November’s no longer a breeze for some Pac-10 schools.
After last season’s November debacles for UCLA (2-4), Oregon State (2-3), USC (2-2) and so-so outings for Stanford (4-3), Oregon (4-2) and Arizona (3-2) that included losses to Sacramento State, Loyola-Marymount, Cal State Fullerton, Portland and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, the conference finished 39-19 for the month.
That’s hardly a record to brag about when it’s filled with guarantee games and low-major teams. The 2010-11 campaign was off to a better start, 16 wins in 17 games – until Wednesday night.
The Beavers’ loss isn’t a shock, but has to be considered another eyebrow raiser for Craig Robinson’s program. He’s still in rebuilding mode, but these are the games rebuilding teams in power conferences win. Seattle was 0-3 before Wednesday.
But the Trojans had the worse outcome. Losing to a middle-of-the-road MAAC team at home is another blow to a program still dealing with NCAA issues and an overall lack of depth and talent.
Worst of all, these are the games that’ll ding the Pac-10 in March. As Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told Andy Katz, “Playing these games, and going on the road particularly for nonconference games, means a lot,” he said. “Even if you don’t win, it can still mean a lot. We’re going to always look at the whole body of work. But the balance of scheduling throughout the year and the nonconference season is critical.”
Ouch and ouch.
(H/T: Percy Allen)