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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Commentary: Pac-10 shows true colors

There really isn’t anything positive to take from Arizona’s embarrassing effort against Nebraska in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, but one thing that Wildcat fans can take solace in is that the entire Pacific 10 Conference laid an egg.

After going just 2-5 – with wins over Temple and Boston College – the Pac-10 succumbed to the negative criticism, stemming mostly from the east coast, that labeled it a “”weak”” conference.

Remember when ESPN College GameDay was on campus and the men on the stage debated whether the Pac-10 or the Southeastern Conference was superior? The consensus was that, this season, the Pac-10 was the best.

And while it’s true that the West Coast teams played some of the most competitive games of the season when lined up against each other, the Pac-10 struggled mightily in noteworthy out of conference games.

In the beginning of the season Arizona fell to Iowa, Oregon lost to Boise State, Oregon State lost to Cincinnati, Washington lost to LSU, Stanford lost to Wake Forest, and Arizona State fell to Georgia.

The only teams to come out on top were UCLA and USC, beating Tennessee and Ohio State, respectively.

Coincidentally, the LA teams were the only two to pull off bowl victories. The five other bowl teams, outside of Stanford, didn’t look like they belonged on the same field as their opponents.

Oregon State looked like it forgot there was a game to play until about 15 minutes before kickoff. BYU reminded them early and often.

California looked uninspired against Utah.

Stanford played admirably without redshirt freshman standout Andrew Luck, but eventually fell to a more talented Oklahoma team.

Oregon, hands down the most dominant team in the Pac-10 this season, looked nervous and played conservative while the aggressive Ohio State Buckeyes moved up and down the field at ease. (Did I really just say Oregon was conservative and Ohio State wasn’t? What is going on?)

And then Arizona, well, I don’t think Shakespeare could find a nice way of summarizing their “”game”” against Nebraska.

So, regardless of how exciting Pac-10 Conference games were this season, no one can make a legitimate argument that it was the best conference in the country. Especially considering the SEC, in what is considered a down year, has had teams beat Oklahoma State and Cincinnati with ease.

But if you’ve followed the Daily Wildcat closely this season, you’ll notice that there is a lot of emphasis on what the Wildcats can do next season. Assuming Rob Gronkowski returns for his senior season, Arizona will return its entire offense and is primed to make a run at the Rose Bowl.

And a Rose Bowl run might be a little easier next year if a team like Oregon, returning 18 starters, or USC plays for the National Championship.

Then don’t forget about the other teams that will improve next year like Stanford, Oregon State, California, UCLA, and Jake Locker’s Washington Huskies.

Maybe, just like it was with Arizona, this year was just a warm-up for the Pac-10.

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