Fair or not, the bowl season tends to also serve as a referendum on the strength of each conference.
And so far, the Pac-12 is viewed as being a little disappointing, with a 2-3 record in bowl games so far despite being favored in four of the games. Washington, in fact, was the only one of the seven Pac-12 teams to make it to a bowl that was not favored to win its game.
And so far, UW is one of only two to cover the spread — Arizona State being the other — despite losing to Boise State. Arizona beat Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl but by just one point. Oregon State lost to Texas in the Alamo Bowl and UCLA to Baylor in the Holiday Bowl, each despite being favored, games that have each also served as something of a Pac-12-Big 12 showdown.
The Pac-12 has three bowl games left beginning with USC’s game today in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech. Tomorrow, Stanford takes on Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl and Thursday Oregon faces Kansas Stated in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Pac-12 has not had a winning bowl record since 2008, when it went 5-0.
Since then, the Pac-12 has gone 2-5 (2009), 2-2 (2010) and 2-5 (2011).
Matchups, individual team situations and the uniqueness of the bowl season (long layoff, etc.) means it’s probably risky to read too much into the bowl season. But it’s an obvious place to start when comparing conferences. And the Pac-12 could use a fast finishing kick here to burnish its image.
Speaking of the Sun Bowl, here’s a little primer. And here’s my pick — USC 31, Georgia Tech 17.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Today is so-called Black Monday in the NFL when coaches begin getting fired. As noted here a few days ago, the NFL Network continues to say that Steve Sarkisian could be a candidate for the Eagles’ job. But it also sounds like he’s probably down the list a little bit. Sarkisian has stated numerous times he will not comment on such rumors
— With the NFL playoffs now set, there are two Huskies on teams that made it — safety Dashon Goldson with the 49ers and receiver Jermaine Kearse with the Seahawks.
— Senio Kelemete saw his first playing time with the Cardinals Sunday, which was most noteworthy for this catch off of a deflection.
— Here’s the daily Pac-12 Rundown from The Oregonian.
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller also has some thoughts on the Pac-12′s bowl season.
— Expect Chip Kelly to be the subject of numerous NFL head-coaching rumors.