College football : Week 8 sees Oregon upend the Pac-12 order as unbeaten records fall
Eugene, Oregon - Week 8 of the college football season featured several key upsets, huge comebacks, and pivotal moments that have impact the conference and playoff picture.
There's only one place to start after this weekend's madness: the battle of the unbeaten, Clemson v. Syracuse.
Down by 11 points in the fourth quarter, the Clemson Tigers heading towards their first loss of the season at the hand of unranked Syracuse.
After struggling in an offense led by starter quarterback DJ Uiagalelei – who uncharacteristically threw two interception turnovers – coach Dabo Swinney benched Uiagalelei in the final quarter and turned to true freshman Cade Klubnik.
That ignited Clemson's struggling offense, with Klubnik stepping up and leading the Tigers to 17 unanswered points and another victory. It means they undefeated (8-0) and can now boast 38 consecutive wins at Death Valley – the longest home streak in ACC history.
While Clemson's record remains untainted, Ole Miss and UCLA saw their perfect season come to an end, as the Rebels and Bruins both allowed 45 points in respective losses to LSU – where fans went a bit too wild – and Oregon.
As expected, the Ohio State Buckeyes returned to action this week and easily cruised passed Iowa to stay the Big Ten favorites for the playoffs.
But it's the Pac-12 conference where urgent questions are now being asked.
Oregon win changes Pac-12 championship perspective
When Oregon lost the season opener to No. 1 Georgia by 46 points, the Ducks got pretty much laughed out of contention for the national championships.
Now, No. 9 Oregon is back in the mix of the College Football Playoff race after their 45-30 win against UCLA, which also broke the program record for the most conference home wins (17) and equaled its best ever winning streak (23) at the Autzen Stadium.
The upset not only handed the Bruins their first loss, but also put their role as leaders of the conference in doubt.
While both the Bruins and the Ducks are both 6-1 in the season, Oregon has a perfect conference record, with their only loss coming from a meeting with the SEC.
Only the ranked Utah Utes stand in the way of Ducks dominating the Pac-12. Their big conference matchup is set for November 19.
Until then, Oregon travels to California this Saturday for another conference play at 3:30 PM EDT.
Cover photo: TOM HAUCK / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP