This is sixth in a series of conference profiles as part of BCS Know How’s season preview. Today’s conference is the Pac-10.
Conference: Pacific 10 Conference (Pac-10)
Active Since: 1915
Current Member Schools: Arizona Wildcats, Arizona State Sun Devils, California Golden Bears, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Stanford Cardinal, UCLA Bruins, Southern California (USC) Trojans, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars. (10)
Bowl Affiliations: Rose Bowl (BCS), Las Vegas Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Sun Bowl, Fight Hunger Bowl. (6)
Conference Runner-up—Oregon State/Arizona/Stanford
BCS Bowl Results: Rose Bowl—Ohio State 26 vs. Oregon 17
Overall Bowl Record: 2-5
Heisman Vote Recipients: Stanford RB Toby Gerhart (2nd Overall)
2010 Outlook: A change of guard atop the conference last season shocked many around the country, but this season could be more of the same, as two programs will come into the season with a completely different feel.
Oregon will have to go without its Heisman-hopeful quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who was kicked off the team, and USC will be playing without a shot at postseason play because of NCAA violations. One of the two teams has finished atop the Pac-10 each of the last 10 seasons, but this year might just hold a different result in the cards.
Heisman candidates are scattered around the conference, from Stanford’s standout quarterback Andrew Luck to Oregon State’s small and speedy back Jaquizz Rodgers and Oregon’s backfield stalwart LaMichael James. Any of these candidates, along with Washington quarterback Jake Locker, who is considered among the best pro prospects in the country, could help lead their teams to a Pac-10 title and likely Rose Bowl bid.
And of course, USC and new coach Lane Kiffin—although decimated by the loss of a major portion of their recruiting class, underclassmen transfers and departures to the NFL — is still laden with talent, however untested it may be.
The conference may once again come down to the annual “Civil War” between Oregon and Oregon State, but unlike last season, when Masoli and the Ducks squeaked out a victory over Oregon State, the Beavers will be at home in Corvalis and Masoli will be noticeably absent.
2010 Heisman Hopefuls: Stanford QB Andrew Luck, Oregon State RB Jaquizz Rodgers, Oregon RB LaMichael James, Washington QB Jake Locker
BCS Know How’s 2010 Predictions:
Conference Champion – Oregon State Beavers
Conference Runner-up – Oregon Ducks.
BCS bids – One: Oregon State – Rose Bowl
Heisman Finalists – None