Well you knew it was coming. With the Pac 10's dismal performance (read Cal) against the SEC this weekend there has been plenty of talk about weak the Pac 10 is. From SI.Com's Stewart Mandel's CFB Mailbag.
-- Scott, Dallas
You know, there was a deluge of anti-Pac-10 comments on my blog right after the Cal-Tennessee game, and at first I was baffled as to where all the resentment was coming from. It's not like anyone's shoving the Pac-10 down other people's throats. If anything, the league is practically invisible outside the West Coast. But then I started noticing that much like Scott's e-mail, many of the comments made reference to USC, even though the Trojans had absolutely nothing to do with Cal losing to Tennessee, and that's when I realized: It's not backlash against the Pac-10, it's backlash (and, let's face it, envy) over USC's recent success. Apparently, fans of the SEC/Big Ten/Big 12, etc., believe the Trojans have an easier path to the national title game because of their supposedly "soft" conference.
When I was at the swamp for the Tenn.-UF game last year I heard a lot this talk about the Pac 10 being soft and that SC had an easier road to travel to the BCS Title game. Just yesterday I was talking with a surgeon who went to Tennessee and he said the EXACT SAME THING! Of course I said the exact same thing that Mandel said, SC still has to beat teams from other conferences in order to be the crowned the champion.
It was a disappointing loss, but we appreciate the effort.
Photo Courtesy of the Daily Trojan
As Mandel goes on to state:
While our Pac 10 brethren had a difficult time with the SEC this past weekend, SC has consistently played them tough. Would it make me feel better if the rest of the Pac 10 consistently won like USC has been doing of late? Yes, but it will take some time. Some teams in the Pac 10 still need to get credit for scheduling tough OOC games. Win or lose the effort is there and their attempts should be heralded with praise instead of skepticism when they lose.