Missing the College Football Playoff was bad enough for the Pac-12, but now its teams appear to have set a record for modern-era bowl futility.
The worst bowl year ever for a Power 5 conference (min 5 games) was the Big Ten in 2008 (1-6).— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) December 30, 2017
This was already a record for Pac-12 bowl losses, per Kyle Bonagura, even before conference champ USC lost by 17 in the Cotton Bowl and Washington lost a Fiesta Bowl thriller to make it 1-8.
- No. 8 USC lost 24-7 to No. 5 Ohio State
- No. 11 Washington lost 35-28 to No. 9 Penn State
- No. 13 Stanford lost 39-37 to No. 15 TCU
- No. 18 Washington State lost 42-17 to No. 16 Michigan State
- Arizona State lost 52-31 to No. 24 NC State
- Oregon lost 38-28 to No. 25 Boise State
- Arizona lost 38-35 to Purdue
- UCLA lost 35-17 to Kansas State
Those involve some key injuries, such as Wazzu’s Luke Falk and UCLA’s Josh Rosen, though as the Pac-12’s winner’s list shows, major injuries go both ways:
- Utah beat West Virginia 30-14
The Pac-12’s only bowl win so far came against a WVU without starting QB Will Grier and multiple other offensive starters. Still, aren’t you glad you added Kyle Whittingham, who’s 11-1 in bowls as a head coach?
Basing conference quality entirely on bowl results is an annual fallacy, but a popular activity.
The Pac-12’s a good conference with a lot of good teams, regardless of results in one-shot games that aren’t always as nearly matched as they look. Six of the Pac-12’s eight losing teams entered as underdogs, and note two unranked Pac-12 teams faced ranked teams in bowls.