I started realizing how much fun the Pac10 football season really is. Sure, everyone east of conference states thinks the Pac10 is a joke (including the state of Utah, shame on you!), but we know that it isn't easy playing in arguably the tightest conference in the country. Every school, except Arizona, has played in a BCS game since 2000. What other conference can stake claim that their conference has 90% of the teams playing in BCS games in 10 years? I took a lot of things into consideration, i.e. what was at stake in the game, how did it finish, comeback, etc. Here's a look at the top games (between Pac10 schools) the last 5 years (2004-2008 seasons)
Note: As I was going over the last few years, there were probably 20 games that could have made this list for one reason or another. I tried to list it as I remembered the games, so if there is any debate, let's do it in the comments.
10. October 7th, 2006: Washington (4-1) @ USC (4-0)
What was at stake: A game between a bubble top 25 Washington and a top 10 USC team. Tyrone Willingham had finally appeared to turn the corner with this UW program.
What happened: As you may recall, Washington ran with the Trojans all day long. A touchdown with 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter brought the Huskies to within 3, 20-23. A USC field goal 1:30 left forced the Huskies to drive down the field 80 yards and score a TD. Isaiah Stanback completed a 19 yard pass to the USC 15, but UW had no timeouts left. You may remember the official standing over the ball for a couple of seconds, not allowing UW to snap it until there were two seconds left. They couldn't get the snap off in time, and USC walked away with a victory, 26-20.
Why big game: Well as you'll see with #9, UW had two heart breakers in 3 weeks, and ultimately cost them their season, and perhaps their program.
9. October 21st, 2006: Washington (4-3) @ Cal (6-1)
What was at stake: Not much really. Not at the beginning anyways. But Cal had been playing well all year long and would be looking for a BCS bid later in the year.
What happened: It was a pretty even game the whole way through. With Cal down 17-16 with only a couple minutes left, Marshawn Lynch broke off a 17 yard TD run and following a Justin Forsett 2-pt conversion, the Bears lead 24-17 with 1:52 remaining. Then, the miracle for UW happened
UW vs Cal 2006 Miracle Catch Crowd Reaction (via shaolinLFE)
Apologies for the poor quality. Basically, Carl Bonnell just heaved the ball into the end zone with no time left and it was caught. After the extra point, the game was headed to overtime. In overtime, it only took two plays for Marshawn Lynch to decide he wanted to score. With the Bears up 31-24, Washington drove to the Cal 6. After a loss of 5 yards, Bonnell tossed one up, and it was intercepted by Jordan Bishop to seal the victory (again, sorry for the poor quality)
Cal Game Overtime vs. Washington (via monarchofdaglen)
Look for games #8 and #7 tomorrow, #6, #5, and #4 on Saturday, and #3, #2, #1 on Sunday!
--The VD Special