Start to finish, top to bottom, from to Pullman to Tucson, this is the worst Pac 8, 10, 11 or 12 season I can ever remember.
It goes way beyond USC’s dismal Cotton Bowl loss to Ohio State on Friday, Washington’s loss to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl and a final Pac 12 bowl record of 1-8–the worst in bowl-game history.
Thank goodness Utah, a last-minute edition to expansion, joined the league in 2011. That’s right. Utah was only invited to the Pac 12 after the conference’s plan for a Super-16 fell apart.
The bowl record stinks, for sure, but these things go in cycles and are not to be taken that seriously.
In 2014, the top five teams in the SEC West, considered the cream of all college divisions, all lost.
The Big Ten wretchedly rang in 2011 by going 0-5 on New Year’s Day, and nobody called for commissioner Jim Delany’s impeachment.
Bowl records are mostly fodder for ESPN “contest” programming and playful bragging rights.
The Big Ten is hot bowl stuff this year after going 3-7 last year, punctuated by Ohio State’s humiliating 31-0 loss to Clemson in the national semifinals.
Pac 12 football has suffered before. No one partied in 1999, when Stanford won the conference with a record of 8-4. As recently as 2009, the league had no teams finish in the top 10 of the final AP poll.
This year’s Pac 12 failures go beyond football. It seemed to be one public relations disaster after another. The conference continued to lose, nationally, prestige and respect.
It spent the year apologizing for its time-zone and scheduling problems. It went another year putting its two best teams in Friday night road games, at the behest of television, only to see those teams lose and get knocked out of playoff contention.
At the Pac 12 title game, commissioner Larry Scott had to answer for programming that saw a league game get moved to the Fox Business Channel to make room for a truck race.
“I don’t think a Pac 12 football game should ever be delayed for a truck race,” Scott said. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.