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Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Pac-10 preseason power rankings

By Ted Miller

If you don't like the power rankings at some point this season, just wait a week. Things figure to be fluid all the way to December.

Our latest version is different from our vote in the Pac-10 media poll. Yep, it took just a couple of days of preseason camp for my mind to change.

1. Oregon: Oregon moved past USC into No. 1 not because of anything it did. Or even because the Ducks topped the preseason media poll. It was more of a case of all the off-the-field stuff going on with USC, which at some point has to touch team morale. The Ducks can firm up their hold on No. 1 if positive reviews start to flow in about the QB competition.

2. USC: Why does USC fall? Well, transferring players, lawsuits, teammates punching each other, the NCAA looking at what happen at Tennessee under Lane Kiffin -- that's a start. Still, the Trojans have a lot of talent. They may be fairly salty when it comes to the football part of football.

3. Oregon State: The Beavers are about one more bad USC headline away from moving up to No. 2.

4. Stanford: Good QB? Check. Good O-line? Check. Defense? We'll see.

5. Washington: Listening to Steve Sarkisian talk about his team during a news conference last week -- let's just say Sark would do well in sales. But there's real substance to the suddenly high expectations: Good players, good leadership.

6. Arizona: The early word is positive on the competition for the three vacancies at a linebacker. If the Wildcats get good answers there, there aren't too many other questions.

7. California: The good news is QB Kevin Riley has been throwing well. The bad news is perhaps his best lineman, left tackle Matt Summers-Gavin, suffered a knee injury over the weekend that threatens his season.

8. UCLA: Bruins fans will feel a lot better when they start to read positive reports about how the new "pistol" offense is blossoming.

9. Arizona State: Went to the Sun Devils media day on Saturday. Kept thinking this: Maybe. Those guys didn't look like a ninth-place team.

10. Washington State: First order of business for the Cougs during camp: Stay healthy. If they can put their best 22 on the field, they've got a chance to surprise some folks.