The first regular season for the Pacific-12 Conference came to an end and I have mixed thoughts. Obviously the conference will earn a lot of money, which is needed to make the world go around.
However, competitively the season was strange. Arguably the best team is not bowl eligible. One division winner will most likely not go to a bowl game.
The Pac-12 could not fill out its seven bowl tie-ins with six bowl-eligible teams. The one plus is there will probably be two BCS teams — so more money.
Check out my final rankings and begin the argument over No. 1. I also do some bowl predictions.
1. Southern California (10-2, 7-2): Tough to put Trojans No. 1 since they are ineligible, but they beat the top team in the Ducks.
2. Oregon (10-2, 8-1): Easy Civil War victory warms them up for the Pac-12 title game and the Rose Bowl. Team playing very well.
3. Stanford (11-1, 8-1): Another stellar season completed and a probably a BCS bowl bid (Fiesta?). The conference title remains elusive.
4. Washington (7-5, 5-4): A victory in the Apple Cup adds some momentum and was a good pitch for the Alamo Bowl.
5. California (7-5, 4-5): Jeff Tedford was on the hot seat to begin the season, but a strong finish a possible Holiday Bowl game is calming.
6. Arizona State (6-6, 4-5): Dennis Erickson might not make it passed the bowl game — maybe the Sun — with late-season slide.
7. Utah (7-5, 4-5): It took some time to warm up to the conference, but once they did the Utes finished strong, and should end up in Vegas.
8. UCLA (6-6, 5-4): Bruins officially win the South Division, but will get killed against Oregon next week and not be bowl eligible with a losing record. Sad.
9. Oregon State (3-9, 3-6): The miserable season could lead to some change in the offseason. Beavers should be in the top third of Pac-12.
10. Washington State (2-7, 4-8): There was improvement, but is it enough for Paul Wulff to come back another year?
11. Colorado (2-7, 3-10): An upset of Utah allows the Buffaloes to finish strong. It’s going to be a while before they are player in the Pac-12.
12. Arizona (2-7, 4-8): The hire of Rich Rodriguez brings another spread offense to the Pac-12. OSU is in trouble.