Monday, August 15, 2005

College Football Preview: Pac 10

USC has been the king of college football and dare The Man say established a dynasty. True, it's a weak conference overall, but it apparently hasn't made a different as evidenced by the domination top teams in the National Title game for the past 3 years.

Pete Carroll might have been a mediocre at best NFL coach, but his recruiting and coaching skills are what separate this program from every other in the country. Given their depth, including the return of Matt Leinart at QB and Reggie Bush at RB, their coaching staff losses might be the only thing stopping them from a four-peat.

The Man's Pac-10 Picks:

1. USC - too much talent, not enough competition in-conference

2. Cal - A near score away from upsetting USC last year, look for another 2nd place finish in '05.

3. Arizona State - top running back in jail, early game @ LSU. Play both Oregon and USC at home this year.

4. Oregon - Disappointing year in '04, Coach Bellotti revamped his staff and gets Cal and USC at home.

5. UCLA - Improved team last year, look for that improvement to continue into a bowl appearance this year. Play three of four ranked teams at home.

6. (tie) Oregon State - Beat the teams they were supposed to in '04, lost to good opponents. Look for that trend to continue. Creampuff opener against Portland State, then No. 19 Boise State at home. Plus they finish the season against rival Oregon on the road.

6. (tie) Arizona - Look for Mike Stoopes to continue to turn this program around. Beating ASU at the end of '04 was amazing and their recruiting class was in the top 15. Unfortunately, most freshman aren't impact players so look for a sub-.500 overall finish.

8. Stanford - New coach, new system, old ways - a losing season.

9. Washington State - The end of a great 3 year run was last year. Time to rebuild.

10. Washington - It's going to take more than a new coach and one season to turn this program around.

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