Adams: Upsets show Pac-12 has a long way to go to compete with SEC

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— Chris Samuels

Leading up to the 2014 season, we kept hearing about how the Pac-12 was going to close the gap between itself and the SEC, traditionally college football’s powerhouse.
In the first few weeks of the campaign, the gap seemed to be closing. Oregon and UCLA were both undefeated, while some of the middle-of-the-pack teams looked competitive against some of the bigger teams, making the conference look that much better.
However, last weekend we saw Arizona take down the Ducks, the supposed best team in the conference. We saw the Utes steal one from the Bruins. And we saw a number of other conference games that were competitive and close.
So the question is not whether or not the Pac-12 is catching up to the SEC — it’s whether the Conference of Champions is really as good as people thought it was.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a fantastic conference. But through six weeks, I’ve concluded that this conference is one of two things — it is either full of really good teams beating up on each other or it is full of bunch of mediocre teams that would look inferior in the SEC.
I guess you can make the same argument about the SEC, winners of seven of the last eight national titles, as well. This last weekend, the Mississippi schools did some work as Ole Miss took down Alabama and Mississippi State continued its magical season by destroying Texas A&M.
That said, I don’t think these two conferences are on the same level at all.
As of right now, one could argue that Arizona is the best team in the Pac-12. I mean, the résumé speaks for itself. An unblemished 5-0 record­ — including a victory over the number two team in the nation — shows this team deserves its most recent No. 10 ranking in the AP poll.
I have a hard time believing the Wildcats are even close to the top SEC team. Hell, I could name six schools in the SEC that I think could beat Arizona tomorrow.
Personally, I still believe Oregon has the best team in the Pac-12. Despite games played and rankings, the Ducks just have more talent than any other team in the conference. If the Pac-12 hopes to have any chance of putting itself on the map, Oregon better put everything together for the rest of the season because I don’t think anyone else in this conference has a chance at taking down the top SEC schools.
So the question shouldn’t be whether or not the Pac-12 is closing the gap between itself and the SEC. The question should be, is this conference really full of good teams? Or is it a conference of mediocre teams?
After this weekend, the chances of a Pac-12 team making the college football playoff took a huge hit, and sadly we may never find out how good this conference actually is.
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