Pac-10 stock report

October, 20, 2010
10/20/10
4:00
PM ET
Who's running with a bull market? Who's battling the bears (not the Golden ones)?

Stock up

National title hopes: First Alabama goes down, then Ohio State. Oregon now ranks No. 2 in the BCS standings and No. 1 in both polls. If the season ended today, the Ducks would play for the national title.

Matt Barkley: The USC QB no ranks No. 1 in the conference in passing efficiency and leads the nation with 20 TD passes. Should he get some Heisman hype?

Arizona's defense: The Wildcats lead the conference in rushing, total and scoring defense -- and rank among the national leaders as well. This so-called rebuilding job looks like the conference's best unit.

USC's defense: It hasn't been good this year -- it still ranks in the bottom half of the conference in most key numbers -- but it throttled California and showed some old-school Trojans fire. Was that a flash or a transformation?

Robert Woods: USC's true freshman receiver caught seven passes for 116 yards with two TDs for the Trojans against Cal. He's such an impressive athlete, he may end up playing in the secondary, too. He looks like a future All-American.

Jermaine Kearse: With James Rodgers out for the season with a knee injury, Kearse looks like the next in line for the "best receiver in the Pac-10" title. The Washington receiver leads the conference in touchdowns (9), receptions (6.2) and yards (103) receiving per game. Should he be a candidate for offensive player of the year? Maybe.

Jacquizz Rodgers: The Oregon State running back had 140 yards on 32 carries with three TDs in Oregon State's 35-34 double-overtime loss to Washington. He also caught four passes for 49 yards and a TD. It was a gritty performance and a showcase of his diverse skills.

Stock down

California's defense: "Forget the brain cramps at Nevada: This is one of the Pac-10's best units." That's what we typed last week about the Bears under the "Stock up" head. Whoops! USC gained 602, despite taking its foot off the gas in the second half of a 48-14 blowout.

Jeff Tedford: He transformed a bottom-feeder into a contender, but the number of blowout defeats in recent years is a valid concern for a frustrated fan base.

Ryan Katz: He threw his second, third and fourth interceptions of the season at Washington -- a couple of them critical, and a couple were head-scratchers. No reason to think that Katz won't be an elite QB one day, but the performance was a reminder that it ain't easy for young QBs to dominate on a weekly basis in this conference.

Arizona: It's no one's fault that QB Nick Foles injured his knee. And it doesn't seem to be a season-ending injury, according to coach Mike Stoops. But when a team loses its starting QB for at least a few games, particularly one as good as Foles, you don't start buying its stock.

Poll standing: Five conference teams are 3-3. That probably means the conference won't produce the five or six ranked teams at the end of the year that seemed possible in the preseason.

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