Pac-12 Championship: No Trojans, No DucksNovember 30, 2012

by: Cj Oates, the Starting QB

Remember back in July when Oregon and USC were huge favorites to be playing for the PAC-12 championship game? USC were the favorite to win the 2012 Pacific 12 Conference title. The Trojans were the overwhelming pick to win the South Division, receiving 117 of 123 first-place votes. And 102 voters picked USC to win the Pac-12 title game against Oregon. Fast forward to October, USC and Oregon are sending out flyers to season ticket holders that they are selling Pac-12 Championship game tickets. Fast forward to November, neither of these teams are playing for the title nor did they reach their potential. None voted for UCLA or Stanford, which will play for the Pac-12 championship, what happened?

When Matt Barkley announced that he was returning for his senior season, I for one immediately crowned him and his team champions for this season. Looks like I was a bit off as they went from BCS aspirations to a 7-5 season and losing to your rival. I think it is safe to say that you can put the blame on the head coach. Lane Kiffin dropped the ball on this on. This offense had the potential to be just as explosive as Pete Carrol’s 2004-2005 teams with Matt Barkley, Silas Reed, Robert Woods, and Marqise Lee. For the most part it was but at times it sputtered. Mainly I blame Kiffin for keeping his father Monte Kiffin around for another season. Everyone remembers Kiffin’s defense had surrendered school single-game records for points allowed (62) and yards allowed (730) in a primetime game.

In respect to Oregon, their ONLY lost that keeps them from playing in the big game is a lack of offense. It may sound silly but 14 points in four quarters and one overtime period is the reason they aren’t playing for the division and perhaps national championship. Oregon’s offense looked average against the Stanford defense. Give them credit but Stanford lost a good chunk of talent to the NFL. So you sorta feel bad for the Ducks because 1 lost is keeping them and their uni’s out of everything. Unlike USC who had plenty of chances to win the division. Doesn’t it seem like the Ducks are “cursed”?

With a brilliant defensive showing, Stanford won at Oregon 17-14 in overtime on Nov. 17. And in a stunning reversal of a 50-0 result in 2011, UCLA whipped USC 38-28 on the same day. As you can tell, both teams are on opposite of the spectrum but are basically in the same boat as both had expectations of playing for the conference and national championship game but neither will be participating. Better luck next season?

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