As a way to keep my finger on the pulse of the Pac-10 Conference, I wanted to create power rankings that could stir up some conversations amongst the great B/R Pac-10 Community. If this preseason version is a success, I would like to make it into a weekly article. Please let me know if you think it is a good idea or if it is just a waste of time.
1. California Bears
This should make everyone in SoCal livid, but sophomore RB Jahvid Best and Cal's top 25 defense that returns eight starters provide the Bears with their best chance in years to take the Pac-10 title. Will they be able to live up to expectations?
2. USC Trojans
I get it: They don’t rebuild, they reload. Blah blah. USC will be good without a doubt, but freshman QB Matt Barkley may experience growing pains, and the loss of junior WR Ronald Johnson for six to eight weeks could make things even more difficult.
3. Oregon Ducks
Junior QB Jeremiah Masoli will keep this high-powered offense chugging along, but a defense that is a little green could make games a lot closer than the Ducks faithful would prefer.
4. Oregon St. Beavers
Having to replace their entire secondary and the greater part of their defensive line will be the biggest problem the Beavers have to face early this season. Sophomore RB Jacquizz Rodgers will be their saving grace though, keeping them in almost every game.
5. Arizona St. Sun Devils
A superb defensive line anchored by senior Dexter Davis and sophomore Lawrence Guy should create havoc amongst offensive lines on a weekly basis. However, a fairly weak offense could cause problems when trying to win close games.
6. Stanford Cardinal
Redshirt freshman Andrew Luck and standout senior running back Toby Gerhart should make this offense a force to be reckoned with. Combined with a much-improved secondary and a very strong defensive line, Stanford has their best chance at a bowl berth in years.
7. UCLA Bruins
Is Kevin Price the real thing? He had better be if UCLA wants to get off the ground in a hurry. A strong secondary should keep the Bruins in most games, but they will need a much better offense then the one displayed last year if they want to prove that rebuilding is actually happening.
8. Arizona Wildcats
Running backs Nic Grigsby and Keola Antolin will be leaned on heavily until the QB carousel comes to a stop. The larger part of a defense that held teams to 21.3 points per game last year returns, which could be a little bit of a silver lining.
9. Washington St. Cougars
Improvement should be seen on both sides of the ball now that players have a better understanding of coach Paul Wulff's system in his second season. Don't expect them to move too far from the cellar though.
10. Washington Huskies
Considered by many to be the worst team out of a BCS conference, the Huskies will need to do a lot in order to shed this conception. The return of a healthy Jake Locker could reverse their terrible trend, but he will need to carry this team on his back if they expect to climb the ladder.