Well, sort of. While many are up in arms over the ouster of University Of Oregon President Richard Lariviere, the Oregonian’s John Canzano saves his Sunday morning outrage for a far more burning issue ; the 11-1 Ducks advancing to an inaugural Pac-12 championship game against a foe as lowly as UCLA. The Bruins are in said spot only because USC — paying for crimes committed during Pete Carrol’s tenure — were deemed ineligible, leading Canzano to ask, “didn’t anyone in (conference President) Larry Scott’s office think to include a back-up provision should one of the division winners not be above .500?”)
The Bruins are 6-6. Five of those conference losses are by 25 or more points. They got beat 50-0 by USC on Saturday and squeezed past Oregon State by only eight points earlier this season. And so the first conference championship game, promised to be laced with all kinds of pageantry, no doubt, ends with the losing coach shaking hands, then getting fired on his way out of the building with his non-bowl-eligible team.
I know, the Trojans have that bowl ban, but I challenge anyone to look at how this has played out and not believe it’s a shame that Lane Kiffin’s team won’t play in the conference title game. We all deserve better than UCLA-Oregon.
The Bruins got here by virtue of a tiebreaker, a USC bowl ban, and the fact that they didn’t have to play Oregon in the regular season. Which is only to say they are going to be ushered into Autzen Stadium next Friday, and they’ll look around, see the shiny championship trophy, and all the fans screaming, and smile, just before they realize that this whole thing is a set-up and they’re the meal.