Pac-10 Football: 12/5 Aftermath

Wins: Oregon, Arizona, Washington ... Boise State

Losses: Oregon State, USC, California

Prediction Results: 3-1

Season to Date: 52-14

Thoughts: I'm saving most of my thoughts for below when talking about the bowls - and I already discussed Civil War - but I'm both surprised and not surprised Arizona upset USC in L.A. I'm surprised because that's a game USC should win against a team in Zona that had struggled in recent weeks (at home against Oregon and Arizona State), but at the same time you could just tell that SC really doesn't have their hearts in the game. Maybe they'll have their hearts in a stellar bowl.

As for the Huskies, where they hell has that team been?! Those are the Huskies that upset USC and almost upset LSU (at home) and Notre Dame (on the road). That's the team the rest of the Pac-10 was worried about seeing, but they took the middle part of the season off. These are the Huskies that could be damn good next year - if Jake Locker stays for his senior season. If he doesn't - and if he's a projected first round pick he should go pro - there is a serious question about what the Huskies will have at the quarterback position. Is it a coincidence that in the past two games Locker seemed to look to run just a bit more than the middle of the season? I think not. Note to Coach Steve Sarkisian: You have to let your playmakers do what they do best. Locker is faster than just about every other player in the Pac-10 - let him run.

AP, USA Today, BCS Rankings

Oregon - 7, 7, 7
Oregon State - 16, 20, 18
Stanford - 19, 21, 21
Arizona - 22, 23, 20
California - 31, 33, NR
USC - 33, 27, 24

Boise State - 6, 6, 6

Final Pac-10 Standings (Conference record, Overall)

*Oregon - 8-1, 10-2
*Arizona - 6-3, 8-4
*Oregon State - 6-3, 8-4
*Stanford - 6-3, 8-4
*USC - 5-4, 8-4
*California - 5-4, 8-4
Washington - 4-5, 5-7
*UCLA - 3-6, 6-6
Arizona State - 2-7, 4-8
Washington State - 0-9, 1-11

* Bowl-eligible

The Bowl Schedule

First off, let's look at the how the bowl schedule shook out for the Pac-10 (all times Pacific):

Rose Bowl: Oregon v. Ohio State - January 1st, ABC, 1:30pm
Holiday Bowl: Arizona v. Nebraska - December 30th, ESPN, 5pm
Sun Bowl: Stanford v. Oklahoma - December 31st, CBS, 11am
Emerald Bowl: USC v. Boston College - December 26th, ESPN, 5pm
Las Vegas Bowl: Oregon State v. BYU - December 22nd, ESPN, 5pm
Poinsettia Bowl: California v. Utah, December 23rd, ESPN, 5pm

UCLA could be named to the EagleBank Bowl on December 29th v. Temple (ESPN, 1:30pm). However, it depends on the outcome of the Army-Navy game on December 12th. If Army wins, UCLA will stay home. If Navy wins, UCLA gets the bowl berth.

So what jumps out at you, dear reader? Could it be the fact that although Oregon State was the only other team with a Rose Bowl shot in the last weekend of games, they ended up in the fifth place bowl? Despite the fact all voters in all polls have OSU as the second-best team in the Pac-10, and despite the fact they have the same record as Arizona and Stanford? And despite the fact they beat Stanford?

I have no issues with Arizona in the Holiday Bowl. All three teams had the same record, yet Zona beat them both - it makes sense. I would have had more issues with SC going there had they beaten Zona this past weekend.

And, unfortunately, the bowls aren't obligated to take a team even if that same slotted team went there last year - so the Sun Bowl had the right to not take Oregon State (and after a 3-0 game last year - which was fun to watch, actually - who is surprised they passed?). It's a travesty how this worked out for the Beavers...apparently the Emerald Bowl, for fourth place, can then choose whomever they want. Lame, lame, lame.

This bowl game is so meaningless to the Beavers there was no one around to celebrate it when it was announced yesterday. Sure, they'll go and they'll work hard and play hard and kill BYU, but when you go from the cusp of the Rose Bowl to the Vegas Bowl, it's understandably disheartening.

So, the Rose Bowl has a legitimate tiebreaker system, though no other bowl for the Pac-10 does - they get to make choices based on whomever they want to have if tied teams exist. That, my friends, sucks ass, because it rewards not as good teams who will be big draws - like SC - and hurts teams who could be better - like Oregon State. For fun, let's apply the tiebreaker all the way down and throw out the stupid no-re-peat clause. That's fine if the bowls think they will lose money if a team comes back twice in a row, but it's a penalty to that team and their fans, which I find unacceptable and unfair.

So here's how it should have played out:

Rose Bowl: Oregon v. Ohio State

Oregon won the league outright, can't argue.

Holiday Bowl: Arizona v. Nebraska

The first tie-breaker in a multiple team tie is head-to-head. In the event of a multiple-team tie the first question is did one team beat all the others. In this case Stanford, Oregon State, and Arizona all are tied, and Zona beat Oregon State and Stanford.

Sun Bowl: Oregon State v. Oklahoma

With Zona out of the picture it again reverts to head-to-head, and Oregon State beat Stanford. The Beavers move up two bowl levels.

Emerald Bowl: Stanford v. Boston College

Stanford is the last team in the three-way tie, so the Emerald takes them by default. With Stanford being local, the Emerald would do well.

Las Vegas Bowl: USC v. BYU

SC and Cal are tied, but SC gets this berth by virtue of beating Cal way back when. Vegas would be ecstatic to get the Trojans. By the way, hasn't BYU now been to this bowl something like five straight times?

Poinsettia Bowl: California v. Utah

Either way, Cal finishes sixth.

And UCLA? Sorry, I really don't believe you deserve a bowl game with a 6-6 season. If after the bowl game you could be under .500, how is that a good thing?

It's a shame what the money in the bowl system did to Oregon State. The players deserve better, even if it is a trip to El Paso, Texas.

Oh, and if anyone cares Boise State earned a BCS bid with a matchup with TCU in the Fiesta Bowl (January 4th, 5pm, FOX). That's nice both teams got the bids, but don't we want to see these schools play teams from major conferences to see how they match up? I see this as less compelling than if both teams played someone from the Big 10, Big 12, SEC, or Pac-10. And as for the fact the Big 10 got two BCS bids (Ohio State and Iowa) - that's just a freakin' joke. I hope both schools get tromped.

I'll have a Pac-10 Bowl Preview, with picks, coming as the games get closer.

1 comment:

  1. I don't see the big deal if the lessor bowls take a team that fits them better geogrphicly. Remember they all split the revenues anyway so it actually helps the schools with lower travel costs. Ironic about BYU perenially playing in Las Vegas. Thoughts about the Pac10 next year?