4. The Really Big Thing Was …
USC came back to beat UCLA.
Of course the Florida gaffe was massive – more on that in a moment – but that loss probably didn’t matter all that much.
However, USC getting by UCLA 43-38 with a Kedon Slovis eight-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown with 16 seconds to play might actually be more important.
Had USC lost, that’s it for the Pac-12. It would be totally ignored this weekend, the entire season would be seen as a disappointment with Oregon clunking and Washington struggling, and that would be it.
Now, combine that Trojan thriller with the Florida loss to LSU, and the Pac-12 is in the discussion along with the five realistic options – Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson Ohio State, Texas A&M – for the College Football Playoff.
USC is a long shot, but it has as many wins as Ohio State, it’s got the brand name, and it might have the designation of Undefeated Power Five Conference Champion USC.
It’s still going to take something crazy for the Trojans to get into the College Football Playoff – Clemson has to lose to Notre Dame convincingly, USC has to wallop Washington in the Pac-12 Championship, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Ohio State at least looked awful against Northwestern – but at least this is now going to be a discussion over the next several days.