Conference records in the bowl season are a good indication of conference's relative strengths.
End-of-season rankings are a much better indication of relative skill than early season rankings.
So when the PAC-TEN was 4-0 heading into USC's matchup with Penn state, you knew USC was good.
And how can we use this for predictions? Well, Utah just put the hurt on the SEC's #2 team by the same score that Alabama was beat by Florida (almost).
Opposing date: Ole Miss beating up on Texas Tech, show's TT is not that strong. But Ole Miss is very good this year.
What does that mean? I would consider Oklahoma to be a bigger version of Utah, which did quite well against Bama. However, Bama didn't have their All-American left tackle, and had to switch up their entire offensive line against the Ute's feriocious and confusing defensive line/LB rush.
This is the second time that a prominent offensive lineman has been scratched before a big game and both times the teams have lost. The first being Raiders/Bucs in the Super Bowl when their center was scratched the night before the game.