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Pac-12 Football: Week 13 Review

We take a final look at the craziness throughout the Pac-12 conference to close the regular season.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Wildcats (6-6, 3-6 in Pac-12)

Gotta stay healthy.

The Wildcats dealt with injuries on both sides of the ball throughout the year; none more important than the loss of linebacker Scooby Wright III. As a result, multiple inexperienced players found themselves in greater roles, having to adjust quickly, however struggled to do so during conference play.

The program's 3-6 finish in the Pac-12 (after winning the South division last year) will certainly look to be improved upon next season.

Arizona State Sun Devils (6-6, 4-5)

Highs and lows.

As was the issue throughout the season, the Sun Devils found themselves giving up much too many explosive plays in their loss to Cal on Saturday. Arizona State's inability to score touchdowns in the red zone also prevented them from putting the game away, and despite the turnaround offensively late in the season, their seemingly correctable weaknesses should be of topic when discussing improvements in the offseason.

California Golden Bears (7-5, 4-5)

That's some quarterback.

Call him a product of scheme if you want, but Jared Goff impressed in his performance against Arizona State. His maturation and growth during his time under center has led to this school going from being a less-respected opponent to being one of the most high-powered offensive units in the nation. His impact will certainly be missed should he move on to the NFL.

Colorado Buffaloes (4-9, 1-8)

Fight to the death.

The Buffs didn't enjoy a much better season in 2015 than they did in 2014. However, Colorado demonstrated some fight during conference play this season, and for the most part aren't the whipping boys of the Pac-12 anymore. Next year holds more promise in another year under Mike Macintyre.

Oregon Ducks (9-3, 7-2)

Sco' Ducks.

No Pac-12 title game for the boys from Eugene this year, but they put on quite the display to finish the season. Some drop back in production was expected having lost a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, but there should undoubtedly be some optimism looking ahead to next season when considering the talent at skill positions this team has.

Unfortunately, the questions as to who will play quarterback, and how effective can he be, will once again be of discussion for the second consecutive offseason.

Oregon State Beavers (2-10, 0-9)

Finishing strong...kinda.

The rout was on in this year's installment of the Civil War, but somehow, the Beavers managed to give the Ducks a game. In spite of recent trying times, it's nice to see Gary Andersen's group show up against one of the best teams in the Pac-12, especially in advance of the offseason.

Stanford Cardinal (10-2, 8-1)

Consistency is key.

After the Cardinal's opening loss to Northwestern, I think we all feared Kevin Hogan would have a long 2015 season.

Luckily for Stanford, he turned it around, and turned in arguably the best season of his career, consistently playing well and looking more comfortable than he's ever looked under center.

Of course, having Christian McCaffrey doesn't hurt, but the effort from Hogan on the offensive side of the ball is one of the key reasons Stanford is in position to *possibly* sneak into the College Football Playoff this year.

UCLA Bruins (8-4, 5-4)

Believe in the Rosen One.

Josh Rosen will be considered the best quarterback talent in the conference very soon, if he isn't already. His streak of 245 passes without an interception came to a crushing halt on Saturday against USC, but the poise and patience with which he plays the game should make any Bruins fan excited for what's to come.

Should the proper pieces be placed around him and players find a way to stay healthy on the defensive side of the ball, UCLA will find themselves with the advantage in their rivalry sooner rather than later.

USC Trojans (8-4, 6-3)

In spite of everything...

The Trojans managed to overcome all of the obstacles in their way this season to find themselves in their first Pac-12 Championship Game. With eight wins on the year, USC can hang its hat on the fact it not only overcame such difficult times, but unearthed young gems in running back Ronald Jones II and linebacker Cameron Smith, while having receiver JuJu Smith, cornerback Iman Marshall, along with the explosive Swiss Army knife Adoree' Jackson build on impressive first seasons.

Utah Utes (9-3, 6-3)

A taste of the top.

The Utes had a strong 2015 campaign. The team peaked at No. 3 in the nation, and despite not having the most talented unit of players, competed with the best the conference had to offer.

Faltering down the stretch was unfortunate, but next year will present a chance for Utah to prove it belongs in the same breath as the elite of the Pac-12 moving forward.

Washington Huskies (6-6, 4-5)

Defense! *Clap, Clap*

Defense wins championships. We've said it before: Washington's defensive unit, which boasts 14(!) underclassmen in its two-deep defensive lineup (including five in its starting defense), will give the Huskies a shot at contending for the Pac-12 North in 2016.

The defense was the ultimate difference maker in their Apple Cup win over Washington State, and should develop into one of the best overall groups in college football next year.

Washington State Cougars (8-4, 6-3)

What a year.

Eight wins should be considered a successful year for the Cougars, especially when putting into perspective how rough life was for Wazzu fans not too long ago.

Luke Falk looks like he will be a serviceable quarterback for Mike Leach & Co., so long as he can stay healthy. More importantly, there are multiple key contributors on both sides of the ball who will be back next season, priming the Cougars with a chance to match or even surpass their 2015 output.