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Blog Entry

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

Posted on: December 19, 2011 9:22 am
Edited on: December 19, 2011 9:33 am
 


By Jeff Goodman

There's no East Coast bias here. The Pac-12 stinks. Plain and simple. 

"No excuses," one head coach in the league texted me. "You're right." 

There's truly no defense for what's gone on out west thus far. The league has been absolutely manhandled. 

Sunday was just another day in the park for the Pac-12, one that saw South Dakota State pummel Washington in Seattle and then watched Virginia go out to Oregon and take care of the Ducks. 

A day prior, there was no shame in Gonzaga working over Arizona in Seattle. But what about Northern Arizona - with a 70-year-old interim head coach -- knocking off Herb Sendek's Arizona State Sun Devils?  Or Georgia going west and beating USC at the Galen Center?

The league doesn't have a single victory against a Top 25 team. In fact, it's nearly impossible to find the most impressive win notched by anyone in the league. It's been so pitiful that a case can be made for Oregon State's come-from-behind win in New Jersey against a young Texas team as the flagship win for the Pac-12 thus far. 

This could be a two-bid league. Probably should be a two-bid league. 

We thought, entering the season, there were four teams that were capable of making a legitimate run to the NCAA tournament. Maybe even a handful - if you want to include an Oregon team that was thrown together due to desperation. 

UCLA appeared formidable on paper, but we quickly learned that one player can truly wreck a season (see: Reeves Nelson). Arizona isn't nearly as talented as some thought, especially with talented freshman Josiah Turner refusing to buy into Sean Miller's approach early in the season. 

Oregon's Dana Altman has already lost his top freshman, Jabari Brown, and is now reliant on a bunch of second-chance guys (i.e. Devoe Joseph, Tony Woods) and Washington, the most talented team in the league, earned its most impressive win against UC Santa Barbara. California was blasted by Missouri and also lost on the road to what everyone figured was a rebuilding San Diego State club. 

Stanford has been the most impressive team in the league thus far with a 9-1 record, but the Cardinal still hasn't notched a victory against an NCAA tourney team. The loss was impressive, against top-ranked Syracuse in New York, but the most significant wins have come against N.C. State and Oklahoma State - a pair of teams likely headed to the NIT. 

Don't even get me started on teams like Arizona State (4-6), Washington State (which lost to UC Riverside), USC (which already has seven losses), Colorado (which has lost to Wyoming and Colorado State) and a dismal Utah team. None will even be on the bubble for the CBI or CollegeInsider.com. 

Listen, I want to defend the Pac-12. I graduated from a school in the league. 

But I'd lose all credibility in doing so. 

The league is currently ranked ninth in the RPI, behind the A-10 and Missouri Valley and barely in front of the WCC and C-USA.  

However, if there's one positive spin I can put on the Pac-12's misery, it's the fact that this league is up for grabs, a complete toss-up right now. It's difficult to imagine a scenario in which the regular-season champ doesn't get an at -large bid to go dancing - and obviously, the tourney winner gets an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. 

That means everyone in the league still has a shot. 

Well, maybe not quite everyone.


Comments

Since: Jul 6, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2011 3:16 am
 

Pitiful article

Who wrote this? And how did they get their job? What an absolute joke, you should be ashamed of yourself. NO love at all for Oregon State, I bet you have no idea what they've done this year. They are looking like one of the top teams in the Pac yet you barely mention them, while you go through all of the other teams and write about their problems. Maybe you left out OSU because it would ruin the theme of your stupid article a little bit? I'm not saying the Pac isn't bad but WOW! Please give credit where credit is DUE! Peace.



Since: Feb 19, 2009
Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:11 am
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

It always has been.  Except for Arizona and ASU occasionally flirting with competence, the Pac 12 has long existed merely as a foil for UCLA's elite status.  Most schools in the Pac 12 pour all of their resources into football.  UCLA is the only one with a "presteige" basketball program.  Now that UCLA is terrible, the Pac 12 has nothing left on which to hang its collective hat.  
I strongly disagree. Washington has been quite 'competent' the last decade, and Arizona has been more than 'competent' for a long time. And UCLA is far from terrible. You obviously don't watch Pac-12 basketball. Sure we're no Big East but we don't suck by any means. 

 



Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2011 1:49 am
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

Let's remember that 11 slots were dedicated to the Big East last year.  Of those 11 schools, 9 of them lost in the first round, one of the losses coming to another Big East School.  Yes, UConn went on to win the whole thing last year.  However, they should have been on probation and should not have even been in the tournmanet.  It helps when your AD is running the selection committee, I guess.  So of the 11 schools, only 4 players were drafted in the first round of the NBA draft.  This is after being force fed Big East basketball continuously for the entire season.  Who can forget when mighty St. Johns traveled to UCLA and lost, so they blamed it on the referees.  Still...only 4 players drafted in the first round.  Yet the Pac-12, with only three schools going to the playoffs, had 4 players drafted in the first round....5 if you include Colorado from the Big 12 last year.
Yes, Pac-12 schools are losing nonconference games this year.  But who are they losing to? Not the Big East, which is preoccupied losing to the schools like UNLV, Long Beach State, and San Diego State.  Thats okay...San Diego State also beat Arizona.  So until the schools from the East....you know the ones in the top 10 that play for presidents.....until they can travel out west and beat the schools they play then maybe the CBS writers can hold their criticism. It looks like the days of top western players traveling east to play are over.  Sure some will...but the majority will stay local where they wide open games are more conducive to getting invited to play in the pros.



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 1:16 am
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

It always has been.  Except for Arizona and ASU occasionally flirting with competence, the Pac 12 has long existed merely as a foil for UCLA's elite status.  Most schools in the Pac 12 pour all of their resources into football.  UCLA is the only one with a "presteige" basketball program.  Now that UCLA is terrible, the Pac 12 has nothing left on which to hang its collective hat.  

The Pac 12 without a strong UCLA is a lot like US golf without a healthy Tiger Woods: all hat and no cattle.  It looks like it will be awhile before the Pac 12 wins anything in football or basketball.  It couldn't happen to a nicer conference.



Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2011 12:44 am
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

The pac 12 haS BEEN WEAK IN BASKETBALL THE LAST COUPLE YEARS. sAN dIEGO STATE 7 STRASIGHT WINS OVER PAC 12 TEAMS.
Mountain West best conferernce in the west. Nice to see more mid major upsets this year over so called major conferences



Since: May 4, 2007
Posted on: December 19, 2011 10:45 pm
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

This is an agreeable issue. However even if they were having a good year in basketball. You would have east coast bias. So its a moot point to debate. For instance look at the Pac 12 in football perhaps the best conference in the USA however most writers will say the SEC. What about this football playoff to see which is the better conference. LSU, Alabama, Arkansas vs. Oregon, Stanford, USC. To find out. Football should do like basketball does and Do a SEC vs. Pac 12 challenge similar to the ACC Big Ten challenge. I know that will never happen but it would be fun seeing the conferences playing each other. Utah, Arizona St. UCLA etc.. vs. Florida, Tenn., Georgia it sounds like it would be fun..



Since: Apr 9, 2007
Posted on: December 19, 2011 9:29 pm
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

I would echo a previous poster who mentioned the youth at University of Washington.  Funny how you dont mention that UW lost to Duke by 6 when Duke got a little home cooking by shooting 21 more free throws and Marquette by 2 points. The issue is probably the young Pac 12 teams.  Another thing dont get too worked up on how the Pac 12 is now after all the season still has 4 more months to go.  I do hope that Wroten improves on his FT % and cuts down on his turnovers.  Our only true big man has been out for a couple games as well. 



Since: Feb 19, 2009
Posted on: December 19, 2011 8:32 pm
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

Sorry for being rude man cfredrickson.
No problem. I completely understand that you're passionate about your team. 



Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: December 19, 2011 8:20 pm
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

Sorry for being rude man cfredrickson.



Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: December 19, 2011 8:19 pm
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league

MikeSyr-

How many times do I have to tell you-- you're always teetering around on those skinny little "mightier than thou" b.s.talk legs...  As I've told you over and over... Since Romar took over the Washington Huskies, they've been to the Dance all the same years that Syracuse has... And made it to the same number of Sweet 16's or higher... (no higher for us, but still...)

With lower bids for us, and higher bids for you, along the way... (Meaning YOU should have done better than us, but didn't).

You're strutting like a rooster with FINALLY a pretty great Syracuse team this year-- but you do the SAME strut no matter what they look like each year.  Blah, blah... Yack yack.

Washington AND Arizona both made good showings last year in the tourney-- BETTER than anticipated.  We all know how the Big East did (even IF they get the coattails call of "oh yeah, well Connecticut won it all!")...

No excuses for the Pac 12 this year...  Awful so far.  Obvious to all.  But it's still early...  And we have some VERY VERY young teams (Washington has EIGHT freshmen on the roster-- because ALL OF OUR GUYS GOT DRAFTED INTO THE NBA!!!! *I kid*)... Which means, they won't be reaching their potential till midway through conference play, if at all, this year.

We're still probably a 3 bid conference at best, if every star in the universe lines up perfectly...  But the future of the Pac 12 is still bright (to the tune of $3 billion over the next 12 years)...  While you should probably be focused on enjoying the last few years of Big East prominence before your beloved conference fades into a distant memory...

As my own basketball coach used to preach when his players were getting a little too big and mighty about our import-- "It never killed anybody to show respect... You should try it sometime, you might even be surprised at how much better you feel."





The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com