...but I don't know if I agree entirely. You hedge your bet enough that I think we're close to being on the same page, but I think these other major conferences are deeper with greater upside (upwards potential of a Arizona or a Colorado or a Arkansas or South Carolina is greater - better recruiting, more possible to be a national power than Minnesota or Northwestern or Purdue) and the elite of these other major conferences are simply better on average than Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan (in other years).
A Pac Ten Bowl Analysis
If so inclined, see A Big10 Bowl Analysis for added context.
Pac Ten #1 vs Big Ten #1
USC crooshes PSU
Pac-10 No. 2 OREGON vs. Big 12 No. 4 OKSt
Oregon crooshes Okie St.
Pac-10 No. 3 OreSt vs. Big East Pitt
OreSt beats Pitt 3-0 in 9 innings.
Pac-10 No. 4 CAL vs. ACC No. 7 Miami (YTM)
Cal beats Miami (YTM)
Pac-10 No. 5 ZONA vs. Mountain West No. 2 (but finished 3rd?) BYU
Zona beats BYU
*Sun Bowl Selected the #2 team in the Big East, Pitt:
If the Gator Bowl selects a Big 12 Conference school, the Brut Sun Bowl has the second pick from the Big East Conference.
** MWC Champ Utah received a BCS bid and it appears as if the Sun Bowl selected the 3rd place team in lieu of TCU:
Unless an MWC team qualifies for a BCS bowl game, the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl has the first selection of MWC teams, followed by the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettita Bowl with the second selection. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and New Mexico Bowls have the third and fourth selections, respectively, but in no particular order.
^ 2008 Big 12 bowls, in order: BCS, BCS, Cotton, Holiday, Gator, Alamo, Insight, etc.
Again this season, the Big 12 has eight bowl slots guaranteed. The Conference is partnered with nine bowls. However the arrangement with the Gator Bowl is for it to select a Big 12 team twice over a four-year period. In the two years in which the Gator does not select a Big 12 team, the Sun Bowl will.
Following is the selection order:
BCS [ x2, -ed.]
• USC is better than PSU. Not shocking, but obviously a great win for the Pac10.
• The 2nd best team in the Pac10 is better than the 4th place team in the B12. Not shocking.
• In a good win for the Pac10, their 3rd place team beats the Big East runner up. Of course, this is the Big East and, as such, should be considered a mid-major football conference.
• The 4th place Pac10 representative beats the 7th place ACC team. Again, not shocking.
• Finally, the 3rd best team in a mid-major conference is beaten by the 5th best Pac10 team. At this point, I'd like to ask the Pac10 if they want a medal for this amazing accomplishment.
The Pac10 bowl affiliations are a joke. They always have been for as long as I can remember. In years where the Pac10 only has one BCS representative (USC), the effects of this become magnified because 2-3 of their match-ups turn out to be against the n+1th best team (see the Holiday Bowl where the Big12 sent their 4th best team due to OU and Tex going to the BCS, and the Vegas Bowl where their champ, Utah, unexpectedly received a BCS berth (andand the unexplained selection of 3rd place BYU over 2nd place TCU)). The simple fact is, the Pac10 plays down in their bowl match-ups. Go back to look for the Pac10 record in bowl games. They are almost always 5-1 or 4-2 or 5-0. But look at who they placed in those games.
In contrast, the Big10 has always 'played up' in their bowl affiliations. Of course, when the B10 sends 2 teams to the BCS (as happens most years) they send the n+1th best team. This effect has been mitigated since the addition of a 5th BCS game, because more conferences get the 'sent the n+1th best team' -effect. Thus the relatively even bowl match-ups for the Big10 in the earlier diary entry.
This doesn't say that the Big10 is the best conference, of course. What is does say is that, based on bowl game performance, the Pac10 is not too great and the Big10 is not too far off from the SEC r the Pac10. Not to mention the unquantifiable effects traveling has on B10 teams with which the SEC and Pac10 generally do not have to deal. And that the Pac10 only had 5 bowl eligible teams. The reputation of the Pac10 is always over inflated for 2 reasons: USC and their bowl record.
Look, USC is great. They are the only team that recruits as well as I used to in NCAA0X for Xbox. They probably have more talent than any 2 other teams in the nation, combined. But the Pac10's strength should not be a reason for USC to get 1st place votes. The Pac10 certainly isn't a stronger conference than the Big12 or the SEC. Or perhaps even the ACC who sent an NCAA record 10 teams to bowls.
For those who can't or won't comprehend this, USC is the best team in January. Unfortunately, their hiccup against a good Oregon State team has kept them from the big game. USC would smoke FL or OK if the Trojans played either team. Pac 10 is so far undefeated as conference in bowl play. Big 10 has won just one game.
I'd argue that the SEC is deeper and, this year, has a better top 2-3. honestly, that's not going out on a limb. but i don't think they are too far apart. we did beat UF last year and M usually does well against the SEC.
i don't think there's any way the pac 10 is deeper than the B10. UW & WSU are gowdfreakinawful.... like worse than IU/Ill/M/Purdue. and like i said, they only have 5 bowl eligible teams.
the B12 is the best conf this year and last, IMO. ever since the north came back to respectability, they are solid.
actually, the ACC this year has no great teams (i think PSU & OSU could handle VT, BC, FSU, GT). but they have a lot of good teams, MSU-level teams. 10 were bowl eligible!
I'd take the Pac-10's top 3 over the Big Ten's top 3. I'd take the Pac-10's top 5 over the Big Ten's top 5. I'd take the Pac-10's top 8 over the Big Ten's top 8.
Yes, Washington and Wazzu both blow. That doesn't mean the conference is just USC and nobody.
Did it ever occur to you they only have 5 bowl-eligible teams because they a) play a 9 game conference schedule (with half the teams playing 5 road games) and b) generally don't fill up with a lot of crap--I think everyone played a 10th BCS team and most played (and some lost) to quality MWC teams. It's pretty easy to get bowl eligible when you get 4 gimmes (Minnesota/Wisconsin).
TCU went to the Poinsettia Bowl because a deal was worked out to have Boise State play them there. The Pac-10 didn't have enough teams, allowing the WAC to send a team to that bowl, and they worked it out with the Mountain West to send TCU to get a matchup of highly ranked teams. Frankly, it was probably the most interesting matchup of the non-BCS games.
The Big Ten, this season, has beaten the 6th best team in the SEC. That's it.
Last year, the Big Ten beat the MAC Champion, the 5th or 6th best team in the Big XII, and the 4th or 5th best team in the SEC.
Denigrate the Pac-10 all you want, but at least they win the games. The Big Ten can't even do that.
and most teams play 5 road games. i don't think that's a huge barrier to getting 6-7 wins.
i'd take osu & MSU over oregon and ore. st. respectively. on a truly neutral field.
same for NW and iowa over arizona and cal.
and minn/wisc over asu and stanford
and M/ill/pur over wsu and UW
You haven't looked at a composite Pac-10 schedule then if you think those are all gimmes. The 10 Pac-10 teams played 15 non-BCS teams in 2008. The 11 Big Ten teams played 30 non-BCS teams. That's a game and a half difference per team. I find it hard to believe that you don't think that makes a difference in winning 5 games or being bowl-eligible at 6-6.
Other than taking Iowa over Arizona or Cal (a team that beat MSU), I just don't agree with your other scenarios.
You don't agree with any team in the big ten over Washington/Washington State? Pick your battles...
... in berkeley.
you're other point is a good one (i assume ND counts as BCS team).
the other thing is, USC played 0.0 non-BCS teams... so that's 15/9... but i'll give you that point. UCLA played on non-bcs: byu. wash played one, wsu played 2/4 (hawaii=13 games). usc none.
and i'm not saying the B10 is 'teh best evah'.... just not as far behind the Pac10 and SEC as people think. travel issues are not quantifiable. and certainly, 5-0 isn't as great as it
s made out to be.
weather climates and play in domes like the Silverdome or Ford Field. I know it's sacrilege, but what if they played the Rose Bowl at Ford Fieldor Indy every other year and USC had to travel here. Level playing field?
...never. Never never never never never never.
but what if they played the Rose Bowl at Ford Fieldor Indy every other year and USC had to travel here.
USC plays at Ohio State next year, so there's your chance Big Ten fans.
As a lifelong Michigan fan and Michigan grad, I've been watching Michigan and other B-10 teams in the Rose Bowl ever since 1969. Every fucking year I hear people in Ann Arbor and the Big Ten (and sometimes even members of the Michigan coaching staff) assert that the PAC-10 is a weak sissy conference full of players who don't like to play a physical brand of football, and much more often than not Michigan or Purdue or Iowa or Illinois or Northwestern is sucking its thumb after another embarrassing Rose Bowl defeat. It's really sort of comical. You'd think after a while that people around here would give the P10 its due, but I guess that's the definition of arrogance.
While I agree that some people always view the Pac-10 as the no-defense, weakling club, I counter that that every conference has its meme that the national media has affixed to it. With the Pac-10, it has been that it is full of "California boys" who couldn't cut it playing smash-mouth football, even though a number of West coast kids play in the Big 10 and the SEC. The Big 10, by comparison, is always painted as the slow, 3-yards-and-a-cloud of dust program, even though I don't think any team other than Wisconsin trotted out such a predictable offense in years.
I think the point of the post wasn't so much to defend the Big 10, but to simply point out that the hoopla surrounding the Pac-10 every bowl season should be tempered somewhat. The Big 10 has, admittedly, been pretty sad the past few bowl seasons, and I think few people would place it higher than #3 or #4 in a BCS ranking. But I counter that the Pac-10, as a conference, is simply not as dominant as it appears most bowl games. USC is heads-and-tails the best team, but after that I doubt Oregon, Cal, or Oregon St. would be better than the 3rd or 4th-best team in the SEC/B12 every season.
I would compare the Pac-10 to the ACC this season, with the main difference that the ACC lacks the dominant USC-type. Otherwise, both conferences are filled with bunch of decent-to-above-average teams along with 1 or 2 absolutely atrocious programs. The meme saying the Pac-10 is full of "sissy-boys" needs to end, but outside of Oregon I don't see any of the teams consistently challenging for BCS bowl bids in the near future.
but I didn't get the impression that was the point of the post. The poster believes that the Big Ten is better top to bottom than the Pac-10. Other than Penn State's victory over Oregon State, there is no evidence for this.
Here is the list of BCS bowl teams the Big Ten beat in the regular season this year:
Notre Dame (Michigan State)
Oregon State (Penn State)
Here is the list of BCS bowl teams the Big Ten beat in the regular season last year:
The Pac-10 has 8 victories over BCS bowl teams in that span (and that doesn't include some wins over quality MWC foes). As a comparison the SEC also has 8 in this same time span.
The Big Ten doesn't play quality opponents in the non-conference (31 non-BCS teams), doesn't beat the ones that they do play, and then gets torched in the bowl season.
M didn't play U-Dub this past season (duck)