Pac-12 chaos is a strength of the conference, not something else

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A lot of things make humanity great. A lot of things make it suck. But few things make it as great as independent thought. Which is why human people can get in a room and look at or read the same thing and come away with a million different impressions.

There are glass-half-full people; there are glass-half-empty people; and there are “the glass needs more beer in it either way” people.

With all of that in mind, take 50 college football fans and ask them to opine on Bloody Pac-12 Week 2014 … when all of Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, and Southern Cal took it on the chin … and 49 of them probably will say it was a horrible weekend for the conference.

I guess I’ll be the “1.”

If you’d have told anyone two months ago that the group above would have six losses combined before the second week of October, they’d probably have laughed. Or checked the dosage on your meds.

But why isn’t this a strength rather than a referendum of being overrated?

In the annoying lexicon of conference strength debates, which often forwards who ends up playing for college football’s version of a championship, these things often are weighted inexplicably toward the top of the conference rather than its actual overall strength.

Yes, the Pac-12 is eating its own, but that’s because it’s good … and with four spots available to play for a title this year, hopefully the CFB Playoff committee takes that into account rather than just looking at the records and assuming the conference isn’t that good.

Stanford and Southern Cal are probably out … but both were long shots going in. Arizona State should be looked at through the prism not just of a team that got pants’d by UCLA, but one that did so minus its would-be Heisman contending quarterback, Taylor Kelly.

The Sun Devils immediately picked up their tattered pride and stunned Southern Cal.

Of the bunch of teams that lost this past week, UCLA is probably the owner of the most damning defeat. Utah’s win over Michigan looks less and less impressive by the day, and losing to Washington State didn’t really help the Utes’ profile.

Arizona stands alone for the moment as the conference’s best threat to make the CFB Playoff, if only because the Wildcats have yet to lose and won probably the toughest tilt on their schedule at Oregon.

The real sadness here is that the Pac-12 isn’t getting the respect from the polls it would if … ahem … it were some other conference. (Everyone in college football knows which one, too.)

We sort of had this feeling going in, that the Pac-12 was the deepest conference in the country, ergo if that’s your definition of “best,” then the “best” conference in the country.

What happens when you have immense depth? Teams lose often to one another, and even the power teams can’t make it through totally unscathed.

It remains to be seen how the conference is looked at in the grand scheme of things by the CFB Playoff committee, but the hope here is that the chaos of this past weekend isn’t looked at as “the Pac-12 has no legit title contenders save for Arizona,” and instead is looked at as “Wow, it’s tough getting out of there without a blemish or two.”

In today’s college football, perfection or near perfection is no longer needed.

So, how is your glass looking today?