Pac-12 Football: Week 10 Predictions

4 11 2010

After picking three upsets last week and watching all three of them turn into blowouts we’re playing this week conservatively. Before we get to the picks it’s time to update our fans on the state of the Pac-12 Union.

In case you haven’t heard about the Oregon Ducks, there’s a pandemic amongst their fans this season. Apparently all of the high-fiving in Euguene after touchdowns has led to a substantial increase in carpel tunnel in the camouflage clad fans.

Some insider information out of Los Angeles is saying that the NCAA is looking into imposing more sanctions on USC for treating their match up with the Ducks as a fictitious bowl game. The reasoning being that the Trojans are banned from bowl games until 2012.

I spoke with Jeff Tedford’s psychiatrist this week and he’s recently been diagnosed as agoraphobic. This explains the awful road performances and their third blowout this year.

Texas continues to prove that they were not a good fit for the Pac-12. UCLA served them up a can of whoop ass in non-conference play, but even more embarrassing is the back-to-back home losses to Iowa State and Baylor.

Oregon State’s orange and black uniforms were the perfect Halloween costume…

On to the games

California at Washington State: The bipolar Bears will try to give this one away, but Washington State is playing to keep their conference losing streak alive. Bears 34 – Cougars 20

Washington at #1 Oregon: The Huskies are giving up 212 yards per game on the ground, expect the Ducks to triple it if they want to embarrass their uncompetitive rival. Ducks 63 – Huskies 6

Oregon State at UCLA: The Beavers have hit their midseason stride and will continue to run right over the helpless Bruins. Baeaves 30 – Baby Bears 20

Arizona State at USC: Let’s see if the salesman Lane Kiffin can get the troops to buy into another “this is our bowl game” motivational speech. The stands should have some amazing talent on display from the coeds. Trojans 28 – Sun Devils 23

Colorado at Kanas: Now that basketball season has started the Kansas fans will start disappearing from the football stadium. Cody Hawkins should have more success than his 17 of 44 performance last week. Buffs 27 – Jayhawks 21

#15 Arizona at #13 Stanford: In the game of the week the winner will move to number two in the conference power rankings. The Wildcats should be able to spread Stanford’s secondary out in space and make plays, but they’ve struggled in the red zone. Stanford will try to run the ball early and wear down the two defensive ends Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore. Trees 37 – Cats 33

#3 TCU at #5 Utah: The game of the week nationally and the spot for ESPN’s College Gameday heads to watch two unbeatens square off. The Utes have played great defense this year and I’m expecting them to contain the Andy Dalton and the option offense. Utes 27 – Horny Frogs 24

2010 Prediction Record 54-13

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Pac-12 – Week 4 Predictions

24 09 2010

UCLA at #7Texas 12:30PM: UCLA had a gutsy win last week against #23 Houston and the Bruin secondary is designed to slow down a spread offense like Texas’, but look for Mack Brown to take advantage of his size up front by relying on the ground game. Longhorns 34 – Bruins 17

#20 USC at Washington State 12:00PM: Lane Kiffin is addicted to two point conversions, the Trojans haven’t played a complete game, and they have dropped in the rankings after all three of their victories. This should be the game where they put it all together and finally cover the spread for the first time this season. Trojans 42 – Cougars 20

#16 Stanford at Notre Dame 12:30PM: As we know from The Big Lebowski “Nobody F#cks with The Jesus!” Except maybe Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck of Stanford. Notre Dame’s defense will need extra prayer this week if they plan on slowing down the Cardinal offense. Trees 27 – Catholic Kids 23

#5 Oregon at Arizona State 7:30PM: ASU looked good against the big slow white guys from Wisconsin, but the Ducks have as much speed as any team in the country. The main advantage for Oregon is that they get to train with this guy. The side story for this game is the amazing talent at cheerleader that should be on display. Ducks 41 – Sun Devils 17

San Jose State at #13 Utah 7:30PM: The Utes haven’t missed a beat with the reemergence of Terrance Cain at quarterback. San Jose State doesn’t have the athletes to contain DeVonte Christopher and Jereme Brooks. A win here will bring them closer to the top ten. Utes 44 – Spartans 13

#24 Oregon State at #3 Boise State 5:00PM: This looked like a marquee game before the season started, but don’t expect it to be a close one. The Beavers might have a chance if Stephen Paea can disrupt Kellen Moore, but they haven’t been able to get to the quarterback much this year. Boise is balanced offensively and Chris Peterson should exploit the inexperience at linebacker by utilizing the tight end more. Broncos 38 – Beavers 21

Cal at #14 Arizona 7:00PM: The Bears are coming off a disappointing loss and the Wildcats just knocked off a top ten team last week. If Juron Criner doesn’t play look for Arizona to use a shorter passing game. If Cal plays to their potential and Arizona has an emotional letdown, this could be an upset. The Zona Zoo is wild at night and the Bears have struggled in Tuscon. Wildcats 31 – Bears 27 Here’s a great preview of Bears vs Housecats

2010 Prediction Record 28-4

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NASPAQ – Pac-12 Stock Report : Week 3

23 09 2010

On Separation Saturday the Pac-12 split the four games against ranked opponents with  Arizona State losing by a point at Wisconsin, the Dawgs getting a beat down like they were facing Michael Vick, and two big upset performances out of Arizona and UCLA. Two teams (USC & Oregon State) couldn’t cover the spread against inferior opponents, and Cal had their annual national television audience letdown against Nevada. Playboy also came out with their Girls of the Pac-10 edition and it’s a must get. Leader of the Pac’s official girl is now Rachel Lorraine of UCLA (pictured below).

Quarterbacks

Let’s jump right into our competitive positional markets with the quarterbacks. In case you haven’t already heard, Jake Locker (LUCK) had a miserable day and was outplayed by a freshman on his home turf. He’s apparently unaware of the Under Armour commercials or protecting the house, and his stock is down 20% because of it. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Andrew Luck (LUCK) who had the speedy Chris Owusu back at wide receiver to help him complete 17 of 23 passes and four touchdowns. His numbers were identical to his week 1 stats except he had 100 less yards. Nick Foles (FOLE) was the runner up for top QB performance this week and saw his stock go up 8% with an impressive win over Iowa. His interception for a pick-six hurt his stock, but he still topped out at $135 this week.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Andrew Luck Stanford LUCK ↑ 15 12% $140
Nick Foles Arizona FOLE ↑ 10 8% $135
Matt Barkley USC BARK $120
Jake Locker UW LOCK ↓20 20% $80
Kevin Riley Cal RILE ↓10 11% $85
Jordan Wynn Utah WYNN $55
Tyler Hansen Col HANS ↑ 10 25% $40
Darron Thomas Oregon DARR ↑ 5 20% $30
Kevin Prince UCLA PRNC ↑ 5 33% $20
Ryan Katz OSU KATZ ↑ 5 33% $20

Wide Receivers

Most of the wide receivers saw a decrease in their receptions this week, but their stocks continued to rise. Juron Criner (CRIN) had to leave the Arizona game with turf toe, but still managed a 46 yard touchdown reception. Robert Woods (WOOD)only had 4 receptions, but his 97 yard punt return for a touchdown increased his stock by $10. James Rodgers (JROD) only had 5 receptions for 22 yards, Jake Locker couldn’t get the ball to Jermaine Kearse (JERM), and Ronald Johnson (ROJO) only caught three balls, but all three finished with a touchdown. My horn needs to be tooted as I left James Rodgers off of the pre-season All-Pac-10 Team, because I predicted his numbers would drop.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Juron Criner Arizona CRIN ↑ 5 7% $70
Jermaine Kearse UW JERM ↑ 5 7% $70
Ronald Johnson USC ROJO ↑ 5 10% $55
Marvin Jones Cal MARV ↑ 10 25% $50
James Rodgers OSU JROD ↓10 18% $45
Jeff Maehl Oregon MAEL ↑ 10 33% $40
Doug Baldwin Stanford BALD ↑ 5 25% $30
DeVonte Christopher Utah DEVO ↑ 5 25% $25
Robert Woods USC WOOD ↑ 10 66% $25
Keenan Allen Cal KEEN ↓10 33% $20
David Ausberry USC BERY $15
Devin Aguilar UW AGUI ↓10 40% $15

Running Backs

The nation already knows that the Pac-12 is the Conference of Quarterbacks, but the running backs are quickly becoming the best in college football. LaMichael James (LMJ) and Shane Vereen (VERE) saw a $20 bump in their stocks with 200+ yard performances. Vereen had multiple highlight reel runs and LMJ has speed like the Twilight vampires. We had some great running from the LA schools starting with Allen Bradford (BRAD) finally breaking through with his 12 carries for 131 yards and a 56 yard touchdown. Not to be outplayed by his cross-town rival, Johnathan Franklink (FRNK) of UCLA looks to be the man to take the SuperSoaker offense to pistol status after his 160 yards and 3 touchdowns. His stock IPO’d this week at $20.

Team Symbol Δ Δ % Total
JacQuizz Rodgers OSU QUIZ ↑ 5 4% $125
LaMichael James Oregon LMJ ↑ 20 19% $125
Shane Vereen Cal VERE ↑ 20 26% $95
Chris Polk UW POLK ↓ 5 6% $75
Kenjon Barner Oregon BARN ↓10 18% $45
Nic Grigsby Arizona GRIG ↓10 28% $35
Allen Bradford USC BRAD ↑ 5 33% $20
Cam Marshall ASU MRSH ↓ 5 25% $15
Marc Tyler USC MARC ↓ 5 25% $15

IPO’s

We had some standout performances  on the defensive side of the ball with Patrick Larimore (LARI) being the Leader of the Pac. Larimore was named the Nagurskie National Defensive Player of the week after recording 11 tackles (10 of which were solo), a forced fumble, and a pass breakup in UCLA’s upset of the Houston Cougars. While Cal was getting pistol-whipped by Nevada, DJ Holt (HOLT) notched 16 tackles forced a fumble. Rumor has it that he is the cousin of famous Arrested Development star Steve Holt so watch for him on the Berkeley campus doing something like this. Dwight Roberson (ROBE) also had a sweet 16 tackles for the Oregon State Beavers with their victory over  Louisville. Jordan Wynn’s backup – Terrance Cain (CAIN), was almost perfect by throwing 20 for 23 as the Utes knocked off UNLV. He’s proving that he might be the best backup quarterback in the conference.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Johnathan Franklin UCLA FRNK $20
Patrick Larimore UCLA LARI $20
DJ Holt Cal HOLT $20
James Washington Arizona WASH $20
Dwight Roberson OSU ROBE $20
Steven Threet ASU THREE $15
Terrance Cain UTAH CAIN $15
Tyler Gaffney Stanford GAFF $10
Stepfan Tylor Stanford STEP $10

Don’t Be So Defensive

Players Market

Our analysts thought before the season that teams could avoid directing their plays around Akeem Ayers (AYER), but his big play potential is ubiquitous. He should have scored on his 77 yard interception return but he gets style points for breaking Case Keenum’s ankles (or knee).  Mason Foster had 14 tackles and forced a fumble against Nebraska, but Taylor Martinez told him to hit the weights on his way to an 80 yard touchdown run. Foster is #40 and the guy that misses the tackle on the play. Brooks Reed (REED) may look like a blonde version of the WWE wrestling icon Undertaker, but it translated perfectly when he buried Ricky Stanzi on four consecutive plays to end their chances of a comeback. His pressure off the edge has led to James Washington (WASH) ascension to the conference’s sack leader through three games.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Akeem Ayers UCLA AYER ↑ 10 11% $95
Rahim Moore UCLA MOOR ↑ 10 12% $90
Mason Foster UW FOST ↑ 5 6% $85
Jurrell Casey USC CASE ↑ 5 6% $85
Vontaze Burfict ASU BURF ↑ 5 6% $85
Brooks Reed Arizona REED ↑ 10 13% $85
Mike Mohamed Cal MIKE $80
Omar Bolden ASU BOLD ↑ 10 15% $75
Trevin Wade Arizona WADE ↑ 10 15% $75
Tony Dye UCLA DYE $55
Malcolm Smith USC SMIT ↓ 5 $50
Richard Sherman Stanford SHER $45
TJ McDonald USC TJMC ↑ 5 20% $30
Cliff Harris Oregon CLIF ↑ 5 20% $30
Michael Thomas Stanford THOM ↑ 5 33% $20

Unit Market

Oregon is #1 in the nation in scoring and total defense, but even scarier is the that all of the reps their younger players receive in blowouts make them a deeper unit each game. Cal and UW were absolutely rocked in their blowout losses, and USC did just enough to eek out the win. Nickell Robey and TJ McDonald are looking very promising in the secondary for the Trojans, but the team as a unit is still undisciplined. UCLA has proven that it has the best secondary in the conference by shutting down Case Keenum and Andrew Luck in back-to-back weeks, but they need to get stronger up front with all of the great running backs in the Pac-12. Oregon State was unable to avoid the slow start this year after losing their first game and they have an even tougher test this week when they travel to face Boise State on the Smurf Turf. A strong defensive performance is exactly what the Beavers will need to give the offense a chance.

Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Oregon Defense ORED ↑ 10 8% $135
Arizona Defense ARID ↑ 10 15% $75
Utah Defense UTAD ↑ 5 7% $70
ASU Defense ASUD ↑ 5 8% $65
USC Defense USCD $60
Stanford Defense STAD ↑ 10 20% $60
UCLA Defense UCLD ↑ 15 37% $55
Cal Defense CALD ↓ 10 16% $50
OSU Defense OSUD $40
Colorado Defense COLD ↑ 5 16% $35
UW Defense UWD ↓ 10 22% $35

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Pac-12 – Week 3 Players of the Week

21 09 2010

My prediction record took a beating this week with a 9-3 record overall, but the conference’s image received some crushing blows when Cal got pistol whipped by Nevada and Washington got corn-holed at home by Nebraska. Luckily I found this picture of a gorgeous prostitute from Nebraska who exchanges sexual acts for football tickets.

Players of the Week

Despite the embarrassment of Cal’s loss to Nevada, Shane Vereen was a bright spot for the Bears. The Junior running back hadn’t played much in the first two games with Cal having both games in hand by halftime, but Vereen had some moments that reminded fans of another Cal legend – Jahvid Best, with his jukes, broken tackles and great burst. He finished the night with 19 carries for 198 yards and three touchdowns.

Those numbers would normally be good enough to be the top running back of the week, but LaMichael James was a one-upper with his 227 yards on just 14 carries and two touchdowns. We still don’t know if Darron Thomas can throw the ball, but they might not need to if they keep putting up rushing numbers like they have been (564 yards rushing vs Portland State).

The Leader of the Pac MVP this week belongs to Andrew Luck of Stanford. He continues to improve his decision making and shows great touch on his long ball. He went 17 of 23 with 4 touchdowns and also added a 52 yard touchdown run that made Wake Forest look like a pee wee football team. Chris Owusu played in his first game this season and caught 3 passes for 65 yards and 2 TD’s. My only problem with Stanford this week is that their school colors are Cardinal and White, which makes the opposite of their school colors Blue and Black. They should burn the black jerseys, but coach Harbaugh thinks his team looks tough in them.

The Week 3 Juggy Award belongs to Nick Foles of the Arizona Wildcats for his up and down play. He was managing the game efficiently until he threw the ball to Broderick Binns for a pick-six play to tie the game up at 27 all. Foles wasn’t fazed by the error and went right over the top for a 38 yard gain on the next play to put Arizona in position for the go-ahead score. It looks like the Wildcats are finally getting over the hump and getting some national recognition with the #14 ranking in both polls.

Bust of the Week

As I’ve previously documented, I thought that Jake Locker was the third best quarterback in the Pac-12, but Mel Kiper had him pegged as the #1 QB on his draft board since the off-season. While I don’t claim to know as much as Mel, you don’t need a gallon of gel in your hair to see that Locker’s draft stock is falling faster than Mel Gibson’s popularity amongst women’s rights groups. His 4 of 20 for 71 yards and 2INT’s is one of the worst games of the decade and a lot of it was poor decision making by the QB. The Huskies now have to go 5-4 in Pac-10 play to make a bowl game and they have road trips at USC, Oregon, Cal, and Arizona. Locker is the only player to ever receive the Bust of the Week award twice in the same season and it’s only week 3…

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Pac-12 – Week 1 Players of the Week

5 09 2010

Players of the Week

We had some awesome performances by our athletes this week and it started on Thursday night with Utah’s DeVonte Christopher who hauled in 8 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown.

Following that up was USC against Hawaii and they have two players that deserve mentioning. Matt Barkley led the way for the Trojans on an 18-23 performance for 257 yards and 5 touchdowns. The biggest problem with Barkley last year was forcing balls into tight coverages, but he was fortunate that the one time he tried to force one in the game it was dropped by the Hawaiian linebacker. Here are the USC highlights.

Barkley’s favorite target was Ronald Johnson who caught 7 balls for a meager 59 yards and three touchdowns. I thought his touchdowns of 1 and 3 yards were the result of Lane Kiffin trying to pad Matt Barkley’s stats by throwing in running situations, but he was the beneficiary. His stat line normally wouldn’t have him on my player of the week list, but his beautiful 89 yard punt return warrants making the list.

The MVP this week belongs to Kenjon Barner of the Oregon Ducks with his 17 carries for 149 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also caught one pass for 60 yards and another score and was on ESPN all day long with highlight reel runs which you can find here.

I thought that Barkley would have had the best numbers of all Pac-10 QB’s, but Nick Foles was even better on Friday night throwing 33 of 37 for 360 yards and 2TD’s. They showed a graphic during the game that essentially showed his first ~20 passes were under fifteen yards, but he was quick with his reads and accurate in his delivery.

Another Wildcat that makes our Player of the Week list is the recipient of the Nick Foles aerial assault, Juron Criner. The 6’4″ receiver caught 11 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. Criner gained quite a few YAC yards and also hauled in a beautiful one handed catch which shows up about 20 seconds into these highlights.

If you have the ComcastNet Sports Channel you might have been able to see a future Pac-12 star in Keenan Allen for the Cal Bears today. His four 4 receptions accounted for 120 yards and a 48 yard touchdown reception. Allen also had 3 carries for 38 yards with his best play coming on an end around play designed as a pass, but he quickly reversed field and cut back 20 yards for the touchdown. You can check out the Keenan Allen highlights here.

Stanford’s Andrew Luck put some separation between the Luck-Locker debate when he went 17 of 23 for 360 yards and four touchdowns. This was the one game I didn’t watch, but the numbers are phenomenal. Andrew Luck reminds me of Aaron Rodgers with his ability to make quick decisions, accuracy, and strength throwing the ball. He had a couple beautifully thrown deep balls in the Stanford highlights.

Bust of the Week

On the flip side of the list is the Pac-12 bust of the week which has to be Jake Locker of the Washington Huskies. This was supposed to be one of, if not the best offense in the conference. Locker was good in spurts, but his offensive line gave him very little time to get his feet set in the pocket and Sarkisian didn’t do him any favors with the play-calling. His Heisman hopes are dashed as he had the opportunity to take what would have been the game winning score on three separate drives, but failed to score any points in those possessions.

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Pac-12 Week 1 Predictions

2 09 2010

USC at Hawaii: I’m expecting Hawaii to have some early success against the Trojans young secondary, but I think the mighty mighty horses will pull away in the second half. USC 38 – Big-Ass Hawaiin Dancers 17

Arizona at Toledo: Two spread offenses, one cup? Toledo needs to replace their QB from last year, Nick Foles gets hot after shaking off some rust early. Zona 41-27

UCLA at Kansas State: Bill Snyder is back to rebuild the Wildcats and I can’t get enough of these K-State fans. Daniel Thomas is going up against a rebuilt UCLA defense. K-State 24 – Baby Bears 20

Washington at BYU: Jake Locker has not won a road game since 2007, streak is over as the Huskies come out looking sharp offensively. The defense does just enough to get the win. Vegas has BYU as 3 point favorites. Dawgs 31 – Mormons 24

Washington State at Oklahoma State: The Cowboys and Cougars sounds like it would probably make a better reality television dating show than a football game. Cowboys 31 – Cougars 17

Portland State at Arizona State: The over/under for the number of unnecessary roughness penalties called on Vontaze Burfict is 1.5. Steven Threet is hoping that the third time is the charm after transferring from Georgia Tech to Michigan and finally bringing his talents to Tempe. Sun Devils 27 – Vikings 10

New Mexico at Oregon :I’m excited to see what Darron Thomas brings to the table in this game. Oregon goes for 250+ yards on the ground and superstar recruit Lache Seastrunk has a highlight on Sportscenter. New Mexico would have a better chance if they put their infamous soccer player – Elizabeth Lambert, suited up for them. Duckies 48 – Lobos 14

UC Davis at California: Is this FCS week in the Bay Area? Cal and Stanford both scheduled Sister Universities for their Saturday scrimmages, but if Cal comes out half-asleep they could get upset like Stanford did against the Aggies in 2005. Cameron Jordan gets two sacks while the more aggressive defense gets a touchdown. Bears 52 – Aggies 10

Sacramento State at Stanford: The Cardinal (worst nickname in all of sports) should roll in this one. The biggest challenge in this game will be Stanford offensive coordinator – David Shaw, determining whether they want more running or passing yards. The offensive line will plow the way for for the young guys while the passing game is pretty vanilla. Trees 52 – Bees 14

Oregon State vs. TCU: Every time I try to convince myself that Oregon State has a chance I look at my post-it that shows Oregon State has started 2-2 the the last seven seasons. Horny Frogs 31 – Beavers 27

Pittsburgh vs Utah: This is what I like to see out of our new member, big time games in the non-conference. Jordan Wynn will continue right where he left off in the Poinsettia Bowl with an efficient 275 passing yards while the Utes scrappy defense shuts down the Pitt running back Dion Lewis. Utes 28 – Panthers 24

Colorado vs Colorado State: Look for Rodney Stewart to have some success behind his veteran offensive line. Tyler Hansen has some talented wide receivers to throw to and a new weapon in the Mighigan transfer – Toney Clemens. Buffs 30 – Rams 17.

2010 Record 0-0

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Pac-10 Positive Outlook

30 08 2010

I can’t remember a time when the conference was as wide open as it is this year with seven teams legitimately competing for the championship. Some people have UCLA as a dark horse, but their offensive line has been decimated in the off-season from players leaving for missions, injuries, and now academic ineligibility.

I’m tired of ESPN plugging the SEC as the top conference in the country just because they signed a $2.0 billion deal to cover their games. That conference is always top heavy with a couple teams that can beat anyone, but they also have six bottom feeders that would be average in any BCS conference. I don’t think Florida or Alabama could go undefeated against the top 7 in the Pac-10, but both of them somehow came out of the SEC unscathed until the conference championship. If I was betting on these Pac-10 teams to win the conference championship it would be due to the reasons mentioned below.

Oregon

  • Darron Thomas will be a household name by the end of the year, but not because he’s being mentioned on the police blotter like a former Ducks QB. Oregon fans will tell you about how awesome he was in the spring game and that he’s a more accurate passer than Masoli.  He will also be playing behind a talented offensive line and a stronger LaMichael James. If he’s anything near Dennis Dixon 2.0 then the Ducks could repeat as conference champion.

Cal

  • This team has all of the pieces in place, but the one thing that will make them a contender for the championship is the bump in production that typically happens to Pac-10 quarterbacks. Joey Harrington, Carson Palmer, Kyle Boller, Derek Anderson and Sean Canfield all know what it’s like to trod with mediocrity for three years only to see things slow down like Neo in the Matrix during their senior season. Kevin Riley is capable with the weapons he has at his disposal which could push the Bears over the top.

Oregon State

  • The Beavers have as much firepower as any team in the conference, but this year they will combine that with increased production in the trenches. Last year’s team ranked 8th in the conference in sacks allowed and the defense ranked 9th in sacks. Ryan Katz will have a much smoother transition with a more experienced offensive line and defensively the new linebackers will be looking for Stephen Paea to create gaps for them by taking on double teams.

Arizona

  • This team is replacing their defensive coordinator, both starting defensive tackles and their entire linebacking corps, but their defensive ends (Brooks Reed & Ricky Elmore) will be the best pass-rushing tandem in the conference. Combined with the fact that they have one of the best secondaries in the conference, they’ll have a solid defense to match their powerful offense.

USC

  • There’s been coaching turnover, players transferring, and the distractions of Reggie Bushgate, but USC  still has the talent to contend for the Pac-10 championship. The best USC teams of the decade had monsters on the defensive line that could get to the quarterback with a four man rush which allowed the linebackers and secondary to create turnovers. Jurrell Casey is one of the top defensive tackles in the country and Armond Armstead has shown big upside at defensive end.

Stanford

  • Kirk Hirbstreit already put the dreaded curse on Stanford by predicting that they will win the Pac-10 championship, but Jim Harbaugh wants to know what his deal is for adding pressure to an under the radar Stanford team? They have the best quarterback in the Pac-10, but for them to compete for the Rose Bowl it will be because of their currently underrated stable of running backs Jeremy StewartTyler Gaffney and Stepfan Taylor. The Cardinal offensive line proved that they’re one of the best in the conference, but even moderate production from the ground game will allow Andrew Luck to do whatever he wants through the air.

Washington

  • The Huskies have the most balanced offense in the Pac-10, but if they’re going to compete for the championship it will be due to a scrappy defense that creates turnovers. Nick Holt has seven returning starters which should translate into a better understanding of his schemes. With two all-conference calibur players in cornerback Desmond Trufant and linebacker Mason Foster, I’m anticipating a much more aggressive campaign from the Huskies.

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