UCLA could be champions of the Pac-12.
That’s not a typo. In the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game on Friday, North division winner Oregon will face South division winner UCLA.
Yep. UCLA. Division winner. The same UCLA team that just lost to arch rival USC 50-0.
We wouldn’t be talking about this except that USC is under sanctions from the NCAA for violations committed during the Pete Carroll era. USC won the South division by two games, but they are ineligible for all postseason play.
Pete Carroll and Reggie Bush are still wreaking havoc on the Pac-12.
An Oregon-USC rematch would have been must-see-TV. Their November 19th duel was one of the more thrilling games of the season. Oregon trailed by 18 entering the 4th quarter and mounted a furious comeback, only to lose on a missed field goal that would have tied the game as time expired. I’m sure the Ducks’ players would love a chance to redeem themselves. But they wont get that chance.
Instead, we are left with Oregon against a 6-6 UCLA team. If the Bruins lose, they would actually have to petition the NCAA to allow it to play in a bowl game because of their losing record. If the Bruins somehow pull off the upset of the Ducks, they would create chaos in the already-chaotic BCS by stealing away the Rose Bowl bid. Stanford could be nudged out of playing in the Fiesta Bowl.
I don’t think that was the scenario conference leaders had in mind when they signed off on the conference title game. A team that wasn’t good enough to win their division and might need to beg the NCAA to go to a bowl game could represent the conference in the Rose Bowl.