The road to Pasadena goes through Tucson

Yes, the title is a little ambitious and arrogant, but it's also pretty much true, when you look at how the Pac-10 breaks down following USC's loss to Oregon State on Thursday.

Yes, the title is a little ambitious and arrogant, but it's also pretty much true, when you look at how the Pac-10 breaks down following USC's loss to Oregon State on Thursday.

Right now, the undefeated teams in the conference are Arizona, Oregon, California and Arizona State. All four teams have significant flaws, with Cal probably being the biggest threat out group.

But one look at Cal's schedule shows that the Bears have to go to Arizona, USC and Oregon State to win the conference.

Oregon hosts Arizona, but with road games to USC, Arizona State, California and Oregon State, the Ducks aren't expected to seriously challenge for the conference title, especially with the team's problems at quarterback.

Arizona State has to go to California, USC, Oregon State and Arizona. Good luck with that.

USC still might be the favorite to win the Pac-10, and its toughest game left could be an Oct. 25 road trip to Tucson. If UA wins that game, it will open significant doors for the rest of the conference.

So when I say that the road to Pasadena goes through Tucson, it's true. If Arizona holds fort and wins out at home – the U of A's road games are Stanford, Washington State and Oregon – then the Wildcats should be very seriously in the mix to win the conference.

If not, any team that loses at Arizona probably doesn't win the Pac-10 themselves.

As it stands today, if you want to win the Pac-10 title, you better win in Tucson. If not, enjoy second place or worse.

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