Pac-10’s Impressive Bowl Record Holds Little Meaning

This was easily one of the worst years for the Pac-10. Outside of USC (no surprise), there wasn’t a legitimate contender. Cal, Oregon, and Oregon St. all had pretty good squads but lost several games. The Washington schools were amongst the worst the conference has ever seen, while UCLA and Arizona State had seriously down years. In the past, at least the conference has seen a second team get to double-digit wins and a major bowl. That was not the case this year. Perhaps it also explains the conference’s perfect bowl record. The Pac-10 went 5-0 in bowls with USC hammering Penn State in the Rose Bowl, Cal beating Miami in the Emerald Bowl, Oregon State shutting out Pitt in the Sun Bowl, Oregon defeating Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl, and Arizona beating BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The perfect record might make people stop to question how down of a year it was for the Pac-10. Don’t be fooled: the conference was still garbage this year. Like I said, the Washington schools were historically bad, and no team outside of USC posed a real threat in the rankings (except for Oregon once they beat Oklahoma State). That’s part of the reason the conference performed well — since the schools had down years, they were excited and pumped up to get to bad bowl games unlike years past when a Las Vegas Bowl berth or Sun Bowl berth was considered a disappointment. That’s the exact reason I dislike picking bowl games; you never know who’s going to be excited to play in the game and who will be disappointed.

Do you really think Utah’s a better team than Alabama? No, but Utah was pumped for the chance while Bama had its season come to an end with the loss to Florida. Was Vanderbilt better than BC? Not definitively, but Vandy was excited to actually be in a bowl game — something new for the school. As for the Big 10 bowl record of 1-5, that’s pretty indicative of their conference strength. At this point they’re only a step or two above the Big East.

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  • SpinMax

    F the bowl system. I’m sick of the slams of the Big 10. We have to play our games ON THE ROAD against teams who are basically playing HOME GAMES! It was 25 degrees snowing and 20mph winds in Happy Valley the other night, would USC win a rematch there? No way in hell. Penn state travels 2600 miles USC travels 10. That is bullshit I’m sick of it.

    Mich St played Georgia down in Florida, Wisconsin played Florida state in Florida, last year it was Ohio state against Lsu AT LSU. The last time LSU had the nards to come up to Columbus…they were ranked 7th…and THEY LOST!

    Just one year I’d like to see LSU, Florida, USC etc come up here to play. See what wins when they are in real football weather, speed or smashmouth. There’s a reason dome/warm weather teams historically do poorly in january.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Spin, even though I made that comment you are right about the weather. It’s awfully hard to build a team with a spread and for speed when you play in the cold. Purdue’s been able to do it and we’ll see how Michigan does. Things would be different if the warm weather teams had to travel to play the Big 10 teams on the road, but I still feel they would win.

  • http://www.golfhomeconnect.com/ Robert

    Hey Spinmax, I would also like to see LSU, Florida, USC etc come up here and show what they got, I am sure when they do that, things will be crystal clear!

  • SpinMax

    Robert, USC has avoided it before. A few years ago when they were re-upping the contract with Notre Dame, ND insisted that they play it as the last game of the year. USC refused to sign on and ND gave in. Now they play at USC as the last game of the year…but AT ND earlier in the year. The only reason this was done is because they didn’t want to go to ND in december and risk a loss due to the elements.

    USC has been strong in their scheduling, but just the threat of cold weather and they put their tails between their legs and whined.