Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The Great Debate

October 12, 2003|Jay Christensen; Jim Rhode

WITH OHIO STATE'S LOSS, IT APPEARS

THAT THE ROSE BOWL WILL REVERT TO

ITS TRADITIONAL MEETING BETWEEN

THE PACIFIC 10-BIG TEN CHAMPIONS.

WHAT TEAMS CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE

IN PASADENA ON JAN. 1?

PACIFIC 10: It's a race among Oregon State, Washington State, USC and -- surprise -- UCLA. Of the four teams, give an edge to the Beavers and Bruins. Why? The Trojans and Cougars must play the other three contenders, and the Beavers and Bruins don't play each other. In addition, USC is the only team among the four with a conference loss, so the Trojans probably will have to run the table. The Bruins, with California, Arizona and Stanford up next, could be 5-0 entering a Nov. 8 game at Washington State. But this is where it ends for UCLA. The Beavers? How can you trust a quarterback that had five interceptions against Fresno State? That brings us to a Nov. 1 game at the Coliseum between USC and Washington State. Given what I've seen of the Cougars' attacking style on defense, I like their chances.

-- Jay Christensen

BIG TEN: Woody Hayes would have never approved of what the Big Ten has become. Egads! A conference in which seven teams have a chance of winning the championship. After three weeks of conference play, three teams (Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin) are unbeaten and four others (Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State) have one loss. The only logical way to break this logjam is to determine how many road games each of the not-so Magnificent Seven has to play against contenders. Iowa, Michigan State and Purdue each have three, which puts them behind the seven-ball. That leaves Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin, all with one. Minnesota is the first to be discarded -- giving up 31 points and blowing a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter at home, as it did in losing to Michigan on Friday night, is not the stuff of which Big Ten champions are made. Maurice Clarett seems to be an albatross for Ohio State. The Buckeye offense has been stuck in neutral the whole season. That leaves Michigan and Wisconsin. That was quite a comeback by the Gun of Navarre(on) at the Metrodome, but the memory of that minus-three rushing in the 31-27 loss to Oregon still lingers. The Ducks have since gone south for the season, losing three in a row. That leaves Wisconsin to wake up and smell the Roses. Hey, the Badgers defeated Ohio State with a backup quarterback and a running back who started the season as a third-stringer. Anthony Davis gets healthy and it's Pasadena, here they come. Woody would have never believed it -- a Big Ten champion that lost to Nevada Las Vegas.

-- Jim Rhode

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|