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The Pac-10: Conference of the Punt Team

11/7/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Remember when UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel told a national television audience that "punting is winning" as he headed to the halftime locker room during the Bruins game with Tennessee?

Oh, if only it were. Then the Pac-10 might rule college football.

The Pac-10 features four punters ranked among the nation's top 25:

8. Keenyn Crier, Arizona 44.70
10. Aaron Perez, UCLA 44.39
14. Bryan Anger, California 43.89
23. Josh Syria, Oregon 42.49

That's more than the SEC (3), Big 12 (2) and Big Ten (2) and the ACC (zip).

The Big East also has four.

But the tiebreaker for becoming the one, true Conference of Punt Team is punt returns.

The Pac-10 features five punt returners ranked among the nation's top-25.

8. Kyle Williams, Arizona State 15.56
10. Jairus Byrd, Oregon 15.58
12. Mike Thomas, Arizona 13.43
15. Stafon Johnson, USC 12.82
25. Syd'Quan Thompson, California 11.27

That's more than anyone else. So there you have it.

The league formerly known as the Conference of Quarterbacks and sometimes called the Conference of Centers is now the Conference of the Punt Team.

It's not as catchy but it's something, right?