The Wild Wild Pac-12


Oregon beats Stanford to knock them out of Rose Bowl contention and the BCS title game. Then USC, despite being ineligible to play for the Pac-12 title, heads up to Eugene to knock out Oregon’s national title hopes (but, ironically not their Rose Bowl hopes).

Suddenly we have the distinct possibility that the team in the conference with the best record and highest BCS ranking (Stanford) will NOT be playing in the Pac-12 championship game…yet a 7-5 team (UCLA) might be!

You wanted divisions? You have to live with the consequences. Love them or hate them, USC’s probation has wreaked havoc on the conference, between their victories over Arizona State and Utah (allowing UCLA to sneak up there) and their wins over Oregon and Washington…the Trojans are doing everything they can to hurt the Pac-12’s reputation and bowl opportunities while they are unable to take advantage of the wins.

Then you have Washington completely imploding, Utah coming on strong with a hot streak, Cal gyrating from week-to-week of unpredictable results and Arizona State unable to decide if they are a Top 25 team or a bottom feeder. It’s enough to make a fan just go bonkers. The Pac-12 will fill out its seven bowl commitments, but these bowl officials in El Paso, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Albuquerque are going to have a hard time deciding which 7-5 and 6-6 team to take over another. They might as well just draw straws…

At least one thing has held constant…The Cougs are staying home once again. And boy am I glad they lost that overtime game to Arizona State in the snow in Pullman. Not because I wish them any particular ill-will…But, simply because I didn’t want a hyped-up Wazzu team coming to Seattle thinking a win over the reeling Huskies will get them to a bowl. A loss to the Cougs would be bad enough to take…but if it allowed them to go to a bowl above Washington (who might have been the one standing on the outside after finishing 0-4 in the last four) would have been just too much to handle.

I’ve given up trying to understand this conference right now! I do know one thing, I think it’s time to give Nick Holt the boot. Later this week I’ll make the case, statistically, anecdotally, and financially why it is time for Steve Sarkisian to cut ties with his longtime friend and partner and find someone who is able to keep 2-8 opponents under 30 points per game.