Pac-12 has a lot to prove in bowl games
PASADENA — The Rose Bowl has always been a statement about us. About Southern California. About a place where snowcapped mountains overlook lush green meadows of football heroism in 70-degree temperatures.
All, in the world’s favorite flower garden.
Since the institution of the College Football Playoff in 2014, it has become something else.
It’s a statement about the Pacific-12 Conference and its place in the game right now.
The Pac-12 has missed the CFP three straight years now.
It has a solitary College Football Playoff victory, in the first playoff game at the Rose Bowl five years ago.
The Pac-12 desperately needs the sixth-ranked Ducks to come up big again against eighth-ranked Wisconsin on the first day of the new decade.
The apologists for the Southeastern Conference have convinced the rest of College Football that the Pac-12’s only purpose is geographic.
That it’s as much about flowers and marching bands as it is about football.
If not more.
Oregon built a big lead in the season opener vs. Auburn, and then managed to lose late, by one point.
Wisconsin dominated Minnesota in Minneapolis, then scared the Buckeyes out of Ohio State for a half in the Big Ten championship game.
The Badgers have the nation’s premier running back in Jonathan Taylor.
They play the kind of smashmouth that flower children are often allergic to.
Wisconsin wouldn’t be caught dead wearing mirror helmets the way Oregon will today.
Flowers, then fashion. Then football, we hear them sneering in SEC country.
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert grew up in the shadow of the University of Oregon.
He is the winner of the Campbell Award, College Football’s academic Heisman.
Herbert skipped the NFL Draft to come back and play for the national championship.
“We’re playing in the biggest game in College Football,” the game’s smartest player said.
The Pac-12 Conference couldn’t agree more.