Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Pac-10 preseason power rankings
By ESPN.com staff
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 and the defensive plan includes more pressure on the opposing QB. Perhaps lower expectations are the ticket for the Bears?
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.