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Pac-10 Roundtable: Week Thirteen Edition

Special thanks to California Golden Blogs for hosting the roundtable again. Only a couple more weeks left in regular season in football and basketball is just getting going! Having searched through the wonderful Addicted to Quack medieval archives, the roundtable from October 16th provides an interesting backdrop for this week's set of questions. Question 4 of that post is remarkably similar to question 1 of this week's roundtable. Just for kicks, let's see how well Dave did in his predictions

Q. How many Pac-10 teams will become bowl eligible

Dave Replies....

  • SC plays in the rose unless they go to the title game
  • Cal plays in the holiday unless they squeeze into the Rose if SC makes the title game
  • Oregon finishes third but goes to the Emerald Bowl (to avoid a Sun Bowl repeat)
  • Beavers finish strong and go to the Sun Bowl
  • Mike Stoops guides a still "shitty" Arizona team to the Vegas Bowl
  • As long as Stanford doesn't trip against UCLA they go to the Armed Forces Bowl

Now, on to this week's Roundtable

1.  The Pac-10 has 7 bowl contracts to fill and currently only 5 spots filled. Stanford, UCLA, and Arizona State all sit in the middle of the Pac with 6 losses. Out of those three teams, which, if any, will make it to post-season play?

Stanford has to play at Berkley and being a 10.5 point dog with Cal still smarting from that loss to Oregon State, I don't see Tedford losing this game. UCLA has to go to Arizona State where the loser gets lumped into the bottom with the Washington schools. Then the Bruins have to play USC in Pasadena... with the Rose Bowl potentially hanging on the line. Yeah. UCLA is going to have a rough time winning that game. Arizona State has to play UCLA at home, then they go on the road in a rivalry game to play Arizona. This upcoming weekend will tell a lot about Arizona. They had a great 2nd half against the Ducks and good games with Cal and USC. A win in their last 2 games puts them at 7-5 for the year and the year is a complete success.

If Arizona State can get by UCLA and keep that momentum going, they may be able to get by the Wildcats and into bowl eligibility, especially if Arizona can't rebound against Oregon State this weekend.

2. Is there anybody NOT rooting for OSU to win out and go to the Rose Bowl?  Anybody?  I think even Pete Carroll has to have a spot in his heart for this story.    And if OSU does win the Pac10, pushing USC to 2nd, do you think USC will make a BCS game or find itself in the Holiday Bowl?

This is a tough one! If OSU wins out and goes to the Rose Bowl, that means Oregon loses in the Civil War and we can't very well have that now can we? The OSU story is certainly a feel good story and the Beavs are media darlings right now but losing at Arizona will make their new found media attention go up in smoke. The Arizona game is huge for more than just the Rose Bowl. The Beavs have a chance to really turn the corner in the media's eyes and will have a ton of recruiting and program momentum going into a very favorable opening 2009 campaign. With Oregon still eye'ing the Holiday Bowl however, and Cal with 3 losses in the conference, Oregon needs a win in the Civil War to be in the running for the Holiday Bowl. A loss by OSU to Arizona this weekend would raise the Ducks' stock with the Holiday Bowl people.

If OSU does win the Pac-10, USC will be in a BCS Bowl game minus hiccups with UCLA and Notre Dame. The Bowl Selection Committee wants USC in the BCS badly whether it be the National Title Game, Rose Bowl or Fiesta Bowl. They have the fan base, the tradition and they pull money in from TV. Looking at the teams ahead of USC in the BCS, here are the key games

#2 Texas Tech vs #5 Oklahoma 11/22
#1 Alabama vs #4 Florida in the SEC Championship game 12/6
#3 Texas (potentially in the Big 12 title game vs #12 Missouri) 12/6
#5 Oklahoma vs #12 Oklahoma State - 11/29
#5 Oklahoma (potentially in the Big 12 title game vs #12 Missouri) 12/6

USC has the easiest schedule of those teams and even though the Pac-10 is down this year, the draw of a one-loss USC team will be a huge factor in the selection committee's mind. With most of the teams ahead of USC in the bowl standings playing each other, there is a good chance USC will move up a couple spots at least...perhaps even sneaking into the title game if the chips fall in the right way.

3.  Let's take a stroll down b-ball lane.  What are your Pac10 rankings for B-Ball?

2. USC
3. ASU
4. Washington
5. Washington State
6. Arizona
7. California
8. Oregon
9. Stanford
10. Oregon State

4.  Now that we've seen your B-Ball Top 10 (with assuredly UCLA at the top and OSU at the bottom), who is your surprise team this year?  And why is it Cal?

I actually think Washington could make some serious noise this year, at least from a total wins and losses perspective. They have 19 of 31 games at home and a good core of experience coming back. There is no question Cal can score but if they learn to play tough D, look out for them to move up

5.  With the legendary Lute Olsen out at Arizona, what are their chances of making the tournament this year?

Arizona has some depth issues that they need to address and the eligibility questions are putting quite the damper on the start of their season. They do, however, bring back Chase Budinger who averaged 17.1 points per game last year and provided an additional threat down low. Nic Wise will take over where Jared Bayless left off but he isn't the same player that Bayless was and the recruits that actually stayed with the program after Lute left aren't the same caliber of players that transferred / de-committed. Arizona went 19-15 last season and got into the tournament. Talk out of Arizona is that the Cats have been underachieving the last few years and they will definitely enter a new direction under interim head coach Russ Pennell. They might slip a little but should still make the NCAA Tournament.