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Pac-10 Performance in Bowl Games

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
In a friendly attempt to re-engage the discussion on NCAA football, and the Pac-10's strengths relative to other conferences, I submit the following from Brooks Hatch, Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times. There was another forum member with some good points about other conferences, such as the SEC, and I thought with a few big bowl games remaining, it would be fun to restart this discussion.

One thing Hatch does not do is identify the Pac-10 bowl opponents ranking within their own conference (i.e. Oregon is second in Pac-10, Oklahoma is 3rd in their conference):


"The Pacific-10 Conference is 3-1 in the postseason heading into Wednesday nights Rose Bowl between two-time defending national champion USC and Texas.

Its among the best records of the six Bowl Championship Series conferences, with backup quarterbacks starting in three of the four games. The Pac-10s lone loss was Oregons three-pointer to Oklahoma, which was streaking (6 of 7), finally healthy after a spate of early injuries, and probably a top-25 team by years end.

In a perfect world, that should translate into a bump for the Pac-10s modest national reputation. It should help dispel the pervading notion that the Pac-10 is to college football what ABBA is to serious butt-kicking rock & roll.

But it probably wont; what happens in real life cant trump the tide of public opinion. Joe Bob from Shreveport, Lil Luke from Montgomery and Bob Davie and ESPNs other smiling pinheads will still portray the Pac-10 as USC and the nine dwarfs, a conference that plays matador defense and lags far, far behind the SEC, Big 12 and ACC in college footballs pecking order.

No matter that the Pac-10 is 6-1 in the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta bowls since 2000, with three of the most lopsided victories in the seven-year history of the BCS.

No matter that the Pac-10 is 21-16 against the Big Ten, 14-15 vs. the Big 12, 9-3 vs. the SEC, 5-6 vs. the ACC and 149-71 in all nonconference games since 2000.

No matter that USCs toughest battles during its incredible 33-game winning streak have almost exclusively come in conference games.

No matter that Pac-10 defenses face an NFL-caliber quarterback virtually every game, not the chuck-it-and-pray guys directing those powerful SEC juggernaughts to their weekly 10 or 13 points. Ten different Pac-10 quarterbacks started NFL games in 2004; six started last weekend."

Happy new year and enjoy the bowl season...
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by SerpentFruit
...Pac-10 as USC and the nine dwarfs, a conference that plays matador defense and lags far, far behind the SEC, Big 12 and ACC in college footballs pecking order.

Left out the Big 10.

In my opinion, the only BCS conference that's consistently inferior to the Pac 10 is the Big East.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Joe Bob from Shreveport, Lil Luke from Montgomery and Bob Davie and ESPNs other smiling pinheads will still portray the Pac-10 as USC and the nine dwarfs, a conference that plays matador defense and lags far, far behind the SEC, Big 12 and ACC in college footballs pecking order.

Well the astounding regional arrogance/ignorance constantly displayed by the Pac-10 faithful is sure to win friends.

The Pac-10 is USC and the 9 dwarves. One great team and a bunch of fairly good teams.

What really illustrates my point best of all is that the last two years the Pac-10 has screamed and cried that it was screwed out of a BCS at-large.

Last year it was Cal who made it perfectly clear that shitty Texas had no business being in the Rose Bowl.
Cal went on to get raped by Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl (Texas won the Rose).

This year Oregon claimed it was screwed by Notre Dame and Ohio State getting BCS nods while they were relegated to the Holiday... where they promptly lost to Oklahoma (The Rose hasn't been played).

Here are the amazing Bowl wins for the Pac-10 this year:
Cal over BYU
Arizona State over Rutgers
UCLA over Northwestern

Quick! Everyone bow down to the teams that won games by less than they were expected to!
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post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by SerpentFruit
No matter that USCs toughest battles during its incredible 33-game winning streak have almost exclusively come in conference games.

No matter that Texas toughest battles during its 19-game winning streak have almost exclusively come in conference games.

That phrase can be attributed to almost any team in those conferences you listed.
post #5 of 17
That baffled me as well, especially since it isn't true.

The closest game USC has had was against Notre Dame, which isn't in any conference, much less the Pac 10.

Their other non-conference games during the streak have against the following teams:
Notre Damex3 (won by 3 the last time)
Hawaii
Arkansas
Fresno State
Virginia Tech (won by 11)
Colorado State
BYU
Oklahoma (whipped their asses by like 1000 points)
Michigan (won by 14)

So mostly they've played lesser teams out-of-conference (as every team does). They only have one blowout win of a good team out-of-conference (they KILLED Oklahoma).

I'm not saying teams should blow out everyone, but let's not pretend like they've raped and pillaged everyone they have faced outside the Pac-10. VTech is a consistently overrated squad and 11 points isn't awe-inspiring. Same for Michigan.

Oklahoma melted down, but USC deserves full credit for that massacre.

USC is both mortal and overhyped. They are a wondiferous football team with unparalleled talent (right now, more talented teams have existed in the very recent past), but they are not gods. They have weaknesses and I am confident Texas will expose some of those weaknesses tomorrow night.
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post #6 of 17
The 3-1 record is nothing to get excited about either way as others have stated. Their best win is over the #6 Big 10 team. They may add Texas to the list but again that is another USC victory.

Comparing records is silly IMO. That depends immensely on bowl slots. Consider the five opponents for the top 5 Big 10 teams versus those for the PAC 10's 5 bowl teams:

#1 Big 10 vs BCS ACC Champ
#2 Big 10 vs BCS At Large
#3 Big 10 vs. SEC #2
#4 Big 10 vs. SEC #3
#5 Big 10 vs. Big 12 #4

#1 PAC 10 vs. BCS Big 12 Champ
#2 PAC 10 vs. Big 12 #3
#3 PAC 10 vs. Big 10 #6
#4 PAC 10 vs. Mtn West #2
#5 PAC 10 vs. Big East #3

The PAC has two games against teams from weak conferences. Then one game with its 2nd team against another conference's third. And another with its third best team against a conference's 6th. That's a massively favorable set of circumstances. Meanwhile the Big 10 faces two BCS teams and three other teams from good conferences and in those three games is slotted with a team that finished one spot below how those other teams finished. Now in practice I think you might say this is mitigated somewhat since they drew Notre Dame who has no quality wins and FSU who has been erratic at best. But it's still a much tougher layout than playing BYU, Rutgers and NW.

Bowl games are also iffy because often one team cares and the other doesn't. Plus you have a six week layoff so there is a disconnect there between how a team was playing during the regular season and the bowl.

If we go off the rankings then OK over OR looks bad for the PAC 10. However, I think OK was playing better as the season progressed and if you look at their opponents who beat them they are 12-0 TX, 11-1 TCU, 10-2 UCLA, and 9-3 TTU. Several good teams.

The PAC 10 is a conference that plays matador defense for the most part. USC had some good defenses from 02-04 but this one is blahish at best. The rest of the conference is the same right now. You can find some great historical PAC 10 defenses like 98 AZ and 91 WA but overall the PAC has generally been the weakest conference defensively. Conversely it has generally been ahead of the curve on offense for quite a long time and the QB production is solid.

The PAC 10 also is USC and the 9 dwarves. It just is. It's a bit of an unfair criticism because USC has beaten everyone else from other conferences since they lost to KSU so that reality is greatly a function of USC moreso than the weakness of the rest of the conference. But there also have been a paucity of other top teams over the last several years. WSU had a couple of good teams but I would say you have to go back to OR 2001 or to find a real good PAC 10 team in recent years.

Describing the PAC 10 as 6-1 in BCS games since 2000 is obviously true. But flesh that out and it looks different. Two of those wins were in 2000 (UW over Purdue and OSU gangraping ND) and the other was the skullfucking that CO received in 01 from OR. The other 3 wins are courtesty of USC. The loss was WSU to OK in 02. No one denies USC's recent prowess. But it is also true that from 2002-2005 the PAC 10 was 0-1 in BCS games when USC was not playing. So you have to go back four years, and it will be at least five years to find the last non-Trojan USC win by the time they have their next chance at an invite in 2006.

I kinda feel that the PAC 10 gets played to a stereotype whether or not they deserve it. I thought in 01 it was maybe not true and it was definitely an underrated conference in 2000 with the great OSU/OR/WA trio. But in recent years the stereotype has been true, if only by happenstance. WA has imploded, WSU has receded since Price left, OR has been solid but not special post-Harrington, UCLA struggled until this year etc. Most of the PAC 10's issues are not that they are ignored or overrated but more that several of their programs, and in particular UW and UCLA who are traditionally the 2nd and 3rd best programs behind USC have been poor in recent years.

One thing that has changed for the worse unfortunately is that no one wants to play anyone else in OOC anymore. Can't risk a loss, risk that BCS money. I remember when teams used to have sick non-conference schedules and now hardly anyone plays anyone. Plus there are more lesser conference teams in 1A to provide cannon fodder for the big boys. All of that leaves fewer and fewer chances to compare the conferences.
Quote:
Same for Michigan.

Hey now. While I generally agree with this, that 2003 was very talented and the best M team clearly of the last 6 years. Except on special teams. I'm not sure that they were overrated at all that season although obviously they still managed to only go 10-3 so there is certainly an argument to be made there.
post #7 of 17
You know I love Michigan, they're my #2 team behind the Longhorns and have been ever since I was a little kid (loved the helmets and the mascot.

But come on; for the talent they bring in and the resources they command, Michigan is playing way under the level it should.

7-5 is just unacceptable. 10-3 with a bowl loss is kind of disappointing, but it's not 7-5.
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post #8 of 17
What mascot? We don't got no stinkin mascot. If we had a wolverine mascot you would have seen him sent on the field to try to see if he could tackle Vince Young.

This year at 7-5 is clearly way below acceptable and was just horrific or as horrific as college football can be. I've been disappointed in some other seasons or games as well but I don't think 10-3 or 9-3 is too bad. Or at least not as bad as the way Eskimo Tech gets hyped every year for going 6-0 and then falls on their face in November. I think we've been chronic underachievers but only to a small extent until this season's disaster which is definitely a screwup on a much greater scale.
post #9 of 17
Your updated alltime BCS records FWLIIW:

Utah = 1-0
PAC 10 = 6-3
SEC = 7-4
Big 10 = 8-5
Big East = 4-4
Big 12 = 4-6
ACC = 1-7
Notre Dame = 0-2

Note that this credits Miami and VT as Big East teams for their appearances when they were still part of the Big East. And also note that the only ACC victory in that impressive 1-7 record, FSU's 99 national championship win, was over another team that is now in the ACC, Virginia Tech. Way to go ACC!
post #10 of 17
I'm surprised USC actually had a chance to win the national title game.

Finally, I don't have to hear people talking about USC anymore and their loss gives me more reason to look down on the Pacific 10 as a football conference.
post #11 of 17
Vince Young is a bad man.

I thought the game pretty much went as expected. I thought USC was a slight favorite and I might even say they marginally outplayed Texas. They did appear to have taut anuses at the end though. I think they win 5.5 or 6 times out of ten but the fun part is you only get to play once. The Reggie Bush stupid fumble (3-7 points) roughly cancels out the 4 points on kicking that Texas lost. You know both teams were gonna score like fiends. The difference was the two fourth down plays. You had to feel at that point that either USC went in and scored to regain a two score lead with not enough time for UT to come back or else TX gets the ball back and Young scores. They stopped them and let TX score.

Mack Brown deserves some credit for this. For the most part I don't really see anything different about this Texas team than all of the ones in the past that have lost to OK and struggled a bit in OOC and I suspect they will go back to that level once Young is gone. But for now Vince Young is superman. And you gave to give it up to Brown for htat. The critique has always been that he just recruits and is an average coach. Even if true, he recruited Young and in those exception case Young was enough to turn a good team into a national championship. You also have to give Brown credit for anything Young does next year if he comes back. I would certainly go pro if I were VY but whatever. Most coaches though would have tried to get him backup snaps behind Simms in 02 and burned his redshirt. Brown didn't and so now he has that option for 06 when Young is at a superior level instead of wasting that year in 02 for meaningless plays.

I hope everyone also now realizes how stupid it was to give Bush the Heisman. I mean the dude is fucking fast and pretty good. But he just doesn't have the effect that Young does on a game. I'm still not convinced that he is even a better back than Lendale White. Plus he's a mediocre kick returner despite the hype. At the college level I think Young is better in an absolute sense relative to the best that can be hoped for from his position. Additionally, even if he were just as good there is no question that a QB just has so much more impact and control over a game. Moreover USC also has White, Leinhart and Jarrett who are all vastly superior [right now] to the guys around Young.

At least USC can console themselves knowing that they won hypothetical victories over many past national champions, per Mark May and Herbstreit. They're the best ever, just not this year. I'm glad to see how stupid ESPN looks for their premature annointing of USC and historical nonsense. The whole thing was stupid. This was the worst team of the three from USC and probably worse than the 2002 team if you look at that team at how good they were at the end of the season rather than the beginning. That doesn't even begin to touch on the issue of how short their memories are about the great teams of the past and the drivel they spouted about USC killing those teams would have been equally silly even if USC had gone on to win this game.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by ColanderOfDeath
I hope everyone also now realizes how stupid it was to give Bush the Heisman.

I actually think Bush deserves the Heisman. Bush is the single, best, player in all of college football...right now.
post #13 of 17
I'm tired of the Heisman, it's a goddam trophy and one of the votes from it is determined by an Internet poll. Enough about that stupid hunk of bronze, it is no more meaningful than the dozens of other awards. Gino Toretta has one and he won it over Marshall Faulk.

Vince Young is a great player. I love him. I love my Texas Longhorns. I love that we won this game and the national championship.
I love that we won this while ESPN, et al. were fawning over USC. I love that we were given little chance then came in and won it. I love that Matt Leinart turned into a crying prick after the game. I love that Vince Young said he was bringing the trophy back to Austin, Texas. I love that the first thing Mack Brown did when presented with a national championship trophy was to exhort the crowd to cheer USC's valiant effort.

Our guys deserved this, they worked very hard for it and won it on the field.

I like Reggie Bush. He seems like a good guy.
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post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
I love that Matt Leinart turned into a crying prick after the game.

I went to bed right after the game ended, did he really? If so, that's pretty damn funny.

I wasn't rooting for either team, just enjoying one fantastic football game!
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post #15 of 17
Leinart said "We're still the better team, they just made the plays tonight."
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post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Leinart said "We're still the better team, they just made the plays tonight."

Are you serious! That's so cheap. Be a man about it already.

I think Leinart in the NFL has a pretty good chance of being a Kerry Collins / Jeff Blake "throws a pretty deep ball but not much else" kind of QB.
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post #17 of 17
Of course Texas' win also knocks the PAC 10 down to third in the BCS conference standings all-time:

SEC = 7-4
Big 10 = 8-5
PAC 10 = 6-4
Big East = 4-4
Big 12 = 5-6
ACC = 1-7

Utah = 1-0
Notre Dame = 0-2
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