Blog Entry

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

Posted on: October 19, 2009 12:35 pm
 

The nation can't decide on which team is the best in the country, but with the help of the latest CBSSports.com 120 rankings, we can decide who has the best conference in the nation.

With Alabama and Florida ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation, it's no surprise the SEC is still king in the conference debate, but what about the second-best conference?

Only one league has five teams ranked in the Top 30 -- the Pac-10.

USC and Oregon are both ranked in the Top 25, but it's the other teams that help make the conference so strong. Arizona is No. 27, California is No. 28 and Oregon State is No. 29.

Arizona has been to only one bowl game in the decade, finally going to the Las Vegas Bowl last season under Mike Stoops. This season the Wildcats are 4-2, 2-1 in the conference, with victories over Stanford and Oregon State.

In the 37-32 win over Oregon State, the Wildcats held on while the Beavers were driving for the game-winning score. This past weekend against Stanford, Nic Grigsby raced 57 yards for a touchdown with 2:57 to go, rallying from a 15-point deficit to win 43-38.

"The bottom line is that we won. Each win is special and very hard to come by," said Stoops. "Each week, we have to play our very best, I'd rather play bad and win than play well and lose. It's not easy to play in a conference like ours. We go up against nine very good teams, and it's not easy to do that week in and week out."

With home games against UCLA and Washington State up next, the Wildcats could find themselves at 6-2, their best start since going 12-1 in 1998.

Another big factor for the Pac-10 is it has just one team ranked outside the Top 60 -- Washington State at No. 108. The Big 12 has five teams ranked 60 or lower, while the Big Ten has four teams.

The ACC is the lowest-ranked BCS conference with a rating of 48.58. While the conference has three teams ranked in the Top 25, its next best team is Boston College at No. 40. N.C. State (No. 81) and Maryland (No. 90) are dragging it down.

Based on an average ranking, here are the overall conference ratings:

1. SEC -- 34.00
2. Pac-10 -- 40.40
3. Big 12 -- 42.58
4. Big Ten -- 44.36
5. Big East -- 44.63
6. ACC -- 48.58
7. Mountain West -- 62.67
8. WAC -- 74.89
9. C-USA -- 81.42
10. MAC -- 90.53
11. Sun Belt 101.00

The independents (Notre Dame, Navy and Army) have an average of 54.33.

Biggest first-half surprises:

Cincinnati is undefeated and ranked No. 5. This was a team that was picked to finish fifth in the conference by most publications. Now it has a real chance of playing for the national championship.

Miami (Fla.) is ranked No. 8 at the halfway point. This is a team that featured four of the toughest games of the year to start the season and came out of it at 3-1. Now the Hurricanes are in line to possibly win the ACC and play in the Orange Bowl for the first time since 2004.

Oklahoma is 3-3 and ranked No. 32. The Sooners were in everybody's top 5 at the beginning of the year, but with an average offensive line and Sam Bradford getting hurt, the Sooners are struggling.

Idaho is 6-1 and ranked No. 38. If Boise State ends up going undefeated and playing in a BCS bowl, imagine Idaho playing in the Humanitarian Bowl in front of the home-state fans. Amazing.

Biggest first-half disappointments:

The Ron Zook era might be coming to a close. The Illini are 1-5, ranked No. 101, and their only victory is a 45-17 win over Illinois State. They still have to play Michigan, at Minnesota, at Cincinnati and Fresno State.

N.C. State was supposed to be one of the favorites in the ACC Atlantic, but has lost three straight, dropping games to Wake Forest, Duke and Boston College. At 3-4 and ranked No. 81, it is on the verge of not making a bowl game.

Wasn't Ball State 12-2 last season? What a difference a year makes because the Cardinals are 0-7 and ranked No. 117.

Category: NCAAF
Comments

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: October 22, 2009 2:50 am
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

Having strong teams with parity is nice, but I'd like to see the Pac-10 flat out dominate in this year's bowl matchups.  Seven teams might be eligible this year.




Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: October 21, 2009 9:57 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

The biggest point that everyone misses in these moronic arguements, is that of the Big 6 conferences, the PAC 10 is the only conference that plays each team in its conference.  So at best the PAC 10 can have 1 undefeated team and only 1 team with just 1 loss.  Besides that, the PAC 10 as a whole, traditionally plays the most difficult non-conference schedule, making a loss or two more likely.  Much easier for other conferences who only play a handful of conference teams and then a championship game.  So the people in the east, who rarely see a PAC 10 team play has no idea how good or bad any PAC team is, so they come on these sites boasting the PAC 10 sucks, with no real proof.  Makes perfect sense to me and so did that 5 - 0 bowl record for the PAC 10 last year. So true cbclark  - another big fact is -- the PAC 10 is the only BCS conference that has a winning record against all BCS conferences this decade - no other conference can state that fact.



Since: Sep 10, 2008
Posted on: October 21, 2009 3:39 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

To the Hawkeye fan gloating over the victory over Arizona in Iowa City--we would love to play you again. In that game our then-starting QB (who is principally a runner) went something like 4 for 18. Since that game, the UofA has unveiled a real QB--Nick Foles, a redshirt soph transfer from Michigan State who is completing almost 80% of his passes, is statistically among the top 15 quarterbacks in the country, and has led the team to a ton of points and 2 victories.

Actually hope that you run the table in the Big-10 since it helps the Wildcats, but can't help but believe that the outcome of the game on September 19 might have been different----oh, well.



Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: October 21, 2009 3:33 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

 And Arizona is not even using the same quarterback that made them look so worthless against Iowa. I think if the UA coaches would have figured it out sooner and played Foles against Iowa, that would have been a much better game...maybe even with a different outcome! Go CATS!



Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: October 21, 2009 1:33 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

To add further to this moronic arguement, take Florida.  As their schedule is currently constituted, Florida will have played 2 ranked teams (LSU and South Carolina) until the SEC Championship game, Alabama has 4 currently ranked teams on their schedule (Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, LSU and South Carolina).  Lets compare that to USC who as their schedule is currently set up plays 4 ranked teams (Ohio St, Cal, Oregon and Notre Dame).  Arizona is 4 - 2 against the 4th toughest schedule in the country and their schedule has (Iowa, USC, Oregon, Central Michigan, Cal and Oregon St) who are all in the top 30.  Arizona is also currently 22 in the BCS.  I generally agree that the SEC is a very strong conference, because of the teams at the top, but as a whole, the PAC 10 might be deeper.  



Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: October 21, 2009 1:05 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

The biggest point that everyone misses in these moronic arguements, is that of the Big 6 conferences, the PAC 10 is the only conference that plays each team in its conference.  So at best the PAC 10 can have 1 undefeated team and only 1 team with just 1 loss.  Besides that, the PAC 10 as a whole, traditionally plays the most difficult non-conference schedule, making a loss or two more likely.  Much easier for other conferences who only play a handful of conference teams and then a championship game.  So the people in the east, who rarely see a PAC 10 team play has no idea how good or bad any PAC team is, so they come on these sites boasting the PAC 10 sucks, with no real proof.  Makes perfect sense to me and so did that 5 - 0 bowl record for the PAC 10 last year.




Since: Jun 12, 2008
Posted on: October 21, 2009 12:49 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

No but you are of the East Coast bias squad where no college sports are played west of the Big 12.  Oh yes, I would much rather play ACC football than Pac-10 football.  Go back to being a basketball conference.



Since: May 1, 2009
Posted on: October 21, 2009 11:40 am
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

Every body beats up on the big 10 in the post season. 
You mean like how the SEC team has beat up on the Big Ten team in the Capital One bowl.  Oh that's right the Big Ten has won 4 of the last 5.  Since 1992 the SEC team has won one more than it's lost.

Funny I thought the Capital One bowl was a match of the best team from each conference not going to the BCS.



Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: October 21, 2009 11:31 am
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

Whoopee.  The Big Ten does not, and this year Iowa doesn't play Illinois or Purdue.  How's that for getting a raw deal.  The worst two teams are the ones they don't play.  That means they play the 8 best (not counting themselves, of course).  Much more challenging than any PAC 10 team playing Washington.




Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: October 21, 2009 11:12 am
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Arizona helping Pac-10

Pac 10 represents on this board.  I have to say that the Pac 10 generally does not schedule FCS opponents, so I give them credit for that.  I also have to say that I see a lot of Pac 10 fans trumpeting the UCLA victory over Tennessee, but ignoring that the SEC is 2-1 against the Pac 10 this year.  I know that USC is really good, but they lost to a UW team that lost to Notred Dame and LSU, so how good are they?  Oregon State lost to Cincinnatti, so how good are they?  Arizona lost to Iowa.  Oregon lost to Boise State.  Stanford lost to Wake Forest.  Washington State lost to Hawaii.  In fact, the Pac 10 has a losing record out of conference so far this year.  USC, Cal and UCLA are the only teams that can boast any significant out of conference victories, with wins over Ohio State, Notre Lame, Tennessee, Maryland, and Minnesota.  I give the Pac 10 credit for playing out of conference opponents that are not pushovers.  I wish that Florida would schedule an out of conference opponent tougher than FSU.  I can't say that the Pac 10 is top to bottom better than any conference, much less the SEC, which has a winning record against the PAC 10.  Sure, the SEC has some bad teams at the bottom, but the SEC does have 13 teams, while the Pac 10 has only 10.  I do think that we should criticize the SEC for not playing out of conference.  They should not get away with the "we don't need to play out of conference, cause we face SEC competition every week" argument.  Then again, they do usually win the ONE big game they play out of conference every year (so far, that game is Bama VATech, but they have a good track record in championships).  


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