Spock, you have absolutely no way of knowing how Colorado would have looked against Penn State any more than I do. But just because they got beat by Oklahoma State doesn't mean that they would have looked that way in the Rose Bowl. Who cares anyway? None of that has anything to do with my point.
Again, my point is that the conference champion should represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl. Since the conference champion was invited to the playoffs, I'm of the opinion that the conference runner-up should have been selected to represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl. I don't give a rat's ass if USC beat CU and UW, the fact is they did not win their division, ergo they should not have been invited IF conference standings mean anything... which apparently they do not.