Wow, an entire Saturday mostly spent watching Pac-12 football. I don't expect to do that again soon.
Can we now please put an end to the constant complaints about the Pac-12 football teams not getting enough national respect? About them not being ranked high enough in the polls? And can we stop this stuff from some people who still think, believe it or not, that one of these teams deserves a spot in the College Football Playoff?
I have been watching this conference since the days when it was the Pac-8. I remember, as a kid, when players played both ways -- offense and defense. And I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the conference weaker than it is this season.
Maybe it was the late start the teams got. Maybe it’s because many of these squads are very young and inexperienced. There were a lot of opt-outs.
Whatever. They are not good football teams. Even the best teams aren’t very good. I cannot watch them and say that any of them have the speed and power or, most important, the consistency, to stay with the likes of Alabama, Notre Dame or Clemson.
I watched for too long Saturday -- several different games. As I have done each week so far this season. And I lost track of how many times I saw quarterbacks miss wide-open targets. Or wide-open targets dropping passes. Or fumbles in key situations. Or stupid penalties.
And that was just the offense. The conference has never been known for its vicious defenses and this year it’s the same old thing.
If the offenses could have played better, they would have churned up big yardage. There were missed tackles, dropped interceptions and a lot of players out of position.
I can’t figure out what makes the games so tough to watch -- the predictable inefficiency of Pac-12 officials, the constant ineptitude of the teams or the overmatched television announcers trying to summon energy while attempting to broadcast the games from their living room recliners.
I do expect a couple of those things to improve next season, assuming the sports world can get back to something resembling normalcy, as we used to know it.
The announcers will surely be better when they return to the stadiums. I believe that.
But the officials have struggled for several years. Really, so have many of the teams. And continuing to artificially inflate the talent of these teams isn’t doing them any good.