Bleh. The 12-Pac had some fantastic games today, unfortunately how it panned out had to leave league followers looking for their Listerine. This season brought joyous potential not just to 12-Pac fans, but SEC haters nationwide. However, this season has not turned out well and today was a crushing blow to national recognition.
Oregon was the only team that did what is was supposed to. They demolished the farce of the league, Colorado, 70-14. However, the highly touted USC Trojans dropped their second in conference game, falling to Arizona 39-36. In the late game Oregon State fell victim to turnovers and the Washington Huskies 20-17. All conferences want to be good, top to bottom, but to be an elite conference the top schools should win week in and week out. Today the 12-Pac failed to do that and their national prestige took a big hit.
Parity is fantastic in every league, but when 2 of your top ranked schools fall to unranked teams in the same week the national consensus changes to parody. Stanford squeaked by Washington State 24-17 in a win that only looks good at the end of the season. Utah dominated California to ensure that Washington State remains the lone 12-Pac team without a conference win. Yippee. The Trojans are going to start feeling their sanctions starting next year and every injury will be amplified, hurting their chances to run the table in coming years. Oregon will have to wonder if the coach is going to jump to the NFL (no reason for him to laterally move in college). Unless Rich Rod, Mike Leach or another coach can get their team to step up, national respect will be tough going over the next few years. This is not to step on teams rising up, but when two of your top three teams fall flat in the same week the whole conference suffers.