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Pac-10 Roundtable, Week 10

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Here's a shout out to Conquest Chronicles for hosting this week's roundtable. We always enjoy them... but they probably hate the Beavers more then they hate UCLA :-D.

1. Things are starting to shake out in the conference with USC, Oregon St and Cal all in the hunt for the Pac-10 crown. What has surprised you so far this season within the conference and make a prediction on how you think it will shake out.

I think the biggest surprise has to be the Oregon schools. After the first couple of weeks, Oregon State looked woeful, and Oregon looked like they were poised to challenge SC. My, how things have changed. Now, OSU has the opportunity to play in it's first Rose Bowl since World War II, and Oregon fans are hoping for the Sun Bowl at best. I don't think after the Stanford and Penn State games anyone would have predicted OSU to win more then 4 games this year. It's an exciting time for every Orange and Black fan out there.

2. Recently there has been a lot of talk over the possibility of a Pac 12. Say that when Tom Hansen steps down as Pac 10 commissioner that the conference decides it is time to expand. Which teams should the conference go after and how would you split the teams into divisions? If you disagree that the conference should expand, would you change out any teams? If so, who and why?

The argument here has largely been academic/football based, but the Pac 10 needs to look beyond that. So IF they decided to expand, I think Utah/BYU would be the best fit. Both are respectable universities looking to improve to BCS conference status. They both have produced good basketball teams in recent years, and both have pretty good facilities. I also like the traveling partner situation the Pac 10 has going and wouldn't want to change that with say, BYU and Boise State, or some other mixture. That being said, I would break it into a Nor Pac and So Pac. The NW and Utah schools would make up the Nor Pac, with the Cali and AZ schools making up the So Pac. For football's sake, play the regular season just like any other super conference: play your 5 teams in your respective conference, plus 3 teams from the other conference (alternated every 2 years) and a championship game to be played in Reser :-).

3. Along those lines. The pundits and talking heads continue to bash the Pac-10 because of the supposed weakness of the conference yet we schedule some of the toughest out of conference games in the country. Ted Miller of ESPN recently said that the Pac-10 should re-think its ambitious scheduling in favor of scheduling patsies for our OOC schedules like conferences do. Explain why you agree or disagree with Millers take and what solution do you have, if any.

t's a tough question that has no right/wrong answer. The obvious answer for me is I wish that the SEC and Big XII schools would schedule MWC and WAC teams, but it isn't going to happen. Unfortunately, the regional mid-major conferences for the Pac 10 happen to be the 2 best mid-major conferences in the country. I don't think the Pac 10 needs to to re-think it's scheduling, however. This has been a down year for us, no doubt. But 9 out of 10 years, the Pac 10 would go 5-1 against the MWC, not the other way around. And it was really a couple unlucky bounces that caused us to be this poor. UW-BYU was close, OSU blew it against Utah, Arizona is probably better than New Mexico, and there was no reason ASU should ever lose to UNLV. Ever. I think the games that were true to themselves was BYU-UCLA and Stanford-TCU. 

4. Is it just me or are the games being played faster? The NCAA continues to tinker with the clock and their excuse is that they are trying to make the games more exciting. Have the new rules made the game more interesting or have they once again hurt the product?

I haven't really noticed the game changes. Our game against ASU was 3 hours long. Same for USC. If the games are being played quicker, then the rules are a lot better than last year's rules. Man, I hated those things.

5. It's Cal week for us so in the spirit of fun tell us your best/funniest Cal Game story…for you CGB guys pick a team!

Well, aside from Cal ruining UO's GameDay experience last year, I think the best story I have is actually a stupid Cal fan story. Traveled to the OSU-Cal game last year, and after our goal line stand a Cal fan turned to me and said "yeah but you still have to have the ball on the 1" as if having the ball on the 1 yard line is somehow worse then giving up a TD or field goal (which, by the final score line, could have won the game for the Bears). I was pretty sure it was TheMaharg, but now I'm convinced it was just JShufelt with a Cal jersey tucked into his basketball shorts.