It appears the Pac 10 is this year’s SEC. Last season, Mississippi State had to win the SEC Tournament to get in and by doing so the Bulldogs saved the conference a lot of embarrassment. For the Pac 10, it looks like Washington is in for sure. California is iffy, but still the second most solid team on paper. Where is a third (or fourth) tournament team coming from?
I don’t like picking on conferences. Actually, I’m totally against conference arguments. The comparisons between this year’s Pac 10 and last season’s SEC exist because there aren't multiple great teams in the Pac 10 this year. Last season that was the problem for the SEC’s teams. Since none of the bubble teams were able to pick up big wins outside of conference, every team was depending on winning games in conference to get into the NCAA Tournament. The problem was that there wasn’t a dominant team to get an impressive victory against.
The Pac 10 has the same problem. On paper, Washington is the dominant team in the conference. The Huskies should be a team you can get a big win against in conference play. The problem is that there isn’t a Pac 10 team with a big out of conference win right now. The best wins the conference have are LSU (by Arizona State) and Iowa State (by California). Neither the Tigers or Cyclones are definite NCAA Tournament teams.
I realize it’s early, but time is running out during non-conference play to grab big wins. The entire conference needs to start grabbing some Ws to increase its national recognition before conference play begins. Once conference play starts, it’s too late to get national credibility as a conference.The Rest of my breakdown on the Pac 10 | Bracketology: December 5th