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Pac-10 Roundtable: Week Seven Edition

California Golden Blogs hosting this week.  It was kind of CGB to host on short notice this week.  We tried to get Joe the Plumber, but we could only book him if if we had a place for the presidential candidates to sit while they kissed his ass.  While TwistNHook offered to kick Joe's ass and force him to willingly comply, we decided that it was easier if TwistNHook just hosted himself.  This was mainly to prevent anything to happen to McCain in the collateral damage, lest Sarah Palin become president and force us all to name our children Cashew.  Children of the country owe you, TwistNHook, they owe you more than you can ever know.

On with the roundtable:

1. Is it possible that USC puts itself back in the national title race?  Is it deserving to be back in the national title race? 

Were they ever out of the national title race?  I know that ESPN wanted to push the narrative that OSU knocked the Trojans out of the national title race because it makes for a feel good story, but there is a simple truth to the matter:  one loss doesn't knock you out of the title picture anymore.  If you win the Pac-10 or SEC or Big 12 with one loss, there is a pretty good chance that you are in the top two.  There are just too many good teams, and that number is growing every year.  We've already seen it:  Georgia lost.  Florida lost.  LSU lost.  Oklahoma lost.  Missouri lost.  SC is already back up to fourth in the coaches poll.  Penn State may go undefeated because the Big Ten is so bad, but Alabama and Texas still have a lot of tests to face.

2. The season is 7 weeks old, nearly half over.  What's the biggest surprise in the Pac-10 so far this year?

That we suck.  And by we, I don't mean the Ducks.  I mean the whole fucking conference.  Washington and Washington State are two of the worst BCS schools ever.   They are a complete embarrassment to college football, and would be lucky to compete in the Big Sky.  Oregon State looked thoroughly uncompetitive at Penn State, then found new and innovative ways to blow the game at Utah.  Oregon, which was supposed to have a top five secondary, let the freshman quarterback at Boise State pass for a gazillion yards on them at Autzen.  They currently rank 111 in pass defense.  Cal slept through the loss at Maryland.  Arizona got caught napping by New Mexico, and ASU lost straight up to UNLV.  We're 1-6 against the Mountain West, and would finish with a losing OOC record if SC were to somehow lose to Notre Dame.  We are simply a mediocre conference.

3.  After dispensing with Oregon and Arizona State, USC seems to have righted itself back onto the path towards another Pac-10 championship.  Obviously everyone's looking to Cal as the last serious challenge, while no one expects this weekend's trip to Wazzu to be anything but ugly, but 3 potentially tricky road trips remain:  Arizona, Stanford, and UCLA.  Where are the Trojans most likely to be tripped up?

They won't be.  The OSU game was really the perfect storm.  The fact of the matter is that none of the three teams mentioned above have the talent to knock off an SC and, while Cal has the talent to do so, those chances are very much muted with the game being at the Coliseum.  USC will roll through the rest of the Pac-10 because we're not any good.  Simple as that.

4.  Although it's still too early to make bowl predictions with any sort of accuracy, it seems at this point in the season that the Pac-10 is unlikely to fill its 7 contractual bowl slots.  How many Pac-10 teams do you think will eventually become bowl eligible?

Well, Washington State will obviously be in the Rose Bowl this  year so.......

SC (duh) plays in the Rose, unless the make the national title game.

Cal plays in the Holiday unless they finish 10-2 and can squeeze into the Rose if SC make the NCG.

Oregon finished third, but because they went last year, the Sun Bowl doesn't invite them.  Ducks go to the Emerald Bowl instead.

Beavers finish strong and go to the Sun Bowl.

Mike Stoops keeps his job by guiding a still shitty Arizona team to the Vegas Bowl to get annihilated by Utah or BYU (insert Duck joke here).

And, as long as they don't trip up against UCLA, Stanford goes 6-6 to make the Armed Forces Bowl.

They may get six if Stanford holds up.  UW, WSU, UCLA, and ASU are done.

5.  Arizona State has obviously been a massive disappointment so far this year.  Dennis Erickson has never been one to stay in a "rebuilding situation."  How long do you anticipate Erickson staying for and what can be done for next year to rebound from the disaster that is 08?

Aren't the Raiders already looking for a coach?

BYE will wish it had never been born.  Prepare to die, BYE.