The Pac-10 Deserves a Cease and Desist Letter Right Now

Jameson FlemingSenior Writer IDecember 4, 2009

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 21:  (L) Venoy Overton #1 of the Washington Huskies along with the rest of the Huskies bench react late in the second half before losing to the Purdue Boilermakers during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Rose Garden on March 21, 2009 in Portland, Oregon. The Boilermakers defeated the Huskies 76-74 to advance to the Sweet 16.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

You would have thought the night that Oregon lost to Portland, Oregon State lost to Sacramento State, and Southern California lost to Loyola Marymount would have been the night the Pac-10 hit rock bottom.

Especially since Loyola Marymount and Sacramento State won a combined five games last year, or the fact UCLA had already lost to Cal-State Fullerton, Oregon State went down to Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and Stanford couldn't beat Oral Roberts earlier in the year.

But that night wasn't rock bottom for the Pac-10.

Neither was two days later when Montana knocked off Oregon and Wisconsin defeated Arizona.

Rock bottom might just be what happened during Wednesday and Thursday night's action.

California had a chance to redeem itself and go on the road to the Pit and beat New Mexico. Washington State held a double-digit lead against a ranked Gonzaga team. Arizona had two overtimes to knock UNLV from the ranks of the undefeated.

Unfortunately for the Pac-10, the Golden Bears couldn't win in a hostile environment. The Cougars collapsed down the stretch in Spokane, and the Zags escaped with a win. The Wildcats didn't have the grit to take out the Rebels on their home court.

The scoreboard at the end of the night should have read "Mountain West and West Coast Conferences 3, Pac-10 0."

You would think with a night of spectacular fireworks of futility, that Wednesday night would be the Pac-10's finale of failure.

But right now, the only thing the Pac-10 is excelling at is failing, and that finale would only be a tease.

Current Pac-10 favorite Washington managed to do the unthinkable. In the process of losing to a team picked to finish ninth in the Big 12, the Huskies remarkably lost in a way that allowed Texas Tech's students to rush the court not once, but twice.

After the referees waived off a basket that left the hands of Michael Singletary after the buzzer, Washington couldn't ride that momentum to an overtime victory.

Lorenzo Romar's team was supposed to be the ONE glimmer of hope during this bleak season of Pac-10 basketball.

Now, that's gone.

Outta here as fast as the Huskies left the floor to avoid the Red Raiders' second floor stormin'.

With Southern Cal's loss to Texas, the Pac-10 will have 24 losses among 10 teams. The Big East has 16 schools, and they've lost half as many games. The Atlantic 10 has 30 losses among 14 teams—that's 2.14 losses per team—and the Pac-10 is at 2.4.

Remember the A-10 has a team, Fordham, that won three games all last season and three others that finished 200th or worse in the RPI.

Last year, the Pac-10 had only three that finished outside the top 100—this year there are three outside the top 200.

It's not even that early in the season anymore where those numbers are that skewed. Most schools have played about half of their non-conference games. Most Pac-10 schools only have about a half-dozen remaining games out of conference to prove themselves, or really in their case, not further embarrass the league.

The way things are setting up, the Pac-10 might actually only receive one bid to the big dance.

What happens if Washington proves to be the dominant team and only losses one or two games in the league, no one else separates itself, and everyone else loses at least seven conference games?

You think the committee should be picking a nine or 10-loss Pac-10 team?

I don't think so.

Of course that part is just hypothetical, and one other team should separate itself to give the Pac-10 a second, maybe a third bid.

Right now though, you've got to think that the WCC with Gonzaga and Portland or the Mountain West with UNLV, BYU, and New Mexico might actually garner more bids than the Pac-10.

We all knew the Pac-10 might be bad this year. But who thought it would be this bad?

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