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Friday, July 25, 2008

Pac 10 2007(8) (P)review

Here' all you really need to know from the Pac 10 last season:

That play still makes me sick to watch. I'm not a Cal fan in any way, but watching Riley make one of the stupidest decisions of his life in front of a national television audience made my stomach churn. But Cal didn't lose that game because the kid made a mistake or because Longshore couldn't stay healthy. They didn't lose that game because they failed to score more than 31 against a very good defensive team (that finished tops in the nation in run D efficiency according to the Matrix) but because they failed to give up less than 28 against a less prolific Beaver offense.

The Pac 10 was given three chances to send a team to the national championship game (SC, Oregon, and Cal) and choked (or blew, as in Dixon's knee) them all away. And not because the scheduling was too difficult--Cal lost 6 of 7 in one of the great all time collapses, Oregon got shutout by UCLA, and USC lost to 41-point-underdog Stanford.

There is one questions for the Pac 10 this season that I think is really important:

1) How many times will USC lose before New Years?

The team with the best shot of getting a W against the Trojans is situated east of the Mississippi (or, at least, I think it's east of the Mississippi but I'll have to check a map). Ohio State is always good and has been better than SEC fans seem to believe. The Bills lost four Super Bowls, but that still was an incredible team. USC gets it at home, though, and should win.

And if they do, they will get the SEC champ in the national championship game if they can avoid losing more than one game in-conference. That means they could even throw one away against UCLA or Stanford and still play for the title.

My prediction of the Pac 10-USC plays for the championship and everyone else is irrelevant.

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