rushing record.

T-9. Oregon 31, Arizona State 29 – Nov. 17 & Utah 32, Oregon 25 – Nov. 10

It might be cheating to including two games in the same ranking, but the nail-biting finishes between Utah and Oregon on Nov. 10, and Oregon and Arizona State on Nov. 17, share an important correlation. In fact, the story actually begins two weeks earlier on Nov. 3, when Utah lost quarterback Tyler Huntley to injury and stumbled at Arizona State.