Pac-10 Bowl season: Redemption at 5-0

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

The ultimate "theme" of the Pac-10 bowl season is obvious: Redemption.

And apology.

So the redeemed Pac-10 would like to take a moment to formally accept the college football nation's apology for all the nasty things that was said about the conference during the regular season.

And, to keep things civil, the Pac-10 also would like to apologize for putting a footprint on the forehead of the college football nation to force it to provide that apology with a 5-0 bowl run through four ranked teams and four BCS opponents and a Mountain West foe.

The Pac-10 also will accept a "thank you" from the SEC for agreeing to a system that prevents USC from playing the top team in the SEC, thereby allowing the SEC to claim four national titles since 2003 against teams -- Ohio State and Oklahoma -- that have combined to lose eight consecutive BCS bowl games.

The Trojans, winners over Ohio State and Oklahoma by a combined count of 90-22 in meetings during that same span, just wish somebody from down South would come out and play.

Wait... it would be fun... don't run away!

Wow. Your conference does have great speed.

The bowl season improved the Pac-10's nonconference record to 19-17 [Ed. note: This was corrected from 19-19] and 7-8 vs. the top 18 of the final regular-season AP poll.

No BCS conference played a comparably difficult nonconference slate. Perhaps ever.

Arizona won its first bowl game since 1998, 31-21 over BYU.

California's 24-17 Emerald Bowl win over Miami provided a showcase for running back Jahvid Best to jump onto 2009 Heisman Trophy short lists.

Oregon's 42-31 bludgeoning of Oklahoma State -- 35-14 in the second half -- which included quarterback Jeremiah Masoli twice pancaking Cowboys defenders, sent a message that you've got to bring your big-boy britches if you want to play out West.

Oregon State, playing without the Rodgers brothers, Jacquizz and James, who accounted for more than 50 percent of the Beavers' offense this season, held Pittsburgh to 178 total yards in a 3-0 victory.

And, of course, USC got all USCish on Penn State in the Rose Bowl, rolling the Nittany Lions 38-24, a game that, at 31-7 at the break, even Joe Paterno admitted was over at halftime.