(Written by Ken Crawford)
Often when one talks about ‘controling one’s own destiny’ in football, they talk about it late in the season and generally when only one team has it. And while that’s a good scenario to talk about it, mid-season we often forget when we talk about it that it’s possible for more than one team to control their own destiny.
In fact, at the beginning of the season EVERY team controls their own destiny in a conference like the Pac-10. Go undefeated in conference and you will win the conference. (duh)
The reason I bring this up is to look at who, now 1/2 way into the conference schedule, still controls their own destiny:
- Cal: With Cal’s one loss coming to Arizona who has lost two conference games now with their loss to USC on Saturday, if Cal runs the table, they’re guaranteed the Rose Bowl
- Oregon State: With their one loss coming to Stanford, another team with two conference losses, they also control their destiny.
Of the two other 1-loss teams, USC needs someone to beat Oregon State to get back in control. The two likely candidates for that are Cal and Oregon. Oregon needs someone to beat USC. The likely candidate for that is Cal, if anyone can do it. Both teams have Cal on their calendar in the next two weeks and before Cal plays the opponent they need them to beat. So what they’re hoping for is to beat Cal, but to do it in a way that doesn’t kill their confidence when they face the team they need Cal to beat.
Is it just me, or is this all very fascinating?
Of course, the other way to look at this is the way nobody is looking at it. People aren’t looking at it this way because Cal has two games in between now and then that they’re likely to lose at least one of. Nevertheless, as of right now, November 15th is the day and Corvalis is the place where the two teams that control their destiny will meet to fight it out for the singular title of ‘control of their own destiny’.
In the end what this all means is that the next three weeks will decide the fate of the Bears. Right now, everything from the Rose Bowl to the Hawaii Bowl is still up for grabs for the Bears. By the time November 16th rolls around, it should be pretty clear where the Bears are headed.