Pac-12 needs to step up Monday

With the two BCS bowl games to be played Monday, the Pac-12 blog is 5-0 picking bowls this year.

Thanks ... no thank you ... you are too kind ... please, stop clapping. OK, yes ... yes ... OK, you're right, I am awesome.

But I would be perfectly happy to have been wrong and eating crow served up in the mailbag. Gloating hurled at my wrongness is a Pac-12 blog tradition. It's much worse when you guys are unhappy, as it appears that is frequently my fault, and few are shy about telling me that.

The problem was when I looked at the Pac-12 bowl schedule, I saw the potential for a lot of losing. As did Vegas. Truth is, the Pac-12 is actually ahead of the game: It was underdogs in all five games played so far and it's now 1-4.

So, unless Oregon and Stanford pull a double-whammy on Monday and salvage the bowl season with a wins over top-10 teams, be prepared for plenty of trolling. The Pac-10 went 2-5 in bowl games in 2009 and that inspired plenty of tweaks. A 1-6 finish would evoke 14 times -- plus or minus -- more ridicule.

And there's little you can say. The record is the record is the record. But there is one trump card: The NCAA's shameful treatment of USC. As in most things, this is all the NCAA's fault.

If USC wasn't in the second season of a bowl ban, the Trojans would either be playing Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl or would have poleaxed Baylor in the Alamo Bowl. And if the Trojans were in the Rose Bowl -- I do think Oregon would have won a rematch in Autzen Stadium in the Pac-12 championship game, by the way -- the Ducks would have scored 200 points against the Bears.

Then Washington would have been in a favorable matchup with Texas in the Holiday Bowl, and California would have been a good match for Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. Utah would have likely ended up with an unhappy ending for a second consecutive season in the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State. Arizona State in a rematch with Illinois in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl would have been a toss-up, and UCLA would have had little trouble with Wyoming.

In other words, the Pac-12 would have gone from underdogs in six of seven games to probably favorites in two or three more.

I know: Would-a, could-a, should-a.

But if the final tally ends up 1-6, that's all the Pac-12 will have.