Thursday, February 25, 2010
Thoughts on the 2009 top 30
By ESPN.com staff
It feels like this is our final goodbye to the 2009 season: Our reworked top 30, which was topped Wednesday by Stanford running back Toby Gerhart.
No surprise there, right?
Some notes on the list, and then we firmly turn our attention to 2010:
- Oregon State led all teams with five players, including four in the top 10. Imagine if you'd read that 11 years ago?
- Washington State had none -- only center Kenny Alfred was considered. Arizona State had just one, though the Sun Devils had a few who just missed the cut -- linebacker Mike Nixon, for one -- and a couple who figure to be on our 2010 preseason list (linebacker Vontaze Burfict and defensive tackle Lawrence Guy).
- 2009 was a highly competitive season in the conference, and that showed in the rankings. Arizona, California, Oregon and USC each had four players ranked. UCLA and Washington had three. Stanford two.
- Only one offensive lineman -- USC's Charles Brown -- was on the list. USC's Jeff Byers and Stanford's Chris Marinelli just missed the cut. O-line is a questionable position for the conference next year, even with a lot of starters back. Only three of ten All-Pac-10 linemen are back -- and none from the first-team.
- Five quarterbacks and five defensive ends made the list, making those the top two positions. Four quarterbacks will be back but just two of the DEs, which the quarterbacks might be happy to hear.
- Thirteen of the top 30 are back next year, including seven of the top 10 (though none of the top three).
- Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona each will have three players from the list back in 2010. USC will have none.