Well, it’s hard to find words for the disappointment that Beaver Nation felt as we witnessed the heartbreaking loss to Stanford last weekend and watched the Beavers literally let their Rose Bowl hopes slip through their fingers with seven NFL team scouts and representatives from four Pac-12 bowl games in attendance. Ouch.
The loss to Stanford in and of itself wouldn’t have been that damaging on its own as technically it only dropped us 3 spots in the BCS rankings, and many of those that are supposed to know a lot about football expected us to lose anyway; but what hurt more than ever was that previous loss to Washington back in October, which came back to haunt us all we all wished once again we could just have a do-over for that game.
All of us now have to face the fact that the Beavers are definitely not going to the Rose Bowl, and, barring an earth shaking miracle (which I’m not saying is entirely impossible, just highly improbable, here, Beaver fans), are not even going to be going to the Alamo Bowl, reserved for the team that finishes 2nd in the Conference.
Stanford is now sitting confidently in 2nd place in the Conference with a record of 6-1, followed by the Beavers and UCLA at 5-2, and then USC in 4th at 5-3.
Barring that earth shattering miracle from God actually transpiring, the Beavers are most likely going to finish their season 6-3 in the Conference (assuming they beat Cal but lose to the web-footed wonders about 40 miles south).
If the Beavers want a chance to play in the Holiday Bowl (typically reserved for the 3rd best team in the Pac) in San Diego on December 27th at this point, we’re going to need some help.
That help first needs to come from UCLA. UCLA has two home games left to play this season, the first against USC this weekend and the next against Stanford. Since we could technically tie with USC if they win out, we really need UCLA to beat them this weekend. Also, since we already beat UCLA, this makes us look better.
We obviously don’t want UCLA to finish with a better record than us, however, which means that we need them to lose their last game against Stanford, who we cannot touch at this point anyway. If UCLA splits their next two games they will finish tied with us and we will earn the 3rd spot in the PAC as we beat them back in September.
If either UCLA or USC win out, we could be in trouble and could once more be heading for that destination of a lifetime, El Paso, Texas. I don’t know about any of all y’all, and no offense to Texas and some southern fried cookin’, but I would actually like to be in attendance at a Beaver bowl game this year and I am not really feelin’ the urge to drop $400 on a ticket to West Texas, land of sunshine and flying cockroaches.
Everything else aside, I just hope that the Beavers, with Sean Mannion at the helm, can get back on the horse this weekend and pull out a win against Cal. I also hope that Mannion’s time on the sidelines the last couple weeks has given him more time to heal and get his mojo back as we’re going to need him back in full force and cannot afford any more turnovers.
So, Beaver fans, on Saturday think Beaver win and UCLA win as our guys have worked too hard to claw themselves back into the race this season to end up back in West Texas.