Stanford, for example, was not a bad team last year. Of course they went 5-7 so they must not have been that great, but they were a solid football team that almost certainly would have been bowl eligible with a schedule like that of say Kansas or Nebraska. See, Stanford along with most other Pac-10 teams don't play a 3 game preseason like so many other teams do. There is no automatic 3-0 to start the season when you open against Oregon state then travel to Arizona State and then head down to TCU. But there certainly is when you open with a 3 game home stretch againt decidedly inferior competition and then go on to miss out on 3 of 11 conference opponents.
Again, a quick glance at conference standings will only imprint a false perception on your mind. You must look much deeper to discover how those results came about.
9-3 Pittsburgh was the 2nd place team in the Big East playing our 3rd place team in 8-4 Oregon St. So again, what's that make the Big East if the Pac-10 is so horrible?
Oklahoma St. came into the Holiday Bowl with the same record as Oregon and ranked 4 spots higher in the BCS at 13. They were favored, and we beat them soundly.
Miami and BYU? Right, our middle of the road teams beat other middle of the road teams. Whoever wins those games isn't going to get a ton of credit either way.
And again, I'm fully aware that this past bowl season is merely 5 pixels in a very large picture.
And the same thing can't be said about the Big-10 because they only play 8 of 10 opponents. I remember when Wisconsin enjoyed a 4 year run where they missed Michigan in '03 and '04, and Ohio State in '05 and '06. Just so happened they did pretty well those years.
I mean, if the Pac-10 isn't that good, who the hell is?