An otherwise respectable Labor Day telethon weekend, for the benefit of Larry’s Kids, was undermined by two damning defeats that can, and will, be used against the conference in various courts of football law.

One game was on national television and seen by millions; the other was viewed by loggers in the Pacific Northwest–call it Tuscaloosa and Timber!

Going back to Cal’s brave win at the Battle of Sydney Harbor, the Pac 12 exits Labor Day with a 7-5 starting record.

Not great, bad. The Pac North went 4-2 and the South went 3-3.

As you know, though, some defeats are worse than others.

USC’s crushing loss to Alabama hit the Pac 12 flagship station where it counts—right below the Bible Belt.

And, while no one saw it, Washington State’s Saturday night loss to Eastern Washington will reverberate from Pullman to Keith Jackson’s porch.

Stinging defeats, such as these, have a residual impact. They hurt the real contenders, Stanford, Oregon, Washington, as they try to make their cases. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.