Friday, March 7, 2014
Poll: Biggest spring rebuilding jobs
By Ted Miller
Rebuild or reload? That's a question more than a few Pac-12 teams are asking about themselves this spring.
But let's get specific. While some units or position groups are fully stocked -- UCLA and Oregon both have nine starters coming back on offense -- there are a lot of questionable areas across the conference that will get their coaches full attention this spring.
So which area among Pac-12 contenders has the most questions, at least compared to how the unit performed last year and the number and caliber of starters getting replaced?
You could start with Arizona State's defense, which welcomes back just three starters and lost six All-Conference performers.
The Sun Devils' friends in Tucson, Ariz., also have some questions. While the quarterback battle is a headline grabber, it's perhaps even more notable that Arizona is replacing its top three rushers from 2013, including All-American Ka'Deem Carey, and have no healthy RB this spring who produced more than 50 yards on the ground last season.
Washington ranked second in the Pac-12 in pass efficiency defense in 2013, but it must replace three starters as well as a top backup in its secondary. Cornerback Marcus Peters returns, but the Huskies' 2013 depth chart was otherwise full of freshmen.
While a lot of these teams feel they have answers among young or incoming players -- or those miracle junior college transfers who will solve all your woes! -- none of those answers are sure-things by any measure.