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LAist-CS: Pac-10 Here to Save the Day

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Every college football fan in the Best Coast in America has heard the same thing over and over again: the Pac-10 is not real football. During the baseball season, Orlando Hudson and Juan Pierre echoed that sentiment very loudly one Saturday in the Dodger clubhouse during an LSU-Georgia game.

While Nebraska was trudging through against Kansas, Florida blowing out Florida International and Alabama dueling it out with Chattanooga, guess who had to save the day for the rest of nation in desperate search for good football? Yup the whipping boy of the nation - the Pac-10.

Three teams in the hunt for the Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl berth duked it out in very tight games.

First there was the Big Game in Stanford Stadium. While the Cardinal had an outside chance of winning the title, they had to at least win out. While a lot of people will criticize Jim Harbaugh for going for it on a foruth-and-eight on their own 23 yard line with under four minutes, he made the right decision. California didn’t get a first down and kicked a field goal to only go up by three and gave the ball back to Stanford.

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But Stanford scratched back thanks to a 29-yard run by Toby Gerhart on second-and-six to get the ball to Cal’s 13 yard line. Quarterback Andrew Luck threw only one interception. Unfortunately he did so with 1:42 left in the game and with that their hopes to go to Pasadena on New Year’s Day losing 34-28.

As this was going on, Oregon was in their own battle against Arizona. Despite taking a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, Oregon’s offense came down harder than after a meth binge going three-and-out in four of their next six possessions with an interception thrown in for good measure.

Meanwhile the Wildcats, who if they won out would win the Pac-10 for the first time ever, came back to take a 24-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. But suddenly the Ducks found their way again to tie the game at 31 at the end of regulation and finally got the job done in the second overtime period 44-41.

So to you SEC snobs: you’re welcome. I know how much you like your 7-3 barn-burners down there in the South where the offensive ineptitude is as oppressive as the humidity. Trust me. I used to live just outside of Baton Rouge, so I know how things roll down there. You guys got a chance to witness Pac-10 football at its best.

With that here are the Top 16.

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1. Florida (11-0, 8-0 SEC)
2. Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC)
3. Texas (11-0, 7-0 Big 12)
4. TCU (11-0, 7-0 Mountain West)
5. Cincinnati (10-0, 6-0 Big East)
6. Boise State (11-0, 6-0 WAC)
6. Georgia Tech (10-1, 7-1 ACC)
8. Oregon (9-2, 7-1 Pac-10)
9. Ohio State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten)
10. Pittsburgh (9-1, 5-0 Big East)
11. Iowa (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten)
12. Oklahoma State (9-2, 6-1 Big 12)
13. Oregon State (8-3, 6-2 Pac-10)
14. Penn State (10-2, 6-2, Big Ten)
15. Clemson (8-3, 6-2 ACC)
16. California (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10)
16. Virginia Tech (8-3, 5-2 ACC)

Also receiving votes: Stanford

Jimmy's Bowl Picks:

BCS Championship: Florida vs Texas
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Oklahoma State
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Cincinnati
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. TCU

Adam's Bowl Picks:

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BCS Championship: Alabama vs. Texas
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Pittsburgh
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Boise State
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. TCU