Pac-10 play is quickly coming to an end, with only one game left between these 10 teams and bowl season (or offseason, for most of the conference).
That having been said, the Pac-10 schools are really putting on good shows to close out the year. Big wins, hard fought losses, and some meaningful football all went down this weekend.
With the second-to-last week in the record books, let's take a look at the second to last 2010 Pac-10 rankings.
Poor Washington State: another year, another last place finish.
The Cougars may have avoided a winless season, but they once again assumed their role as the doormat of the Pac-10.
They have another week to reclaim some dignity (which could actually get them off of the bottom of the conference in my book), but right now they continue to look like the worst team in the Pac-10.
Oregon State came down hard after blowing out USC last week, falling to Stanford 38-0.
When you get shut out, you deserve to be dropped.
The only thing keeping Oregon State above Washington State in my book is their win last week, and that is getting less and less convincing as I think more about USC.
What happened to that team that showed so much promise after stomping all over Texas?
Since that game, UCLA has gone 2-5, and has been outscored 245-141.
Here's to hoping that their rivalry game next week against USC doesn't go too badly, and that they can do some serious rebuilding in the offseason. But that's a tough task, considering the players they will be losing like Akeem Ayers.
Again, Cal is one of those teams that makes up the 'meaty middle' of the Pac-10 solely because they are impossible to figure out.
One week, they play the best team in the nation to a two-point game (15-13 loss to Oregon).
Then they lose their biggest rivalry (48-14 to Stanford) the very next week.
Then they lose their bid for bowl eligibility (16-13 to Washington).
Cal really needed to step up and post their sixth win of the season, but they just couldn't do it, so here they are. Sorry, Jeff Tedford.
Once upon a time, people believed that the Pac-10 would produce four great teams this season: Oregon, USC, Stanford, and Arizona.
After three straight losses, Arizona has pretty much failed to meet that expectation. Sure, they managed to reach bowl eligibility, but the Wildcats were certainly not expecting four losses this season.
They really need to pick up their act this week, because they are certainly going to want to end their regular season on a high note against in-state rival Arizona State.
I know it was raining, but their final drive vs. Notre Dame was sloppy, no doubt about it.
Dropped passes were commonplace, and USC finally gave the game up on a terrible throw by Mitch Mustain in the waning seconds of the game.
Sorry guys, but after giving a game away like that, and getting blow out by Oregon State the week before, USC has earned their spot in the middle of the meaty middle.
I sat around for a good long while trying to figure out who was better between Washington and Arizona State. I turned to friends. I turned to my parents. I even asked my football-illiterate brother, all to no avail.
Therefore, and it hurts me to say this, I'm going to have to declare this one a tie.
Washington has not had a great season, and they are still one win short of bowl eligibility.
On the other hand, though, they have won their last two games in impressive fashion, including a 16-13 win over Cal who needed the win to become bowl eligible.
All they need now is to win next week so that they can represent the Pac-10 in postseason play.
Much like the team they are tied with, Arizona State is only one win short of going bowling after an impressive showing against UCLA on Friday.
They have the slight edge over Washington, if only because they beat the Huskies earlier in the season, but both teams seem too similar to differentiate.
Every time I watch a college football program or broadcast, the BCS rankings inevitably come into the conversation.
Auburn, Oregon, TCU, Boise State, etc., etc.
Rarely do announcers ever mention Stanford in these conversations, despite the fact that they are ranked No. 6 in the BCS standings, and have blown out their opponents all season long, completing their third shutout of the season against Oregon State.
It is time that people start recognizing the Cardinal for who they are: Stanford is the best one-loss team in the NCAA right now, and absolutely deserve a BCS bowl.
If you are surprised by this, you clearly have not been watching, reading about, or paying attention to football in any way.
The Oregon Ducks are clearly the best team in the nation right now. Yes, Auburn fans. They are No. 1 and you aren't. They may play teams close in the first half, but there always comes a point in the game where the speed of Oregon's offense simply gasses opponents.
The Ducks look like they are going to run the table, bringing the BCS National Championship to Eugene.
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