1 bad thing: At the beginning of the season things looked good for the Conference of Champions. Stanford and Oregon were both ranked in the top five of the AP and the USA Today Coaches poll. The most common train of thought was the winner of the Stanford-Oregon games would win the conference and possibly a trip to Pasadena. While Stanford did win the match up and is going to Pasadena it is for tradition, not history (everyone remembers the Natty winner, the Rose Bowl winner….not so much). The Pac-12 beat itself up, as it tends to do, as is the common practice with a nine game conference schedule. How nice would it be to have Chattanooga or Troy St. (you know who you are) come to town in November instead of traveling to Arizona or USC? Stanford is the real upset in the PAC-12. A loss at Utah (Utah’s only conference win. Colorado doesn’t count. Beating Colorado never counts)? And a loss at USC? Stanford is an absolute beast when they play their 1950’s football (taking that right from you Jeremy Baird) but too little too late. So from August to December the conference lost both National Title dreamers and ended up cannibalizing itself and as a result only has one BCS team. The conference had bigger dreams but for now will have to watch the ACC, SEC, BIG10 (you have 12 teams!!!! Soon to be 14!!!), and the BIG12 (also mathematically challenged) play in two BCS bowl games.
First good thing: The PAC-12 has a chance to finish strong (and that’s about all we can do). A win over Texas and the Ducks will finish in the top ten and look prime for another run next year (the return of Marcus Mariota isn’t bad either). Stanford has a chance to take down the #4 team in the country and finish in the top five. Arizona State (vs. Texas Tech), UCLA (vs. Va. Tech), and Arizona (vs. BC) all have favorable bowl opponents they should beat. Washington (vs. BYU), Oregon State (vs. BSU), and USC (vs. Fresno State) all have tougher match ups but should compete. The Christmas season could mean a great end to an overall disappointing season in the PAC-12.
The final good thing: The PAC-12 has respect nationally. According to Espn Stats and Info, Stanford would have made a four-team playoff if the systems had been in place this year. While that doesn’t help anyone much this year, think about that hypothetical? It means Stanford, with two losses, is more worthy than a one loss Baylor (conference champ), a one-loss Ohio State, and a one loss Alabama. The impact of the PAC-12 perceived strength means the winner of the PAC-12 next year gets a shot at a title. Next New Years could be a wonderful one.
Intriguing pro player from the PAC-12:
De’Anthony Thomas, 5-9, 176lbs (yeah soaking wet with rocks in his pockets and boots on), Junior.
Will he stay? Or will he go? De’Anthony Thomas had an interesting third and most likely final season at Oregon. Thomas had six touchdowns in his first three games and looked poise to have a huge year for the Ducks. Unfortunately for Thomas that all changed during a rainy game against Cal to kick off (no pun intended) PAC-12 play. Thomas would score three touchdowns the rest of the way and never really got going down the stretch. Most mock NFL draft boards have him as a first or second round WR-RB hybrid Darren Sproles guy. His combine should be solid and his 40 time will only help. So does he stay? Or does he go?
A Quick look at the Pac-12
Stanford @ Michigan State for the GRANDDADDY OF THEM ALL!!!!!!! A preview of this game is sure to come from the legendary Jeremy Baird but this game will be summed up in the total points scored. Money is on a 52 yard game winning FG as time expires. Stanford wins 3-0. The over under for turnovers committed is exactly the same as yards allowed, seven.