Weekend rewind: Pac-12 title game is set

Helton: I've loved being a part of these kids' lives

USC interim coach Clay Helton explains explain how he feels to overcome adversity and reach the Pac-12 championship, how his team needs to slow down Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey and if he feels he deserves the USC coaching position.

Put a bow on the 2015 regular season. Oregon State and Colorado are back in rebuilding mode, Stanford and USC are prepping for the Pac-12 championship game and eight other teams are patiently waiting to hear their bowl destinations. We were treated to a true #Pac12AfterDark finale with a couple of game-winning kicks, a couple of blowouts and a couple of thrillers. This will get you all caught up on the final weekend.

Offensive player of the week: Cal quarterback Jared Goff closed out the year with a bang, leading a comeback over Arizona State by completing 30 of 51 passes for 542 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. The Bears erased an early 24-3 deficit before Matt Anderson hit a 26-yard field goal as time expired to give Cal a 48-46 win.

Defensive player of the week: Needing one last win to reach bowl eligibility, Washington cornerback Sidney Jones helped lead a stout defensive effort for the Huskies in their 45-10 win over Washington State in the Apple Cup. Jones had a 69-yard pick-six, one of three defensive scores on the day for the Huskies. He also had six tackles and three pass breakups as the Washington defense forced seven turnovers.

Special teams' player of the week: Rarely do we give the "of the week" accolades to players from losing teams. But Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez did all he could to prevent the Sun Devils' collapse to the Bears. Gonzalez connected on 6 of 6 field-goal attempts, which set an ASU single-game record and matched the Pac-12's single-game record. He connected on kicks from 21, 45, 24, 31, 34 and 22 yards.

Team of the week: The USC Trojans could open a laundry service with all the times folks on the outside threw in the towel on their season. But after a coaching change (again), injuries across the lines (again), inexplicable inconsistent play (again) and an inspiring ability to overcome adversity (again), the Trojans are the Pac-12 South champs. They get another crack at Stanford in the Pac-12 title game, a team that beat them 41-31 back in September.

Trend of the week: There truly is no place like home. After trailing all season, the home teams made one last push in the final week of the season. Heading into Week 13, road teams held a 25-24 advantage in conference games. But in all five league games, the home team was victorious to give the locals a 29-25 edge on the season. For the record, all six home teams won this week if you include Stanford's win over Notre Dame.

Play of the week: There were some big special teams and defensive touchdowns and, per usual, plenty of athleticism on display. But a game-winning field goal is clutch. A game-winning field goal as time expires is awesome. A game-winning field goal as time expires from 45 yards is even better. And game-winning field goal as time expires from 45 yards to beat the No. 6 team in the nation and keep the playoff hopes of a conference alive is the play of the week.

Theme of the week: It's all about the title game. Stanford and USC have a fantastic history of back-and-forth games, and Saturday's championship will hopefully live up to the drama. The obvious sidebar is the future of USC interim coach Clay Helton, and whether simply getting to the title game is enough to warrant giving him the full-time job. Or does he have to win it? Also, fun storylines involving the legacies of senior quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan, plus super sophs Adoree' Jackson and Christian McCaffrey. This matchup gives us plenty to talk about this week.

Random non-football thought of the week: "Toy Story 3" makes me contemplate my own mortality more than any kids movie should.