Pac-12: Lake Washington

Anticipation: 25 things we can't wait to see in the Pac-10

August, 27, 2008
8/27/08
4:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Only 25? That makes this hard.

Going backwards.

25. A 185-pound cornerback standing between Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski and the endzone. Two words: Oh, no.

24. Strawberry Canyon without Tree Sitters. Honestly guys, what about an actual old-growth forest? Or perhaps a worthy cause for children? Or was this really only about creating a spectacle that accomplished nothing?

23. The Stanford Tree spinning, spinning, spinning -- with no one sitting in it. Best mascot in sport.

22. The USC band playing "Tribute to Troy." Again. And again. And again. Love that song.

21. Washington QB Jake Locker averaging six yards per quarterback sneak. He's the nation's best running QB.

20. Driving from Spokane to Pullman surrounded by snow-covered hills. It's a winter wonderland.

19. Arizona coach Mike Stoops requiring an exorcism on the sidelines. He's toned it down through the years, though. I miss the unfiltered emotion, though not the player berating.

18. UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel reminding Pac-10 coaches that they don't have to be boring ALL the time. Honestly, should the media hyperventilate every time he's glib?

17. California RB Jahvid Best running in open space. Typically it means TD.

16. Washington center Juan Garcia getting nasty until the, well, final echo of the referee's whistle. It's darn near a miracle his spring foot injury is better.

15. Washington State's Brandon Gibson making double coverage irrelevant. Proving a warrior for the Cougars offense should help Gibson's draft status.

14. Oregon State offensive lineman Jeremy Perry getting healthy and reminding everyone what a road-grading guard can do. Perry, when healthy, is the conference's most physical run blocker.

13. A beautiful, 65 degree day in Seattle, snow-capped mountains on the horizon, with tailgating boats packing Lake Washington by Husky Stadium. One of the best settings in college football.

12. Mill Avenue after an Arizona State victory. Oh, my. Let's just say it makes most folks wish they were still in college.

11. USC LB Rey Maualuga getting a running start and then... WHAMMO! Hardest hitter in college football.

10. The Oregon cheerleaders.

9. Oregon State's Sammie Stroughter catches the punt... gone. We missed him last year. He's going to remind us why.

8. The Stanford band offending someone. They might not be the best musicians in the world, but they are the best entertainers -- at least if you're not a stick in the mud.

7. Arizona State kicker Thomas Weber with a 55-yard field goal to win a game with two seconds left. Here's a bet he makes it.

6. USC RB Joe McKnight making an entire stadium go, "No he didn't!" Figure that will happen at least once a game.

5. Autzen Stadium going berserk. Without peer in the conference in terms of noise and outright hostility.

4. Washington fans saying "Welcome back!" to Rick Neuheisel on Nov. 15. Husky Stadium figures to be without peer this day in terms of noise and outright hostility.

3. Sunset over the San Gabriel Mountains at the Rose Bowl. Makes me want to write a poem. At least for a moment.

2. USC playing for the national championship in Miami. Go Trojans! Humble another foe!

1. A Pac-10 team other than USC playing for the national championship in Miami. See, we told you there were other good teams in the Pac-10!

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