Pac-12 Underrated in Football
by Pac-12 Fan
(East Coast )
I'll say Football is outsized and give kudos for a nice recent run by the SEC (those things come in spurts and tOSU pulling choke after choke hasn't hurt). I won't credit LSU in that list as BCS titles are nice but they didn't win the National Championship in 04 just the BCS title which is at the end of the day a creation of the SEC in the first place. So I'll count it the only way that matters with the National Championship trophies.
The SEC run is impressive and the best part of the past 10 years is first USC put # 12 and then # 13 on the board dropping ND to 2nd most storied franchise then Bama added # 13 dropping ND to 3rd most storried. And if Michigan ever pulls it together they still have 11 and could drop the Neutered Damsels even further.
But even putting football first and giving kudos to elite program Bama (i define traditional power at 6 or more and elite at 10 or more national championships) and the recent run it's still a question of which conference is 1, 2, and 3 as longer term the Big10 gets a claim as well. I don't know those numbers as well but Michigans got 11 tOSU 7 Penn State 2 and I'm sure a few of those other schools have won a couple over the years. In the PAC12 USC has 13, Cal has 5, Washington has 3, Stanford has 2 and even fUCLA has 1. That's as good a run as the SEC has had. And USC of course came 8 seconds from an unprecedented (in the modern era) 3 straight (Cal put up 4 in a row in the 1920s before conference allignment and no one else has ever done more than 2 in a row) and even if we look at schools that have done it back to back of which there are only 7 USC is the only one to do it twice, and Washington and Cal both did it as well. OU and Nebraska are on that list too btw..
This is a topic for beers in a bar though. I actually love SEC football and the traditions (been to games at 8 of those schools at this point including USC victories at TN and Auburn) and it's as good as anywhere and probably more passionate in some ways as those schools are all in collge towns that tend to revolve around the university which isn't true of other conferences). I just get sick of the overhype and the recent run has added to that.
My bigger picture view is that all the SEC teams play the same kind of football. That means two things, (1) they beat the snot out of each other each week (2) it's hard to tell them apart let alone compare to other conferences and given the times of day they play each other and schedules that stop any one school from playing more than 3 tough games in a season the press falls all over them and you get high rankings so run the table you get the shot. In comparison in the PAC12 this year you'll see 9 very different kinds of offenses and 5 different kinds of defenses. You'll see 2 pro style defenses and 6 pro style offenses. It's all more than student body right till you stop us and then slant passes till you stop us again as in the SEC. That makes preparing each week harder and the running the table next to impossible.
Realistically and my bias aside if we had a true playoff USC probably wins 4 or 5 national championships in the past 10 years, they were that good, but for two 1 loss seasons when the conference schedule tripped them up, and of course the first year with Carson Palmer where they crushed Iowa in the Orange Bowl but had 2 early season losses. They didn't deserve it that year but by Oct 15 wasn't any one in the country that could have come within 2 touchdowns of beating them.