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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pro/Con: How will USC’s loss affect the Pac-10?


    Trojans’ loss could be good for Pac-10

    Ari Wasserman: While I can’t speak for everyone, I am sure that the rest of the Pacific 10 Conference isn’t too fond of the conference’s nickname – the “”Pac 1+9.””

    In the face of all the talk of parody in college football and USC’s loss to Oregon State to open up the Pac-10 season, it looks like competition has finally found a place on the Pacific Coast.

    There really isn’t another team that could be considered up to par with USC in the Pac-10. But the loss already on the Trojans’ record in conference play opens up the race for the conference title, as any team can continue to take advantage of a fairly favorable Pac-10 schedule.

    When looking at the meat of the conference, the lack of major powerhouses gives just about anyone a shot for the conference title. Even a team like Arizona, which is 1-0 in conference play, could conceivably find themselves competing for the Pac-10 crown.

    With the USC loss, it could seem that the dream of having two Pac-10 teams in a BCS bowl are shot, but that is not the case. Even with the loss, USC has only fallen back to No. 9 in the polls, which gives it more than enough time to slowly crawl back into the title picture.

    Meanwhile, the loss also gives other teams in the conference the chance to sport their abilities while giving USC a run for its money. And what better way to create national attention than a solid race of three or four teams in the Pac-10?

    While it still seems highly unlikely that USC won’t win the conference, if there are teams such as Oregon, Cal or Arizona that can make them work just a little bit harder, this could create hype for a Rose Bowl berth – especially to a committee that loves the tradition of a Pac-10 and Big Ten Rose Bowl game (just look back to last year when Illinois made the Rose Bowl with three losses).

    While USC could run the table and find itself in the title game in January, the race for the Pac-10 title will surely be more exciting now that USC hasn’t immediately been crowned the champ. And who knows, maybe with a tight conference race, a team like Arizona could find their way to the Rose Bowl if USC is playing in Miami in January.


    Trojans’ loss means fewer dollars for rest of conference

    Brian Kimball: When USC lost to Oregon State on Thursday, the entire Pacific 10 Conference suffered a setback. The loss put a serious dent in the Trojans’ title hopes, meaning the Pac-10 is now likely a one-bid league as far as BCS bowls are concerned.

    After seeing the three-loss Illinois team make the Rose Bowl last year, there was a good chance that a two- or three-loss Pac-10 team could earn a trip to the Rose Bowl if USC went unbeaten and played for the national title. Now that scenario can be tossed out the window – there’s virtually no way USC can play for the title, but it still has a great chance to win the conference.

    Even if the Trojans fight on – pun intended – and somehow get to play for the title, a two-loss Oregon, Arizona, Cal or a three-loss ASU would have huge blemishes on its Rose Bowl résumés. Oregon lost to Boise State at home, Arizona fell to New Mexico, ASU choked in a home game against UNLV and Cal was embarrassed by Maryland. Not exactly the kind of quality showings the bowl people look for.

    Now it might be a good thing that USC is no longer hogging the entire Pac-10 spotlight, but the potential money lost is a big deal for every school. Any team that plays in a BCS bowl game gets $17.5 million. A second team in the BCS would mean $35 million for the conference. Each school doesn’t keep all that cash since roughly 75 percent of it is dispersed among the rest of the teams in the conference. That calculates out to around $2 million doled out to each of the schools that don’t play in a BCS game if the conference sends one team to the BCS.

    Despite the Wildcats’ inability to get to any bowl game in the past decade, they still haul in almost $2 million annually to upgrade facilities and attract recruits. If two Pac-10 schools other than the Wildcats go to the BCS games, Arizona would get roughly $4 million just for being a part of the conference.

    While the loss does improve Arizona’s chances to finally play in the actual Rose Bowl game, it won’t make as much money as it would if USC went undefeated. Four million dollars sounds nice no matter how it’s looked at, but I suppose $2 million isn’t too bad.

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