Conference championship fortunes turned in the Pac-12 and SEC on Friday, but for UCLA, there was nothing fortunate about it.
With the Pac-12 South UCLA's to lose, the Bruins were blown out by Stanford, 31-10, giving the division crown to Arizona after the Wildcats' 42-35 win over rival Arizona State. A salty Cardinal defense held UCLA star quarterback Brett Hundley to a season-low 146 yards (excepting a game he failed to finish because of injury) and snapped a five-game UCLA winning streak. In the same time slot, Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon overcame a fierce Sun Devils pass rush to complete 15 of 21 passes for 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and running back Nick Wilson ran 24 times for 178 yards.
In the SEC East, however, those needing help got none.
Missouri roared back from a fourth-quarter deficit to top Arkansas, 21-14, clinching the SEC East and ending Georgia's hopes of reaching the SEC title game. Oregon will play Arizona for the Pac-12 title, and Missouri will play either Alabama or Mississippi State.
Here are a few other things you should know from the day in college football:
- One of the top NFL prospects in action Friday showed up in a big way for Missouri. Defensive end Markus Golden recovered two fumbles and forced one and also made two tackles for loss. Fellow defensive end Shane Ray picked up a tackle for loss to give him 20.5 on the season.
- Bo Pelini's seat just got a bit cooler. And if Nebraska is to lose four games for a seventh consecutive season, it will have to come in a bowl game. The Cornhuskers nipped Iowa, 37-34, in overtime Friday to close the regular season at 9-3 as star running back Ameer Abdullah turned in his seventh 100-yard performance of the season. And they did it without their best defensive player.
- Hope springs in Dallas. SMU's utterly forgettable season tumbled to 0-11 Friday after a 35-9 loss to Houston. But a glimmer of hope surfaced in the form of reports that Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris will be the next man to lead the Mustangs. Make no mistake about why Morris would be brought in for this job: a high-scoring offense. SMU needs excitement and ticket sales as much as it needs wins, and a high-scoring offense can help with one if not the other. Morris is a highly regarded offensive mind, although the Clemson offense this year hasn't been as strong as usual. Clemson ranks in the middle of the FBS pack offensively at 402.7 yards per game.
- Jaelen Strong made his mark Friday in a losing effort. The standout receiver from Arizona State caught four passes for 80 yards and a touchdown, a performance that put him over the 1,000-yard and 10-touchdown milestones for the season. It was of little consolation as the Pac-12 South title slipped away, but Strong's place among the nation's top receivers has been well-earned.
- Scratch the Thundering Herd from the ranks of the unbeaten. Western Kentucky topped Marshall, 67-66, in overtime in a spectacular offensive display that saw an FBS record 15 touchdown passes thrown by both teams. Marshall fell to 11-1 on the year and, in so doing, gave Boise State the inside track for the affiliated bowl slot designated for a non-power-five conference school.
- Move over, Colin.San Francisco 49ers star Colin Kaepernick is no longer the FBS record holder for career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. Not since the Naval Academy's Keenan Reynoldsran his total to 61 on Friday in a win over South Alabama. Kaepernick had shared the record with Nebraska's Eric Crouch at 59.