Did Stanford's loss to Washington hurt the Pac-12 perception?
Avinash Kunnath, California Golden Blogs (Cal) and Pacific Takes: Probably, although it did help in the short-term with six Pac-12 teams getting ranked. However, Stanford's win over USC now makes the Trojans look even weaker, and considering Oregon is huge favorites over UW, their huge matchup with USC down the road is losing its luster. The only thing that can help is a second team emerging to roll through their schedule, like a UCLA, Arizona State, or Oregon State; maybe a 10-2 Pac-12 squad would be enough to get them into a BCS at-large game.
Scott Allen, Rule of Tree (Stanford): Perhaps a little, but it just goes to show that nothing comes easy on the road. LSU, which pummeled Washington in Baton Rouge, knows this; the Tigers barely escaped with a win at Auburn, which needed overtime to beat Louisiana-Monroe one week earlier.
Utecentral, Ute Football Central (Utah): It's always a double edge sword when a conference beats up on itself as it looks to be the case this year in the Pac-12, but a balanced conference (unlike a top heavy conference) is better overall. How has it been in the past for the conferences credibility when only two teams appeared to be strong (Oregon and USC) and everyone else was a distant second at best? While that is a formula that the SEC tries to sell every year, we all know that a lot of good and solid teams makes a stronger conference than a single powerhouse any day. With the conference finally having more balance, it makes six teams in the top 25 possible as we are seeing today.
AndyPanda, Building the Dam (Oregon State): Yes. Unfairly, but that's beside the point. The Cardinal can repair the damage if they go on a run, and the Huskies do too, but if that Washington run were to include an upset of Oregon, it would turn the Pac-12 into the ACC in the eyes of those east of the Rockies who don't have to actually play in this conference.
David Piper, Addicted to Quack (Oregon): Short term? Maybe. Long term? No. Its clear that Stanford has giant deficiencies. The offense is extremely one-dimensional, as Josh Nunes has shown nothing to suggest that he is even a good Pac-12 quarterback, and they don't really have any playmaking wide receivers anyway. I don't think Washington is the only game they'll lose, and I think they'll really struggle against spreads specifically (in fact, I think Arizona beats them this weekend). Right now, the Pac-12 is deep with teams in the muddled middle. Maybe an Oregon State or a UCLA jumps up and wins ten games, but any thought that USC or Stanford were going to be elite teams should be dead by now. They both look incredibly one-dimensional.
Trevor Wong, Conquest Chronicles (USC): Yes, but then again, I'm not so sure Stanford should have catapulted that high even it defeated USC. All in all, though, the conference is shaping up to be very competitive in both divisions. Because of that, it does help the conference as a whole should certain teams be fighting for a BCS bid.
Adam Butler, Pac Hoops and Pacific Takes: Love this question because I ultimately don’t think conference-on-conference crime should be damning. It’s not like an elementary school science project where you’re only allowed one variable. When conference foes collide, there are too many variables at play to make any sort of a sound decision. The conference’s time as a top heavy group ultimately behooved them. There’s a reason Rich Rodriguez, Todd Graham, and Mike Leach each scored hefty contracts this off season: schools need to keep up; and we’re seeing that now as no one is going to overwhelmingly run away with this thing. Judge the conference for what they’ve done outside of the conference (ask the B1G) or if they lose to Colorado.