2009 Pac 10 Preview
USC has been a powerhouse in the PAC 10 for many years. Now other teams are showing they can compete with USC and the other elite teams in the country. Do not overlook the PAC 10 this year. The preview will list the teams in predicted order of finish in the Pac 10.
1. Oregon Ducks—Chip Kelly takes over as head coach and he is in good shape as this is one of the best Duck teams to come out of Eugene in awhile. QB Jeremiah Masoli will have this offense running full throttle and scoring plenty of points. Kelly needs to replace four starters on the offensive line, but that should not be a problem with the depth that they have. The defense will
play well enough to give this Duck team a shot at the Rose Bowl.
2. USC Trojans—Pete Carroll has firmly put himself in the top of the college ranks as a head coach. He has reloaded with talent after losing superstars and has always been in the top ten. This year they have to reload but don’t look for the usual results. They will have multiple problems with trying to choose a great QB and replace nine starters they lost on defense. USC will always be on top of the heap but this year they are more vulnerable than ever.
3. California Bears –Kevin Riley will finally get to show what he can do at quarterback this year. Last year the QB’s were flipped flopped all year long and Riley never got a chance. Head coach Jeff Tedford will need him to play well if he wants to have a good season. Jahvid Best is back and will go after the Heisman as he runs for Cal and that should solidify the offense. That combined with 8 returning starters on defense equals a great season for the Bears.
4. Arizona Wildcats—Mike Stoops finally made the Wildcats a team to be feared in the Pac 10. Matt Scott is the favorite to take over at quarterback and Sonny Dykes (OC) will have all of the tools he needs to run his vaunted spread offense. The Wildcats finally made it to a bowl game but now they have to keep the momentum going and fight for the title.
5. Oregon St. Beavers—Mike Riley has done an unbelievable job with Oregon St. They continue to surprise powerhouse teams and are off a great season and a bowl win. The defense could be an issue as they must replace some all-stars that anchored this team last year. The secondary is young and filled with sophomores and their development could be the difference in a winning season. The offense will always be electric with the Rodgers brothers but they must remain healthy. Watch for the Beavers after a bye as they always prepare and play well as evident by the 9-4 ATS record since 1996.
6. Stanford Cardinals—Jim Harbaugh has made an incredible impact in a short time at Stanford. The Cardinal needed to work on the defense and they addressed it in the off-season moving two talented offensive players to the defensive side of the ball. Toby Gerhart will be back to run the ball and he will not be alone. Stanford returns nine starters on offense and eight starters on defense. This type of experience will make the Cardinal a Bowl team this year and keep the team moving in a positive direction under Harbaugh.
7. Arizona St. Sun Devils—Dennis Erickson needs to turn this team around after a disappointing 5-7 campaign last year. He returns seven starters on offense but will have to replace Rudy Carpenter at QB. He has a stable of talented kids to choose from and is overloaded with talent. The defense is top notch and should hold down o0ffenses and keep the Sun Devils in every game.
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8. UCLA Bruins– Rick Neuheisel will bring an experienced Bruins team into this season that returns nine starters on offense. The young players from last year will start to blossom and Neuheisel had one of his best recruiting years ever. With seven returning starters on defense to include Korey Bosworth at defensive end, this team is ready to win some games. The Bruins will improve from the four win season and look to make an impact as a solid bowl team.
9. Washington Huskies—Steve Sarkisian steps in as head coach and takes over for Tyrone Willingham. The Huskies are off maybe the worst season they have ever had and things are not looking any brighter. The good news is that Jake Locker will be back and healthy at quarterback. The bad news is that will be the only positive for this team. Generating a few wins this year will be the only thing this team can get excited about.
10. Washington St. Cougars—Paul Wulff is in his second year at Washington St, but it could be his last. The Cougars are off a miserable two win season and he was hit for violating sanctions in the off-season. He will have to produce a decent season to get the boosters happy. The first thing he has to do is choose a quarterback. Last year four different players took snaps and not one of them showed results. He does return plenty on defense but that may not be a good thing as they ranked poorly in almost every defensive category last year. Look forward to another bad season and last place in the Pac 10 for the Cougars.
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