Be Happy, Pac-10 Fans—But Don't Get Carried Away This Early

Carson HowellCorrespondent ISeptember 4, 2008

After Tennessee’s devastating loss to the Pac-10 for the second year in a row, like all other unbiased SEC fans (snicker), I came to the realization that the Pac-10 is a bit better than I thought.

Pac-10 fans eagerly want inclusion in the "top conference discussions"—and as far as the head to head matchups go against the best, they might deserve it.

I am struggling to comprehend why, though, some Pac-10 fans are declaring their conference to be the best, based on victories over the suggested best, the SEC.

A couple of articles that I’ve noticed have the Pac-10 at the top.  I think we need to take a second to look at the polls—and what conference dominates them—in order to better understand this misunderstanding.

When looking at the top 10 teams in the AP and USA Today polls, I notice the SEC has by far the most teams with four.  The Pac-10, on the other hand, has one—the USC Trojans, number one after week one.

Further down the list you'll find the next ranked Pac-10 team in the Arizona State Sun Devils, who have done little to attain the ranking of 15th-best in the country.  Looking at their schedule last year, ASU lost three games.  Their only quality win came at home when they beat Cal, who was ranked at the time but ended up a horrible 7-6.

In their bowl game, the Texas Longhorns put up 52 points on the little devils.

Here is a list of the Pac-10 teams and their wins/losses last year.

Arizona: 5-7, .416

ASU: 10-3, .769

Cal: 7-6, .538

Oregon: 9-4, .692

Oregon St.: 9-4, .692

Stanford: 4-8, .333

UCLA: 6-7, .461

USC: 11-2, .846

Washington: 4-9, .307

Washington St.: 5-7, .416

Total Conference’s Win Average=.477

Out of decency, I won't put down the SEC average, but I will say it’s WELL over .500.  Actually, all but two teams were .500 or better.

ASU should focus on Saturday, when Jim Harbaugh's Cardinal visits Mr. Erickson and the Sun Devils.  Stanford was satisfied after they upset the Beavers in week one, and they are looking to make it two in a row.  If ASU sends the cardinal home with a loss, they only have one more "warmup" game, against UNLV, before Georgia.

They are the second best team (by the polls) in the Pac-10, and they must avoid demolishment when the Dawgs come to town.  If not, they will get bumped out, and this will only further my notion that the Pac-10 can't be that good when they only have one team in the top 15.

But hey, if ASU proves me wrong and UPSETS Georgia, the Sun Devils and Pac-10 especially will receive the respect they crave.  George Bush will then break all Presidential rules by serving a third term, because of how popular he is and all the votes he will receive.