- Ted Miller, College Football
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Ranking the Pac-10 programs over the entirety of the decade might produce a few surprises, in large part because we live in the present.
Folks may have forgotten that Washington and Washington State were once top-10 teams. And that Stanford and Arizona were awful.
Still, there will be no surprises at No. 1.
Decade record is in parenthesis.
10. Stanford (47-69): The Cardinal went to the Rose Bowl after the 1999 season but that doesn't count. From 2002 to 2007, Stanford never posted a winning record and averaged 3.33 wins.
9. Arizona (49-69): The Wildcats have a slightly better winning percentage than Stanford and, more important, they won a bowl game this decade. From 2000-2006, Arizona was 16-48 in conference play.
8. Washington (49-71): While Washington, Arizona and Stanford are almost a push in terms of winning percentage this decade, the Huskies get the nod because they won the Rose Bowl after the 2000 season. Of course, the Huskies dominated the 1990s, so the program producing three seasons with two or fewer wins from 2004-2008 is still shocking to consider.
7. Washington State (57-63): Surprised to see the Cougars this high after the misery of the past two seasons? Well, just recall Washington State posted three consecutive 10-win seasons from 2001-2003 and finished ranked in the final top-10 three times, a better troika than any other conference team can boast, other than USC and Oregon.
6. Arizona State (65-58): Almost a push with the UCLA, with one 10-win and another nine-win season floating among poor-to-middling finishes. The Sun Devils went 2-18 in conference games in the state of California.
5. UCLA (67-57): A mediocre decade for the Bruins falls fittingly in the middle. Only one season of 10 or more wins and seven with six or more defeats. Still, the Bruins never went completely into the toilet.
4. California (71-53): Cal was hurt by winning just four games the first two seasons of the decade -- the pre-Jeff Tedford years. That's something to think about when Bears fans grouse about "not taking the next step." That said, the Bears have gone to seven bowls under Tedford -- and won five -- but none of the BCS variety.
3. Oregon State (80-49): Beavers fans, pause for a moment and think about how far your program has come -- from 28 consecutive losing seasons to averaging eight wins a year this past decade. A 6-2 record in bowl games isn't too shabby either.
2. Oregon (87-37): The Ducks started the decade fast and finished fast, ending up with five seasons of 10 or more wins and two BCS bowl berths, making the Ducks the only Pac-10 team -- other than USC -- to go to more than one.
1. USC (102-26): The Trojans owned the decade with seven conference championships, two national titles, three Heisman Trophies and a 6-1 record in BCS bowls.
Ranking the Pac-10 programs over the entirety of the decade might produce a few surprises, in large part because we live in the present.Folks may have forgotten that Washington and Washington State were once top-10 teams.