Pac-12 heartbreakers

February, 14, 2011
2/14/11
10:00
AM ET
For every love won, there is love lost. For every thrill of victory, there is an agony of defeat.

While we only wish you happiness on Valentines Day, here are six top heartbreaks from the Pac-12.

[+] EnlargeChris Polk
AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezWashington's Chris Polk lunges past California's Mychal Kendricks for the game-winning TD.
6. Cal gets Polked: Jeff Tedford had never had a losing season since he took over at California in 2002. And all his Bears had to do to maintain that impressive run was stop Washington on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line with two seconds left, which would then earn them a bowl berth. Nope. Chris Polk scores a TD for a 16-13 Huskies win. The Memorial Stadium crowd, with no postseason to look forward to, goes home grumbling. The Huskies ride the win to their first bowl game since 2002.

5.Thomas spurns USC for Oregon: DeAnthony Thomas, widely considered one of the most dynamic athletes in the 2011 recruiting class, was a long-time USC commitment. He was expected to be one of the jewels of the Trojans' top-five class. But he took a late visit to Oregon just before signing day, when he broke USC hearts by signing with the Ducks.

4. Trojans get kicked: USC lost consecutive games the first two weekends of October -- 32-31 to Washington and 37-35 to Stanford -- on last-second field goals. And there was much gnashing of teeth.

3. Buffalo slaughter: Colorado led Kansas 45-17 with 14:52 left. Stick a fork in this one, right? Hey, maybe there was some life in Dan Hawkins' Colorado team. And Kansas, after all, was a bad team in turmoil under first-year coach Turner Gill, having lost 11 consecutive conference games. But no. Kansas scored the final 35 points in the fourth quarter and won 52-45. Epic collapse or epic comeback? Either way, it was stunning.

2. James Brooks swats Alex Zendejas twice: A blocked extra-point attempt is rare. Two in one game -- by the same guy -- is even more rare. And two PATs blocked by the same guy in game-deciding situations in a rivalry game? Well, that's great theater. But the thrill for Arizona State's James Brooks -- the mad swatter -- was pure agony for Arizona kicker Alex Zendejas. Brooks rejected Zendejas' PAT late in the fourth quarter, which forced overtime. He then turned away a Zendejas PAT in the second overtime, giving the Sun Devils an improbable upset win, 30-29.

1. Dyer circumstances: Auburn's freshman running back Michael Dyer looked down, tackled by Oregon rover Eddie Pleasant. If you watch the replay, you can interpret it any way you want, as many have. But the bottom line is Dyer's apparent short run late in the national title game turned into a controversial 37-yard scamper, which set up the Tigers' winning field goal as the clock expired in a 22-19 victory. One word: Ouch.

Ted Miller | email

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