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Irish Win Over LSU Makes Case … For Pac-12

Seven years after a banner flew over Cal’s football stadium reading “SEC rules, Pac-10 drools”–only to have Cal beat Tennessee–the Pac-12 received some help in their claim to be the best conference when Notre Dame upset LSU on Tuesday in the Music City Bowl.

Two Pac-12 teams had beaten Notre Dame by an average score of 52-23 in November as the Pac-12 dethroned the SEC as regular season champ. But the SEC’s LSU, which had defeated Ole Miss and Texas A&M during regular season conference play, fell to a team that fell to USC and Arizona State.

The two conferences have not played this year, but in 2006 opened the season with four games and the SEC dominated three of them with only USC winning for the Pac-12. The next year the Pac-12 had it’s revenge. Some SEC fans–feeling their oats from 2006–paid a plane to fly over the Tennessee at Cal game with a banner that read “SEC rules, Pac-10 drools.” The Pac-12 had the last laugh as Cal not only beat Tennessee, but Cal went on to go 3-6 in the Pac-12 while Tennessee went 6-1 in the SEC before barely losing the SEC Championship game to LSU.

That being said, the SEC still has a slight edge over the Pac-12 in this year’s Bowl standings (+18.7 to +16.2) with both conferences being nine points ahead of the next best conference (the Big Ten). The fact that the Big Ten rebounded from a terrible first couple of weeks and his now ranked ahead of every conference besides the top two conferences only added to the excitement over Michigan’s signing of Jim Harbaugh (read Breitbart Sports story here) as their new coach.

Outside of the Notre Dame-LSU game, the SEC has won their other four games by 58 points and the Pac-12 is credited for 57 points in wins (win margins are capped at 25 points, thus holding down Utah’s credit for destroying Colorado State). The SEC has faced tougher opponents overall, and narrow escapes for Arizona State and USC have held the Pac-12’s Bowl rating a little below that of the SEC. Arizona could close the gap further today with a strong showing against Boise State, while the SEC will be judged based on both Mississippi teams on the field today.

Conference Team %W Pred Opponent Win? Margin Adjust
Cincinnati 40% -3.5 Virginia Tech 0 -16.0 (1.30)
East Carolina 21% -10.5 Florida 3-Jan
Houston 30% -6.5 Pittsburgh 2-Jan
Memphis 49% -0.5 BYU 1 1.0 1.08
UCF 47% -2.5 NC State 0 -7.0 (1.12)
American Athletic starts at -8 1.9 (23.5) 1.0 (22.0) (9)
Boston College 65% 5.5 Penn St 0 -1.0 (1.56)
Clemson 41% -3.5 Oklahoma 1 25.0 2.32
Duke 28% -7.5 Arizona St 0 -5.0 (0.46)
Florida St 20% -10.5 Oregon 1-Jan
Georgia Tech 39% -3.5 Mississippi St 31-Dec
Louisville 29% -6.5 Georgia 0 -23.0 (1.24)
Miami FL 46% -2.5 South Carolina 0 -3.0 (0.94)
NC State 53% 2.5 UCF 1 7.0 1.12
North Carolina 59% 3.5 Rutgers 0 -19.0 (2.08)
Pittsburgh 70% 6.5 Houston 2-Jan
Virginia Tech 60% 3.5 Cincinnati 1 16.0 1.30
Atlantic Coast starts at 7 5.1 (12.5) 3.0 (3.0) 5.0
Illinois 37% -4.5 Louisiana Tech 0 -17.0 (1.24)
Iowa 37% -4.5 Tennessee 2-Jan
Maryland 15% -14.5 Stanford 0 -24.0 (0.68)
Michigan St 50% -0.5 Baylor 1-Jan
Minnesota 29% -7.5 Missouri 1-Jan
Nebraska 37% -4.5 USC 0 -3.0 (0.68)
Ohio St 31% -6.5 Alabama 1-Jan
Penn St 35% -5.5 Boston College 1 1.0 1.56
Rutgers 41% -3.5 North Carolina 1 19.0 2.08
Wisconsin 32% -6.5 Auburn 1-Jan
Big 10 starts at 6 3.4 (58.0) 2.0 (24.0) 7.0
Baylor 50% 0.5 Michigan St 1-Jan
Kansas St 51% 0.5 UCLA 2-Jan
Oklahoma 59% 3.5 Clemson 0 -25.0 (2.32)
Oklahoma St 32% -6.5 Washington 2-Jan
TCU 49% -0.5 Mississippi 31-Dec
Texas 26% -7.5 Arkansas 0 -24.0 (1.18)
West Virginia 47% -1.5 Texas A&M 0 -8.0 (1.20)
Big 12 starts at 10 3.1 (11.5) (57.0) 5
Louisiana Tech 63% 4.5 Illinois 1 17.0 1.24
Marshall 72% 7.5 N Illinois 1 25.0 1.26
Rice 55% 2.5 Fresno St 1 24.0 1.76
UTEP 20% -10.5 Utah St 0 -15.0 (0.58)
W Kentucky 67% 5.5 C Michigan 1 1.0 0.48
Conference USA starts at -8 2.8 9.5 (4)
BYU 51% 0.5 Memphis 0 -1.0 (1.08)
Navy 44% -2.5 @ San Diego St 1 1.0 1.26
Notre Dame 28% -7.5 LSU 1 3.0 1.86
FBS Indep starts at -1 0.7 (10.0) 2.0 4.0 1
Bowling Green 48% -1.5 South Alabama 1 5.0 1.30
C Michigan 33% -5.5 W Kentucky 0 -1.0 (0.48)
N Illinois 28% -7.5 Marshall 0 -25.0 (1.26)
Toledo 53% 1.5 Arkansas St 4-Jan
W Michigan 45% -2.5 Air Force 0 -14.0 (1.36)
Mid-American starts at -14 2.1 (15.5) 1.0 (35.0) (16)
Air Force 55% 2.5 W Michigan 1 14.0 1.36
Boise St 29% -6.5 Arizona 31-Dec
Colorado St 33% -6.5 Utah 0 -25.0 (1.40)
Fresno St 45% -2.5 Rice -24.0 (1.76)
Nevada 66% 5.5 ULL 0 -13.0 (2.06)
San Diego St 56% 2.5 Navy 0 -1.0 (1.26)
Utah St 80% 10.5 UTEP 1 15.0 0.58
Mountain West starts at -7 3.6 5.5 2.0 (34.0) (12)
Arizona 71% 6.5 Boise St 31-Dec
Arizona St 72% 7.5 Duke 1 5.0 0.46
Oregon 80% 10.5 Florida St 1-Jan
Stanford 85% 14.5 Maryland 1 24.0 0.68
UCLA 49% -0.5 Kansas St 2-Jan
USC 63% 4.5 Nebraska 1 3.0 0.68
Utah 67% 6.5 Colorado St 1 25.0 1.40
Washington 68% 6.5 Oklahoma St 2-Jan
Pac 12 starts at 13 5.6 56.0 4.0 57.0 16
Alabama 69% 6.5 Ohio St The 1-Jan
Arkansas 74% 7.5 Texas 1 24.0 1.18
Auburn 68% 6.5 Wisconsin 1-Jan
Florida 79% 10.5 East Carolina 3-Jan
Georgia 71% 6.5 Louisville 1 23.0 1.24
LSU 72% 7.5 Notre Dame 0 -3.0 (1.86)
Mississippi 51% 0.5 TCU 31-Dec
Mississippi St 61% 3.5 Georgia Tech 31-Dec
Missouri 71% 7.5 Minnesota 1-Jan
South Carolina 54% 2.5 Miami FL 1 3.0 0.94
Tennessee 63% 4.5 Iowa 2-Jan
Texas A&M 53% 1.5 West Virginia 1 8.0 1.20
Southeastern starts at 16 7.9 65.0 4.0 55.0 19
Arkansas St 47% -1.5 Toledo 4-Jan
South Alabama 52% 1.5 Bowling Green 0 -5.0 (1.30)
ULL 34% -5.5 Nevada 1 13.0 2.06
Sun Belt starts at -14 1.3 (5.5) 1.0 8.0 (13)

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