Stanford Cardinal, UCLA Bruins Not My First Choice for Pac-12 Championship

Stepfan Taylor Stanford Cardinal

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US Presswire

Who doesn’t like a rematch? Yesterday the Stanford Cardinal downed the UCLA Bruins 35-17 for the right to play in the Pac-12 Championship against … UCLA. In a not so spectacular effort the Bruins were summarily dismissed by a Cardinal defense that looked like the stingy unit has been all year.

Unfortunately because of the North South division split, the rematch that most fans would love to watch involves a team from Eugene and not Los Angeles. Also yesterday the Oregon Ducks dispatched of their in-state rival Oregon State Beavers 48-24.

The Civil War was as anti-dramatic as the ending of an after-school special. With one overtime loss to Stanford holding the Ducks back from a second-consecutive conference championship appearance, I would like to call shenanigans.

I know UCLA won their division and deserve plenty of accolades for a successful season under year one of Jim Mora’s leadership. Let me go on the record and say that the Bruins are the de facto team to beat in the southern half of the Pac-12 entering 2013.

However, let me posit an alternative Pac-12 Championship. How about a Stanford versus Oregon rematch. I mean if we are going to do the rematch thing, I’ll take two teams that needed an overtime to find a winner. If UCLA must play on than I’ll deal with it. The Bruins are a fun team to watch and I expect them to give the Cardinal a better game with something on the line. My vote is for the Ducks to get another crack at Stanford.

In reality, Oregon is now a solid contender for a BCS at large bid with the National Championship and Rose Bowl no longer options.

But then again, neither is my first choice for a Pac-12 Championship game.

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James Gomez is a Pac-12 and Mountain West columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow James on Twitter as well.

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