College Football: Why The Pac-10 Is Overtaking The SEC in BCS Dominance
The Pac-10 Conference is on the rise this 2010 college football season, showing almost all-around strength from all its members.
On the other hand, the SEC is remaining strong as well, continuing its dominance in the recent BCS era and claiming the last four National Championships.
Could this be the year that the Pac-10 overtakes the SEC? Both conferences have teams ranked in the AP Top 10, and seemingly enough, four of these will teams battle it out in two conference games this Saturday in what could be a precursor to who could win their respective conference.
The following is a list stating seven signs that could point to the Pac-10 taking over the reigns. Please note that this is not a battle of which conference is "better," but rather possible precursors that might show a shift of dominance, or perhaps a level of equality between the two conferences.
In Week 5, ESPN's College Gameday has chosen to attend the No. 9 Stanford at No. 4 Oregon game.
College Gameday at a game featuring two top-10 teams, sounds about right.
But wait. The almighty ESPN has chosen this location over another top-10 matchup, the No. 7 Florida Gators at the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, a rematch of the 2009 SEC Championship Game which ultimately decided which would go to the BCS National Championship Game.
The fact that a Pac-10 match-up was chosen over one of the most anticipated games of the SEC season is a huge step in the right direction for the conference, shifting the spotlight away from the SEC momentarily.
More Signature Wins In 2010
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The Pac-10 has gained more signature wins against non-conference foes so far this season.
Arizona won against then-No. 9 Iowa, UCLA gained a huge road win against the then-No. 7 Texas and also against the No. 23 Houston Cougars.
The SEC's signature wins over ranked non-conference teams consist of No. 21 LSU over No. 18 North Carolina, No. 1 Alabama over No. 18 Penn St., and No. 15 LSU over No. 22 West Virginia.
While the ranking of the scheduled teams is kinda of the luck of the draw, as these teams have been scheduled sometimes years in advance, the Pac-10 has taken down two top-10 teams compared to the SEC's zero, and both have one team who has acquired two of the three upsets each conference has.
Oregon Is Knocking on The BCS Door
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The Oregon Ducks moved up one spot to the No. 4 position in the AP Poll after struggling win over the Arizona State Sun Devils, but face their true test this Saturday against the Stanford Cardinal on if they are National Championship Material.
This matchup against Stanford is likely the toughest of the the season for the Ducks. A win over the Cardinal just might give the voters enough confidence to move the Ducks to the No. 3 spot, surpassing Boise State, which should be the case if Oregon wins against the No. 9 team in the country.
Oregon is on a roll this season, and if it is able to take down the Cardinal in Week 5, all it will take is an Alabama loss to pull ahead of the SEC and national front-runner.
Stanford Or Oregon Can Run The Tables
Obviously, only one of these teams has the chance of running the tables and accomplishing an undefeated season depending on the outcome of this week's game.
One prediction could be that the winner of the Oregon-Stanford game wins the remaining of their schedule, which, if rankings prove anything, one team should.
Dependent on an Alabama and/or Ohio State loss during the season, one of these teams might have a chance at the National Championship Game. Although Boise State also has a high chance of going undefeated, again, it would be extremely hard to overlook an undefeated Pac-10 squad to place the Broncos in the big game.
Since the inception of the Bowl Championship Series in 1998, the Pac-10 and SEC conferences have met on 21 occasions.
Of these meetings, the Pac-10 leads the books with a 12-9 record during the current era, including the only SEC-Pac-10 match-up this season when Oregon took down Tennessee.
While this is impressive, the Pac-10 cannot assume the duties of BCS dominance over the SEC until the Pac-10 boasts a BCS champion—a claim to fame the SEC has had for the past four seasons.
Georgia Cancels Series With Oregon
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The Georgia Bulldogs and Oregon Ducks 2015-2016 home and home meetings are no longer going to happen.
While the official word is that both schools "mutually" agreed to cancel the series, a statement from the Athens Banner-Herald states something different:
"The cancellation is a move away from Georgia’s philosophy under former athletic director Damon Evans of scheduling high-profile non-conference games in other regions of the country."
If this excerpt is even a little bit true, it is not helping the SEC prove their BCS dominance.
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The non-conference schedule is something that always comes up in conference dominance discussions, as it very well should.
The Pac-10 Conference has a total of 31 non-conference games in the 2010 season. While breaking it down, that makes 24 FBS teams and 7 FCS teams.
Of the Pac-10's 24 FBS contests, 15 are against BCS teams—that's nearly half (~48 percent) of all the non-conference games for the conference.
On the other hand, the SEC has 44 total non-conference games scheduled: 34 FBS teams and 10 FCS teams.
The SEC plays a total of 15 BCS teams throughout the season, or roughly 34 percent of the scheduled non-conference games.
Now, the comparing of non-conference schedules does not prove either conference to be better by any means, but it does help to have wins against BCS teams compared to non-BCS teams in the long run.