Barring a stunning upset by Kansas over Texas that plunges the national title race into blinding chaos, today's slate of games would hold depressingly little intrigue if not for the riveting race for the Rose Bowl in... the nation's strongest conference this year? Considering the meager quality beneath the top two teams in the SEC and Big 12, if the deep well of solid-to-strong squads doesn't make the Pac-10 the nation's best conference, at the very least it makes it the most interesting.â†µ
Heading into today, six teams sit both at 7-3 or better overall, and 4-3 or better in Pac-10 play. Among those, four schools can still make the Rose Bowl: Oregon (8-2, 6-1), Stanford (7-3, 6-2), Oregon State (7-3, 5-2), and Arizona (6-3, 4-2). Here's how each can get there:
Oregon St: Beat Washington State (5 p.m. tonight) and Oregon; Arizona loses any of final three.â†µ
Stanford: Beat Cal (7:30 p.m. tonight); Oregon State loses to Washington State, but beats Oregon.â†µ
Oregon: Beat Arizona (8 p.m.), beat Oregon St; or Lose to Arizona, beat Oregon State, with Stanford loss to Cal.â†µ
Whatever else you watch, tune in to tonight for Arizona-Oregon and Stanford-Cal, by far the day's best and most important matchups.