OK, I'll admit, I'm a Pac-10 guy. Grew up in a Pac-10 state and got a degree from a Pac-10 school. Seen a Pac-10 game in all but one Pac-10 stadium. Covered Pac-10 football, men's basketball, women's basketball, even soccer.
I'll watch an entire Pac-10 game before any Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC game. Notre Dame? Ohio State? Alabama? Nebraska? Yawn. Wake me up at 7:15 for the Pac-10 night game.
Perhaps I'm seeing this through Rose (Bowl)-colored glasses. Or maybe I'm like Ice Cube, always representing the "West Siiiide." Seriously though, it's time for the rest of the nation to give this region's top conference the respect it deserves.
And maybe that time has finally come. Oregon-Stanford will air in prime time on the East Coast on Saturday (8 p.m. EST), moved up from an 8:15 (11:15 EST) kickoff. The Ducks and Cardinal are both top-10 teams, but don't get it twisted - the conference is loaded with parity.
Look at UCLA, who dominated No. 7 Texas last week. That wasn't luck, either. The Bruins were in control throughout the game. And how about Cal, who after losing to Nevada embarrassed the conference, playing ranked Arizona to a one-point loss? Or Arizona State's offense racking up the yards against the Ducks in a game ASU had a good chance to win?
Now we see that Nevada, which broke into the Top 25, is no slouch, so Cal's loss to the Wolfpack is more justified. Even if it did cost me some dollars in Vegas.
It won't count for anything, but USC is 4-0 and playing well. ASU is 2-2 but should be 3-1 after a one-point loss to Wisconsin two weeks ago, and Oregon State might be the best 1-2 team in the country with non-conference losses to TCU and Boise State, both currently top-5 teams.
What this all means is that no team, except perhaps bottom-dweller Washington State, can be considered a gimme from one week to the next in the Pac-10. This isn't just parity, it's parity among eight good teams, and Washington can't be considered a joke just yet, especially if the Huskies upset USC this weekend.