Bumped - This is an interesting take...P
OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but it’s worth discussing. A few weeks ago, in the latest of his series of brilliant posts (here, here, and here), anh_sc79 reviewed how the PAC-10’s scheduling philosophy guarantees more losses conference-wide, reduces opportunities for OOC play, decreases the conference's chances for a second BCS Bowl bid, and shackles the Pac-10 Champion to the Rose Bowl Game while shutting it out of the BCS National Title game.
Again this year, unless USC (or some other Pac-10 team) goes undefeated, the SEC and Big 12 will have a lock on the BCS National Title Game. The fact that Florida plays home games against creampuffs like Charleston Southern, Troy and Florida International, or that Texas plays only five away games and home games against powerhouses Louisiana Monroe, UTEP, and Central Florida does not matter to the poll voters or computers since it’s all about W’s and perceived conference strength.
This is blatantly unfair, but more importantly it shows that Tom Hansen and the Pac-10 had absolutely no interest in moving the Conference into the BCS era or the 21st century, preferring to remain rigidly attached to the past. In a manner of speaking, Hansen is guilty of malpractice, yet there is little chance that incoming commissioner Larry Scott will do much to change things.
USC should divorce the Pac-10 because of irreconcilable differences. Similar to the dissolution of a bad marriage, both parties would benefit; the most salient benefits to USC would be freedom to develop a far more interesting schedule and the ability to negotiate an exclusive television contract and BCS deal similar Notre Dame’s. At the same time the PAC-10 would be able to crown an out of town champion more frequently (no disrespect to UCLA), thus providing huge financial benefits to the Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses as well as the City of Pasadena and greater Los Angeles.
These are high times for USC, and things are bound to change in the future, but USC does not need the Pac-10 to prosper in the future. Our friends at Notre Dame have demonstrated that independence can be extremely beneficial in good times and bad. USC should maintain its traditional rivalries with Notre Dame, UCLA and Stanford, as well as the founding members of the Pacific Coast Conference: Cal, Washington, Oregon, and Oregon State, or other rivalries could be nurtured. The remaining five games would permit home-and-home series games against SEC, Big 12, Big 10, ACC, MWC and Big East teams; plus three home games against WAC, MAC and Conference USA teams to round out the body of work.
This is how you stay relevant in the National Championship discussion even if you are proven human by losing a game; and if you lose two, an at-large bid would still beckon. The current sorry state of affairs doesn’t make sense for USC or for the BCS, or even for the Pac-10.