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I Come in Peace: The Pac-10 vs. MWC debate (long)

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SBN member/MWC fan, wolfmanshowlforever and myself, have been having a very heated debate across quite a few of the blogs on SBN (namely on Everyday Should be Saturday).  He recently challenged me to come to MWConnection and voice my opinion here, and bring the debate to the fans of the MWC.

Mainly, the debate has been about the MWC's 6-2 record against the Pac-10 (in 2008), versus my assertion that the Pac-10 is a superior conference (top to bottom).  Basketball is not part of this debate, since clearly for this year I have no defense of my conference, it sucks, plain and simple.

Now, I'm a reasonable person.  I understand that homerisim gets the best of us from time to time.  So, I guess what I'll do is throw out my side of the argument, and transcribe some of what has been discussed by Wolfman and myself.  I'm hoping for a fair debate, no name calling, but since you're going to (I am just as likely to do so)...explain why the person is such a "stupid Pac-10 humping retard".

Disclosure:  I am a Washington Husky fan.  More important to this debate, I am a Pac-10 fan...except Oregon...those guys can suck it.

I guess I'll start with some of the transcripts of debates between myself, and wolfmanshowlforever.

These are all taken from EDSBS.  In the interest of fair play, I'll post the string leading up to wolfman's outburst.

 

HoodRiverDuck: Oregon isn't ranked, at all?

 

CaDuckSeriously.

How the f**k can you rank Oregon State/Troy/Iowa State/Air Force/Utah (and many others) above Oregon? 18 starters return. 18.  Why am I even responding to a top 25 poll this outlandish? Sigh.

QuackinAK: Dude he has Washington as the highest ranked team in the Pac 10 he is obviously an idiot.

B Money: An idiot LIKE A FOX!!!

 

wolfmanshowlforever: b money i make more money on college football, basketball and mma then you will

ever make if you even wager on it.. what state are you from? i live right here in nevada. i usually stay in lake tahoe/ reno area but i goto vegas when there is a big mma event. btw how many live mma events have you gone too? the pac – ten for the thrid season(this upcoming season) will be much worse than the mountain west conference. say hi to friends at bloody elbow. lol. it says it all in my profile. peace.

Right about now is when I got upset.  More about the MWC > Pac-10 comment than the rest of it.  So naturally I retorted, and the following banter ensued.

 

Seriously?

I can’t bring myself to indulge you in this retarded debate. I’m sure you’re a fantastic sports bettor, far better than I am. It’s not my profession, nor will it ever be. It’s a hobby to me, although I do happen to be quite good at it.

I will however indulge you on the MWC vs. Pac-10/any other conference including the WAC debate. The MWC has three teams that have any history or big time talent. I’ll give TCU, BYU and UTAH credit for building quality programs in a poor quality conference. I will not give the MWC credit for being any better than the 7th best conference (from top to bottom) in the nation.

The Pac-10 has had a few down years, after losing a ton of talent to the NFL it’s bound to happen. Even at that rate, the top 3 in the MWC has had to capitiize on the middle of the down Pac-10 to claim any kind of dominance. Here are 5 reasons why every person who legitimately thinks the MWC is anything higher than the 6th best conference is stupid.

  • A better bowl record doesn’t matter when your top teams play the middle of the Pac-10 and the middle of the WAC.
  • A better head to head record will matter when the Pac-10 teams playing in these bowl games aren’t coming off huge letdown games (I know Alabama fans can understand this). Also see point #1.
  • The top three in the MWC only lost a combined total of 3 conference games in 2009. However, they were all to each other. Air Force managed to finish 5-3, as the only other team with a conference winning record.
  • The MWC had 3 teams in the final BCS top 25. The Pac-10 had 5. The Big-10 had 4. The SEC had 3 (all in the top 12). The Big-12 had 3 (with the preseason favorite losing their starting QB for the year). The Big East had 3 (Cincy finished higher than TCU). The ACChad 3 (with 2 of three playing tougher NC slates than any of the MWC teams). The WAC had 1 (which happened to stomp the life out of the MWC’s "best").
  • The MWC fourth place team Air Force played a blistering Non Conference slate of Nicholls State, Navy and Minnesota. They lost 2 of 3, backed into a bowl game and beat another Mid-Major. That bowl game was their marquee win.

Just because you think something doesn’t make it true. I have yet to find one person who can make any argument that even comes close to convincing me to rethink this.

I will stand by most of these points.  I will however digress on the placement of the MWC.  I can not really argue if anyone places the MWC anywhere between the 4th and 6th best conference.  Anyhow, let's continue.

wolfmanshowlforever:  i love the letdown theory. all the aq bcs conferences use it

motivation for a game is put squarely on the coach. your coach can’t get your team to play well it’s the coaches and assitant coaches fault. utah vs california the 10 point win was not indicative of the game. cal scored a scrub td with a 30 yard penalty that helped them. so the game was not even that close and we won the game with a freshman qb. as for byu’s total destruction of oregon state there is nothing else to say but to say oregon state was very over-rated. wait till next year the mwc will be much stronger from top to bottom and as for you saying the mwc is the 7th best conferecne is the country i have seen every sports outlet from espn to fox sports saying the mwc was the fourth best conference these last two years. here i’ll give you the score of two games on september 2nd 2010. tcu plays oregon state. 35 -17. utah opens up with pittsburgh ,will be getting points and will win 31 -17. now you have it in writing. pac-ten in decline. mwc on a serious upswing.

the hammer falls on usc in 5 weeks. oregon probably will have 7 or 8 players with felony’s before they even start the season. let’s see how good andrew luck will be without the help of toby gerhart. let’s see him carry the load. he will fail. washington state will still suck. the one team i do like is the washington huskies. good coach and i like the best dual threat qb in the nation in jake locker. i even think they will beat byu b/c teams that don’t have qb’s with ncaa starting experience 80% of the time get beat by teams who have qb’s coming back. make it 90% when they are extremely good qbs. arizona state might go 7-5. arizona will backslide. is nicholls state better than charleston southern or college of charleston? i’ll tell you why if you reply.

B Money: Telling me scores of 2010 games isn't proof...

while motivation is squarely on the coaches, the fact remains that the teams were completely deflated and did not play to their abilites. The letdown theory is completely legitimate. While not an excuse, you cannot say that opening day on a neutral field that those games would have gone the same way.

  • USC gets (worst case) a 1 year bowl ban, and only a top 20 class instead of top 5. (+ even with the bowl ban)
  • Until Oregon loses a real contributer, they’ll be a top 5 team. (+)
  • Andrew Luck is the real deal, however losing Gerhart will hurt. (=)
  • ASU will be a bottom feeder in the conference. But will still be better than the bottom six in the MWC. (-)
  • OSU will have a tough time replacing Canfield, but they rely on the run. (=)
  • WSU can’t do any worse than last year (although possible, I pray for the sake of football they don’t). (=)
  • Cal will be a force next year, Vereen will pick up right where Best left off. (=/+)
  • Zona will be better with Foles having another year and only losing Grigsby as a big time contributer. (=)
  • UCLA just yanked in a top ten class, if they can figure out a QB they could end up a big suprise. (+)
  • UW will be a ton better with the nation’s best QB, and a whole host of skill players back. (+)

…I see 2 teams that will for sure be bad. And both (WSU and ASU) could probably beat alot of the teams in the MWC. The rest of the conference stays the same (Stanford, UA, OSU, Cal) or gets better (UW, USC even without the bowl game, UCLA, Oregon). 80% of the league could bowl eligible next year.

I just can’t believe that anyone really believes that the MWC is better than any of the Big 6 at this point. They have zero depth. That is the bottom line, the MWC is top heavy. That makes them less of a conference than the 6 AQ’s. While they’re top teams may in fact be better than a few of the AQ’s, the worst of the Big-6 could beat the middle of the MWC on the road at any point last year.

As for the Non-con schedules, ASU had a softy last year even though they scheduled UG when they were strong. USC, UW, Oregon, Stanford, OSU, UA, Cal and UCLA all played better NC skeds than all but the top of the MWC.

This is not debateable…unless I’m crazy…please if anybody disagrees with me, tell me. I know this guy is clownshoes either way, but I’d really like to know if I’m wrong.

Once again, I'll stand by these points, except one.  WSU probably can't beat much of anybody...okay...maybe New Mexico.

wolfmanshowlforever: utah played cal in california in poinsettia bowl.

the game was not even close. airforce and wyoming will be much better next year and gives us more depth as a conference. sdsu and csu will be better. unlv and new mexico are lost causes. btw, the mwc has won the bowl record percentage cup three times. no other conference can say that. not even the sec. we are definitley better than the big east. that is a fact. cincy was not even considered for a possible bcs ncg even though they have aq bcs conference status. yes the math left them some small percantage points away from texas but so was tcu. new mexico screwed up tcu’s chance of being ahead of cincy and it was a minuscule percentage amount. then cincy just got blown away by florida. that game was a joke. at least tcu/boise was a good defensive battle. tell me about the depth of the big east.? same with the pac-ten last year. ucla acted like they won the ncg becuase the beat TEMPLE in a bowl game . lol. 2-5 in bowl games is mighty impressive while the mwc went 4-1. in 2008 season the mwc went 6-1 against your mighty pac-ten conference in regular season. look it up while you put your makeup on your clown face.

Bowl Record % cup is not tough...

when your bowl games are against

  • MWC #1 vs. Pac-10 #4
  • MWC #2 vs. Pac-10 #6 or WAC#4
  • MWC #3/4 vs. WAC #2 or C-USA #3
  • MWC #5 vs. WAC #1

Your toughest Bowl game is against the WAC #1…and even that’s debatable since the Pac-10 #4 is generally as good as the WAC champions.

Done…

I am a believer in what wolfman calls "letdown theory".  The idea that a team who's coming off a crushing loss plays worse, or at least with no emotion.  I believe it's real, and while not an excuse...is a legitimate subject to talk about in this debate, well get to it later.

I'm interjecting myself in here because I cannot tell you anything that wolfman was trying to say.  I get the gist of his argument, but I'll let him make it.  That said, this is a major sticking point for me.  The bowl record cup.  I just don't see how this matters (I hate it when Pac-10 fans wave the 5-0 season we had in 2008 around).  Bowl games (not including BCS games) are a letdown for nearly all auto-qualifier teams.  Some however (like UCLA) revel in the fact that they get to play again after stringing together some wins at the right time.

wolfmanshowlforever: we won it three times and what about the 6-1 we went in the regular season in 2008?

i’ll use the same excuse you guys use that byu lost to arizona in vegas bowl that year. they did not want to be there. plus all 4 wins were destruction of their opponents except wyoming who was a 2 td dog. you lose b money now go away.

That's great that the top of your conference destroys the middle of the P10/WAC/CUSA

really…I’m impressed.

On to the stats that matter.

Regular Season: (rankings listed are conference finish)

  • #1 and undefeated Utah(home), sneaks past #3 Oregon State 31-29
  • #3 BYU beats winless #10 Washington thanks to the refs 28-27
  • #3 BYU beats 4-8 #8 UCLA 59-0
  • #7 New Mexico(home) beats #4 Arizona 36-28
  • #6 UNLV beats #6 Arizona State
  • #2 TCU beats #7 Stanford
  • #4 Cal(home) beats #5 Colorado State

Let’s discuss. #2 BCS ranked Utah, who beat the mighty Alabama (letdown theory anyone?) managed to barely get by the #3 Pac-10 team at home. You’re number 3 team (right where the cutoff in talent is) got a gift from the refs against the worst team in College Football in 2008. They also managed to get past the #8 team in UCLA…what a mamoth pair of victories.

Oh snap! Let’s go further. 4 of the 6 victories were at home. 4 of the 6 were also by the top 1/3rd of the conference . Outside of the top 3 teams, no victory came over a Pac-10 team that finished higher than 4th. Not exactly a fair sample size right? For the one year you use as the base for your entire argument.

The best win was New Mexico at home over Arizona, who later went on to beat BYU (just after finishing 4th in the Pac-10), but I suppose letdown theory applies here, right? Right! Just not in the UU/Bama, Utah/Cal or BYU/OSU games.

Want another fun fact? In 2004, Utah and BYU finshed 1st and 3rd respectively. In 2005, when TCU joined the conference, they won it. If they hadn’t joined, BYU and Utah would have again finished top 3, instead Utah finished 4th. In 2006, 2008, 2009 Utah, BYU and TCU finished in the top 3. 2007 is the only year in the last 6, that two of the aforementioned teams did not finish top 3 (I won’t even mention that BYU won the conference that year, oops). For Christ’s sake, the big 3 even own basketball.

Bottom line, what I’ve been saying all along. The MWC is not an elite conference, because it’s too top heavy. I like MWC football, I think TCU is an outstanding program, I’ll even cop to liking Utah. But you have to be dumb to think in any way shape or form that they’re a better top to bottom conference than the Pac-10, even if for some reason you could find compelling evidence that they were in 2008…that makes one out of 10 years that your measly conference has been around.

Research is a bitch.

I stand by all of this.  I really do like MWC football.  I play dynasty in NCAA 09 with TCU.  I can't make this more clear, I am not here to bash the MWC.  I just think it's not at the highest level yet due to the inbalance.

wolfmanshowlforever: it's been two years we have been better.

and 2010 will make it three. 59-0. i’m surprised they did not kick out ucla for that loss. btw byu is my least favorite mwc team but if they stay in the top 25 that is fine with me. you still have not answered the questions about oregon’s dismal display in the rose bowl vs an ohio state team that had lost 4 bcs bowls in a row. usc palying the most vanilla offense in the world in boston college and barely winning b/c a ref made a mistake on a punt return that a usc player pushed the guy from b.c into the ball and they called it wrong and gave the ball to usc on the b.c 20 yard line. ucla beating temple and thinking they won the ncg. classic. 2-5 in bowl games 2-5 in bowl games. plus unlv sucks. beating even wahsington state is an achivement. the psuedo emporer has no clothes. p.s. b money is my bitch and the facts our on my side. thanks for adding to my fanpost.

I never did answer his questions about Oregon, USC or UCLA.  So I will now.

 

  • I can't speak much to Oregon's poor play in last year's Rose Bowl.  Personally I believe it was more great gameplanning by tOSU than poor play by Oregon (although, admittedly there was some bad play).
  • USC played a very vanilla offense, as they have for the last 10 years under Pete Carrol.  It's gotten them to the top of the college football heap, and I don't see why this is an issue.  There was some bad officiating, much like the BYU/UW game in 2008 (I still get angry seeing that video).  I don't think it was enough to swing the entire game, in either case.  They won with a true freshman QB, after having lost more than a handfull of starters to the NFL.  I should also note, that they beat Rose Bowl Champion: Ohio State...on the road.
  • UCLA, won a bowl game in a thrilling manner.  If was 18-22 years old and victorious in a bowl game, I might celebrate a lot too.  If you watched that game, it was a very emotional come from behind victory.  I don't know why this matters in terms of who's a better conference.
  • I think the 2-5 record comes back to "letdown theory".  Cal and OSU, had just come off huge losses.  Cal, getting stomped out by my Huskies and OSU barely missing out on a chance to get to the Rose Bowl.  Cal may have been very well out matched in their game, I'm more than willing to admit that.  However, week 1, on a neutral field...it's a whole different game.  That last statement applies to OSU (and as much as you don't wanna hear it, Alabama as well) to an even greater extent.  If those game were turned around we'd be at 4-3 and it would be a moot point.
  • I'd also like to add that the fact that we had 7 bowl teams is a feat in and of itself.  If I'm not mistaken the MWC had 5.

In summary, I welcome debate from all of you.  I don't believe that the MWC has at any point been a better top to bottom conference than the Pac-10.  Surely, last year, TCU was better than any team in the Pac-10.  But one team does not make a conference.  Please feel free to flame away, I'll try to refrain from any more name calling if you will.

 

Sorry for the length.

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