Burning Question: The King is Dead, long live the king? USC, the tyrant of the Pac 10, met a grisly end last year as several Pac 10 teams humiliated the former Goliath. Couple that with USC's bowl ban/scholarship restriction and its unclear what's next for the Pac 10. The pattern elsewhere across the college landscape is for one or two alpha dogs to control a conference. Will someone replace USC then as sole owner of the Pac 10? Will the conference become a free for all as it did last year? Will Lane Kiffin start crying on the sidelines?
Biggest Non-Conference Games Oregon State @ Boise State, UCLA @ Texas, Oregon @ Tennessee, Nebraska @ Washington
1. Oregon - I can't particularly remember a time when the #4 team in the country has no QB which I suppose says something about Oregon and probably something about preseason polls. Oregon's offense has been unstoppable under Chip Kelly. While Masoli is gone, people forget he was like 4rth on the depth charts. So assuming one of Oregon's QBs is serviceable Oregon should well roll on....
1. USC - This is really the only ranking USC might get as its banned from the Coach's poll this year. Matt Barkley should be improved and the D should be up to snuff. But I'm not sold on Kiffin as a coach (as opposed to a recruiter). USC should still do well but I'm doubting their dominance.
3. Oregon State - They have the best running back in the conference (Rodgers) and the best d-line against the run. They are breaking in a new QB tho and their pass rush was non-existent. So as long as the forward pass is made illegal Oregon State should be in great shape.
4. California - Shane Vareen (RB) is a future star in the Pac 10 and will get a chance to shine . Oddly Cal had one of the best recruiting classes of 2010 so look for lots of young stars to play. Of course young stars are inconsistent. So Cal could be anywhere between 2nd and last in the Pac. I'm compromising and picking 4rth.
5. Washington - Put up or Shut Up time for UberHyped Future First Round Pick Jake Locker.
5. Stanford - I'm expecting some growing pains but at the end of the year I'm predicting Andrew Luck (seen above) will be the best QB in the Pac 10.
9. Arizona State
10. Washington State