UCLA 67, Wazzu 63 Was Pac 12 After Stark-Raving Mad

Chris Dufresne

By my count, at the end of an insane day, Cal is the only unbeaten team left in the Pac 12 after improving to 4-0 with a win over the SEC West.

Say what?

By my count UCLA's win at Washington State, after trailing by 32-points at Pullman, may have been the screwiest game in the history of the Pac 12 Conference. It was so off-the-charts entertaining it deserved some sort of "all-time" designation, although "great" is probably not the right word.

Eric Braeutigam's late-night tweet to me probably summed it up best: "It's an all-time something for sure. Not sure what, but it was fun as hell."

It wasn't Pac 12 After Dark--it was Pac 12 after stark-raving crazy.

By my count it WAS the greatest non-contender victory in the history of UCLA football. The Bruins, staring down the barrel of their second straight 0-4 start, trailed 49-17 in the second half before somehow pulling out a 67-63 win at Wazzu.

It was pointed out to me that UCLA's stunning 13-9 win over USC had more significance because it knocked the Trojans out of the national title game. Fair point. But that UCLA team finished the regular season 7-5. These Bruins entered the game 3-12 in the Chip Kelly era with many fans thinking Kelly was looking for the next bus out of town.

Ok, Ok, two years ago, UCLA trailed Texas A&M by 34 points, 44-10, in the season opener at the Rose Bowl and somehow pulled out a miracle win. Yet, not even that game had the desperation UCLA, as a program, took into Pullman on Saturday night.

And all you could say was "wow." The quarterback who threw nine touchdown passes, Anthony Gordon, lost. The schools combined for 56 first downs and 1, 377 total yards. Chip Kelly passed on a 36–yard field goal to tie the game and then got stuffed, before getting bailed out by a late Wazzu fumble that led to UCLA's impossible game winner. I'm not going to go over the details...I'm just not.

If Kelly and the Bruins do, indeed, turn things around this will be the moment people will remember as the pivot point. If UCLA loses at Arizona next week, and falls to 1-4, never mind...

By my count Notre Dame played tough enough in a 23-17 loss at Georgia to stay in the national title for at least a few more weeks...By my count the Irish still aren't as good as the upper-echelon teams in the SEC, but they're closer than they were...

By my count... Jim Harbaugh has not won a big game since clinching the NFC championship with the San Francisco 49ers. By my count Wisconsin was up 35-0 on Saturday and to that point had outscored opponents, 145-0, this season. Harbaugh captured the thoughts of Michigan fans worldwide when he was caught mouthing “F-me” on the sidelines during another disappointing loss. “They had a better plan,” he said after the 35-14 loss in Madison. By my count Jumbled Jim is now 8-11 vs. ranked teams, 1-9 vs. the top 10 and 0-4 vs. Ohio State...

The Badgers, for what it’s worth, may have been the most undervalued team coming into the season. Wisconsin, ranked No. 19 in the preseason AP poll, has been as impressive as any school lacing it up right now…By my count the most overvalued schools were Stanford and Northwestern, ranked 23 and 25 in the preseason coaches’ poll.

By my count..."Jim" had a worse day than "Jimbo" but it was close. Texas A&M Coach Jimbo Fisher lost at home to Auburn, did not cover the spread, still has to play Alabama and closes at Georgia and LSU.

By my count... USC football is 1-0 since Carol Folt was inaugurated as school president and, by her count, DID NOT have a secret lunch with Urban Meyer…Oh, for what it’s worth, Meyer never looked more alive, rested and healthy as he did while moderating USC’s 30-23 win over Utah at the Coliseum. Meyer, 54, may not be coaching USC next season but UCLA might come open…?

By my count...the only team that can lose to Pittsburgh and still make the playoff is 2016 Clemson. No team from the American Athletic Conference is allowed to do that so, therefore, Central Florida was effectively eliminated from this season's discussion following its loss at Pitt...

By my count...Matt Fink’s pinch-hit on Friday was the best in L.A. since Kirk Gibson’s home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series…Fink was fabulous in relief but let’s not exaggerate his undivided loyalty to Trojan nation. He DID put his name in the transfer portal and DID visit Illinois but clearly made the right decision to stick it out at USC…Good for him…and the Trojans.

By my count...USC fans still angling for Clay Helton’s ouster will be privately rooting FOR Washington in Seattle next weekend. The disaster scenario for regime change is USC going 5-1 after wins over Washington and Notre Dame…What then?

By my count... Reggie Bush proved he is still in “penalty phase” with USC by “knowingly and willingly” participating in a post-touchdown, unsportsmanlike hand-slap on the field with Markese Stepp…The NCAA committee on infractions stated that while USC may not have known Bush was going to do that, it “should have known” and put the program back in the probation portal…Bush was allowed back at USC as part of the FOX/USC Broadcast cheerleading team led by Bush, Matt Leinart and Meyer.

By my count... it’s been more than a decade since the NCAA handed major sanctions on USC that were suspiciously arrived at and out-of-line with every subsequent ruling. Go ahead and Google Miami, NCAA and booster Nevin Shapiro. USC insists it can’t officially welcome back Bush because of NCAA sanctions but the school, in its historically arrogant and defiant way, should defy the organization and take its chances with a feckless, fading and cowering organization…

By my count... California football is 4-0 with two of the most amazing road victories posted in the same season. Two weeks ago, Cal won at Washington in a game that ended at 4:22 Eastern Time. Saturday, the Bears awoke at 3 a.m. Pacific Time for a 9 a.m. kick at Mississippi. By my count Cal won despite missing four linebackers and poor clock management by coach Justin Wilcox in a game the Bears should have won more easily…

By my count...If not for UCLA v. Washington State later in the day, San Jose State's shocking win at Arkansas would have been the West Coast Win of the Weekend. The Spartans had lost 25 straight games to Power 5 schools dating to their last win, in 2006, over Stanford.

By my count the SEC West below Texas A&M has some explaining to do...

By my count...early college football statistics are the most meaningless in sports especially when they involved Alabama facing Duke, New Mexico State, South Carolina and Southern Miss...

By my count... Tulane's "Victory Formation" fake against Houston on Thursday ranks as the early "play of the year" and the 38-31 win as the early game of the year. (Updated: new best game of the year: UCLA 67-63 over Wazzu). Pitted against the NFL, the Tulane-Houston game made Tennessee vs. Jacksonville look like lawn bowling at a senior center...

Comments (3)
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Meyer to UCLA would be incredible but they don’t pay top dollar, right? What do you make of Harbaugh at Michigan? He won big everywhere before.


“Back in the probation portal”

Chris Dufresne