It wasn't supposed to be like this. The pre-season picks for Pac-12 supremacy were Oregon and USC.
USC was ranked No. 1 in the polls. They were finally off probation and bowl eligible.
They also had three talented pro prospects on offense with QB Matt Barkley and receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.
Meanwhile Coach Chip Kelly at Oregon found an extremely talented freshman QB Marcus Mariota. Add to that Heisman hopeful running back Kenjon Barner and speedster De’Anthony Thomas and it appeared the Duck juggernaut would continue on its merry way in 2012.
The only question seemed to be the location for the Pac-12 Championship game. Would it be in Eugene like last year, or in the LA Coliseum?
So how do you explain the fact that this Friday's Championship game will be played in Palo Alto where Stanford will host UCLA.
What happened? What went wrong? How did the Cardinal and the Bruins get there?
Let’s take a look. And while we’re at it, lets predict where the top Pac-12 teams will end up in their bowl games.