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Conference Preview: Pac 10

crystalballIn an effort to address all the teams and conferences that make the fall so exciting, OTP’s All-Star Editorial staff is putting on their prognosticatin’ hats and taking a stab at each of the conferences and all of the teams in FBS. Alan and Edge are giving you the conference’s order of finish, the records, the superlatives for offense and defense, and the biggest surprise for each conference. At the conclusion of our series, we’ll have the Bowl Projections for all 34 Bowl Games.

OTP Conference Preview: Pac 10

pac10 logo
It’s easy for the national media and casual football fans to somehow look at the Pac 10 as USC’s playground with a host of other teams simply padding the Trojans win total year in and year out. While it’s true that USC has dominated the PAC 10 recently, and they are a lock for successful football betting, the gap between SC and the rest of the conference is getting smaller by the year. The resurgence of Oregon, Oregon State, and Cal, along with UCLA all put the Trojan dominance clearly on a precarious ledge heading into 2009.

Give the Pac 10 credit… they are a conference hellbent and determined on keeping the conference matchups as fair as possible. They don’t have a championship game and don’t seem to be interested in expanding the league to make that a reality. As it stands now, each Pac 10 team plays every other Pac 10 team… making the conference winner truly deserving. There is no ducking any other teams or imbalanced schedules, and though the road to the BCS clearly runs through Southern Cal, there are numerous teams gunning for that BCS berth. While the results may be similar to recent years, it is a sure bet that this year’s conference games for USC will be closer than many expect.

Last 5 Conference Champions:
2008: USC
2007: USC/Arizona State
2006: USC/Cal
2005: USC
2004: USC

Bowl Tie Ins:
The Pacific-10 Conference has six bowl tie-ins.
#1– Bowl Championship Series. The Pac-10 champion gains an automatic berth to a BCS bowl game, preferentially the Rose Bowl.
#2– The Holiday Bowl receives the second choice of Pac-10 teams.
#3– The Sun Bowl receives the third choice of Pac-10 teams.
#4-5– The Maaco Bowl Las Vegas and the Emerald Bowl coordinate their selections of the fourth and fifth teams to provide geographically favorable match-ups.
#6– The Poinsettia Bowl receives the sixth choice of Pac-10 teams. In years where the Pac-10 does not have six bowl eligible teams, the Poinsettia Bowl will select from the WAC instead.

Alan’s Pac 10 Predictions
Order of Finish:
USC: 11-1 (9-0) – Conf. Champion, BCS Rep
Oregon: 10-2 (8-1)
Cal: 9-3 (6-3)
UCLA: 9-3 (6-3)
Oregon St.: 9-3 (6-3)
Arizona: 5-7 (4-5)
Stanford: 4-8 (3-6)
Arizona State: 4-8 (2-7)
Washington: 2-10 (1-8)
Washington St.: 2-10 (0-9)

League MVP: Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Oregon
Offensive MVP: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon St.
Defensive MVP: Taylor Mays, FS, USC

Biggest Surprise This Season: The Oregon-USC game is an instant classic as the Trojans pull one out in overtime versus the Ducks

Edge’s Pac 10 Predictions
Order of Finish:
USC: 11-1 (9-0) – Conf. Champion, BCS Rep
Oregon: 10-2 (8-1)
California: 10-2 (7-2)
Oregon St.: 9-3 (6-3)
UCLA: 7-5 (5-4)
Arizona: 5-7 (4-5)
Stanford: 4-8 (3-6)
Arizona St.: 4-8 (2-7)
Washington: 2-10 (1-8)
Washington St.: 1-11 (0-9)

League MVP: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon St.
Offensive MVP: Jahvid Best, RB, Cal
Defensive MVP: Taylor Mays, FS, USC

Biggest Surprise This Season: USC drops in week 2 to Ohio State, but pulls back with an undefeated remainder of the season to edge Ohio State and take the #4 overall.

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11 Responses

  1. Good review. I’m a Duck fan. Oregon, OSU, UCLA, and Cal could end up #2 depending on how the season breaks. Oregon has new faces at OL and DL. OSU has injuries to the Rogers boys, UCLA is still building, Cal with Tedford is always gonna scrap with anyone.

    USC is still the team to beat, but if there’s ever a year to sneak up on them, this is it. New QB, some new assistant coaches, lots of new starters on D…Of course, they’re 3 deep at every position with 5* recruits.

    I can’t wait for the season to start!

  2. Looking at the rankings above it looks like you have Arizona State picked too low. Although the middle of the pac-10 is going to be hard to predict this year. Here is my rational for ASU finishing higher than :

    1. Defense is one of the best in the pac-10.
    2. Offensive line is better than last year.
    3. Dennis Erickson has never had back to back losing seasons.
    4. There are five “for sure” wins on the schedule: ISU, LMU, OSU, UW, and WSU. FYI for those picking OSU, OSU has not won in Tempe since 1967. Note never leave a Beaver in the heat.

    GO DEVILS!

  3. your first 3 are pretty much spot on..however you have UCLA waay too high…they will struggle this year, as will arizona. UW will stink it up again this year.
    1. SC
    2. Oregon
    3. cal
    4. Osewe
    5. Stanford
    6. ASU
    7. Zona
    8. Ucla
    9. WSU
    10. UW

  4. Although I’m a UCLA fan, until their offense shows up, I think I’m going with Edge and picking Oregon State above the Bruins.

    I think Erickson will manage more than two conference wins this year. Not sure either of the Washington schools will though. Right on there.

  5. Those of you who are being dismissive of Washington’s chances don’t realize a couple of things:

    1) Jake Locker is back; remember that an 0-12 UW team almost beat 10-3 BYU last year (the team that destroyed UCLA).

    2) The team was horribly coached last year (and all the years that TW was there). You should read what some of the players are now saying about how FUBARed the situation was last year. There was no team chemistry whatsoever.

    3) Related to #2, the team was out of shape last year. They quit on TW because they stopped believing in him or his system.

    4) We actually have some coaching and energy this year.

    Conclusion:

    I’m not predicting the Huskies to challenge for the conference title (yet), but given the above and the fact that there is some talent on the team, combined with the conference being a bit down this year, the Huskies will go bowling.

  6. BC Dawg the transitive property NEVER works in college football…

    “Jake Locker is back; remember that an 0-12 UW team almost beat 10-3 BYU last year (the team that destroyed UCLA)”

    and btw your team didn’t win a single game last year. Jake Locker isn’t jesus. I would aim for 4 wins.

  7. You two are pretty close. I do think UW will see a bump up this year with their new attitude as well as ASU since you can never count Dennis Erickson out.

    Probably the biggest difference will be the ducks are due for yet another famous fade year, so they will end up around 5th. There is an investigation brewing and Blount won’t finish the year as he will not be able to explain why he can afford to drive around Eugene in a Mercedes. injuries will take a toll on the rest of their injury express offense. Of course they will be talking about a national championship run right up to a Halloween Night Massacre by SC.

  8. what in the world makes people think Oregon will be better than last year after losing all those starters?

    Also, name a USC team that hasn’t underperformed relative to their talents since Chow left…

    I think SC wins the conference, but they will lose a game in conference like the normally do.

    I like

    SC
    CAL
    OSU
    Oregon/UCLA/ASU/Stanford (they are all about even)
    Zona
    Washington
    WSU

  9. An 0-12 team is more than a QB away from being decent. And if those players quit last year under TW, what’s to say they wouldn’t quit when they struggle this season?

  10. A couple weeks into the season and the Pac-10 looks a lot different than what we thought eh?

  11. Cal disappoints again. Another tough year for WSU.

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