The post Civil War edition of the Roundtable. I'm really going to have to come up with a clever name for the editions. "Pac-10 Roundtable: Week Five Hundred and Seventy Fourth Edition" does not have a good ring to it. In any event, on with the show!
Is it better suited for the conference as a whole to send the most teams possible to bowl games or only ones that have a legitimate chance at victory...aka teams that won't further embarrass the Pac-10?
I think you have to have a mixture. Post season play is important for as many teams as possible, not only because of the payday and additional television coverage, but also because of the additional practice time you receive when you get to go to a bowl game. I think conferences should do their best to schedule the best competition available but you always have the downside of costing yourself bowl positions. Bowl games are important to any program, even if there is a chance to get killed. More time with recruits, more exposure and more opportunities to practice help the conference get better as a whole. All conferences have an ebb and flow in regards to out-of-conference games and bowl games are no exception. We should always strive to play the best and be the best. If you don't, you lose out on the giant killers and the upsets in our favor. It is a risk vs reward situation. On the flip side, I don't think we should schedule patsies just to get additional teams into bowls. Nothing is worse than going in, thinking you're a great conference by having a great record and then getting blown out by teams that are battle tested.
What's the deal, OSU? Look, I get it, ruin your own season, that's fine. Nobody cares about that. But to ruin Cal's season? And to cost the entire Pac10 millions and millions of dollars? What's up with that? I mean c'mon!
Come on Cal, win your games! You have to admit, the folks at the Pac-10 were probably hoping for an Oregon State trip to the Rose Bowl and the extra pay day that went along with it, but alas, the Quack Attack ruined it for Pac-10 hopes of 2 BCS teams. Even if UCLA beats USC this weekend, the Pac-10 will still only get one birth in the BCS. The real question to USC...how much do you hate Oregon? Enough to sacrifice your Rose Bowl? Oregon State was a 25 point underdog to USC earlier this year. UCLA is a 27 point underdog. Could we have another upset? If UCLA does happen to beat USC, here are the likely bowl destinations:
Rose: Oregon State (T1st)
Holiday: USC (T1st)
Sun: California (4th)
Emerald: Oregon (T1st)
Vegas: Arizona (5th)
Hawaii: (potentially Arizona State)
The final bowl positions are very much up for grabs going into the end of the season. A lot rides on Cal/UW, USC/UCLA and ASU/UA for all the bowl positions. As for you Cal, don't ruin Oregon's season! We've beaten Washington, we've got the potential to spoil a Rose Bowl for Oregon State. Don't deny us an 0-12 Washington team.
Arizona State is one win away from becoming bowl eligible with a tough game at Arizona this week. Can the Sun Devils pull it out and get to the post-season?
With all of the troubles Arizona State has had this year, they have gone through a positive stretch during the end of the year stringing together some wins against the bottom of the Pac-10. Beating UCLA put them in position to make it to bowl eligibility. They have to play at Arizona which is a VERY tough place to play this late in the season. Arizona State played Oregon State fairly tough at Reser and Arizona runs a similar scheme without the heavy run attack. The Sun Devils are also starting to get things going offensively and you know Rudy Carpenter is going to want go out on a high note in their rivalry game. I picked Arizona State last week in the roundtable to have the best shot at being bowl eligible out of the middle tier teams. I think they have a legit shot at winning this game and being only a 7 point underdog; they have a better shot than most. I think Dennis Erickson needs this game almost as much as Mike Stoops.
Over the weekend, a number of USC Trojan comments appearing on the InterWebs made mention of how disappointed they were to be going to yet another Rose Bowl (UCLA game notwithstanding). Has the Rose Bowl game gradually lost its luster under the BCS format?
I think the Rose Bowl has lost its luster...especially to the Trojans. Oregon State and Cal might feel a little bit differently about the Rose Bowl since they haven't been there since the Grand Canyon had a sign saying "Coming Soon". USC has dominated the post season in the last decade and expectations have moved beyond the Rose Bowl to "National Champions or Bust". The Trojans already know they can beat up on Big-10 teams. That's why USC was looking forward to Oregon State winning in the Civil War. They want some respect from the SEC and playing them in the BCS was certainly on the horizon. All that has changed now with Oregon's win in the Civil War. Overall, the Rose Bowl is still a major player in the post season with all its pageantry and circumstance however it used to be the "Grand Daddy of them All". Now, the Rose Bowl is turning more and more into a consolation prize to those teams that don't quite make it to the National Championship Game, just like all of the major bowl games.
Oklahoma jumped Texas in the latest BCS poll. Is this an example of the BCS getting it right or does it add more fuel to the growing calls for a playoff system?
These teams are virtually identical in whom they've beat. Texas beat Oklahoma on a neutral field, Oklahoma beat up on Texas Tech in convincing fashion and Texas Tech beat Texas on a last minute touchdown pass. The human polls show them to be both about #3 in the nation. The BCS has to pick one and gives the slight edge to Oklahoma in strength of schedule. Time for Texas to start taking BCS voters out to dinners and buying them Hybrid Escalades to get their numbers back up and hopefully into the title game. If that isn't enough reason for us to have a playoff system, I don't know what would be.