Most people can tell you the things they love and the things they hate about something.
I have come to realize that sometimes the things we love about something can be the same things we hate.
This is my love/hate relationship with the Pac-10.
Outside of USC there are no perennial powers. This run by USC is going on eight years, but even some of their PAC-10 titles were shared.
I love how the conference is up in the air after USC. Everyone picks USC to win it right now and rightfully so. But after that there is no unanimous pick for the other nine spots.
Cal, Oregon, and Oregon Stare look like they are the next best teams. Going in to 1999, based on the finish of the 1998 season, it would have been UCLA and Arizona on top.
Washington and Washington State have become a laughing stock but you only have to go back to 2000 to see Washington on top with a share of the conference title and in 2002 to see Washington State having their share of the title.
California shared the title back in 2006 and followed it up in 2007 with a 7-6 season.
Arizona State did the same thing, having won a share of the title in 2007, they plummeted to a 5-7 record in 2008.
It is this uncertainty that I love as it keeps the conference more interesting, in my opinion, than a conference where you can pick the top three or four teams nearly every season.
It is also this uncertainty and lack of consistency that I hate.
No other team has finished in the top three of the conference more than three years straight, something Oregon State just now did from 2006-2008.
Oregon and California have both jumped in and out of the top three, but neither has been able to put together back-to-back runs at the conference.
Due to this, most of the nation has come to the conclusion that the Pac-10 is not good.
The conference gets little to no respect.
There were many people that ignored the games like No. 23, 8-3 Oregon at No. 17, 8-3 Oregon State, with the Rose Bowl and the conference on the line because neither school was named USC.
Despite my feelings, I don’t know which way I would rather see things go.
Seeing Oklahoma or Texas win the Big XII, Ohio State, Penn State, or Michigan win the Big Ten, and Florida, Georgia, LSU, or Alabama winning the SEC usually garners a reaction from the rest of the country that lacks any kind of surprise.
Ask your self how you would have reacted had Oregon State not lost to Oregon and won the Pac-10. I would guess there would be a little more amazement.
At the same time I am getting tired of the lack of respect for teams out west even when they have 10 win seasons, bowl wins and finish highly ranked.
I guess only time will tell what will happen.