Pac-10 Preview

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Shaun Mason, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

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    Pac-10 Preview

    Archie,

    This will need to be cleaned up. I am freaking tired.:)

    2008 Pac-10 College Football Preview

    The Pac-10 is a league with many faces. You have a few teams headed in the right direction, a few teams headed in the wrong direction, and a few teams reloading for a run to the top. But with half the league featuring new coaches (Cal, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington State), anything could happen. Change can often bring surprising and entertaining results.

    Coaching Changes

    Cal -- New coach Cole Manchu takes over for quarterback guru Jeff Tedford, who left unexpectedly to coach alma mater Fresno State. Coach Manchu looks to get Cal over the hump that Tedford never quite could scale.

    USC – After Pete Caroll tired of Will Ferrell and Snoop Dogg hanging around, new coach Shaun Mason takes over a loaded USC squad. A tireless recruiter who previously was an assistant coach for Nick Saban, Mason hopes to continue the recruiting success of Pete Caroll.

    UCLA – After Rick Neuheisel was fired two weeks into his tenure for betting on the UCLA water polo team, assistant coach Lon G. Horn was promoted to head coach. Neuheisal was expected to bring great things to the program so coach Horn will have high expectations in the coming years.

    Oregon – Two days after head coach Mike Bellotti bolted for the French countryside, head coach in waiting Chip Kelly abruptly announced he was joining the staff of the Washington Redskins. After a lengthy search, Bas Izfouraday was selected to lead the Ducks. After the success of last season, it will be hard to maintain the programs momentum.

    Washington State – Former Husky Paul Wulff replaces Bill Doba, who did not reach a bowl game in four of five seasons in Pullman. Wulff is a former college center who looks to turn around the recent misfortune of his alma mater.

    USC Trojans
    The Trojans are the powerhouse of the Pac-10, and look to continue that way. They just keep reloading. While some positions lost players to the NFL, the Trojan have depth at virtually every position.
    Offense
    After losing most of their starting offensive line, the Trojans look to develop a solid line. It may take a few weeks for the offensive line to jell.
    The Trojans are loaded at quarterback, where they have three quarterbacks that could start anywhere. It is the same situation at tailback, where they have half a decade worth of Parade All-Americans suiting up. Look for a thunder and lightning approach ala Reggie Bush and Lendale White.
    Wide receiver is the weakest position on the team. There is plenty of talent, but no clear superstar. Look for Patrick Turner to gain some confidence. The tight end position has a couple of possible starters, neither with any real experience.
    Defense
    Ouch. That is what you can expect to hear from opponents. Despite having three high profile draft picks in April, the projected starters are all extremely solid. Linebacker Rey Maualuga could be the best linebacker not in the NFL.
    The secondary is lead by freak of nature Taylor Mays. He runs like a corner and hits like a linebacker. The other positions in the secondary are likely to be NFL prospects as well.
    Outlook
    USC is the cream of the crop, especially with their favorable schedule. They will be tested early in the year when the Ohio State Buckeyes come to visit. Baring an upset, this team could contend for a national championship.

    Arizona State Sun Devils
    It only took one year for Dennis Erickson to change the attitude of the Sun Devils. Last year they sniffed the Rose Bowl, and they are hungry to reach that goal.
    Offense
    Quarterback Rudy Carpenter returns for his senior year. A big year could push him to the top of career passing leader at Arizona State.
    The only way that can happen is if the offensive line can keep Carpenter off the turf. With five players graduating last year, the offensive line has to come together quickly. They must work hard to improve their pass protection, since Carpenter had grass stains all last season.
    New starters abound at the skill positions. Keegan Herring looks to be the most dynamic playmaker on the team.
    Defense
    Experience on defense is critical to this team’s success. With twelve players returning with starting experience, it won’t take much to field a tough defense.
    Outlook
    The Sun Devils will be tested early and often. With early season matchups against Georgia, Cal and USC things could get ugly fast. But if they can weather that storm, the tail end of the season could be easy pickings. If the Sun Devils can win those three matchups, look for them in a BSC bowl.
     
  2. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

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    Oregon Ducks
    Offense
    Who will play quarterback? That is the key question for the offense. Dennis Dixon is gone; who will start is anyone’s guess.
    Also gone is Jonathon Stewart. They have a handful of capable replacements at running back though. While it will be hard to replace Stewards production, it is possible this season, but it may be running back by committee.
    If Jaison Williams can be more consistent, wide receiver could be a strong point for this unit.
    The offensive line will continue to be strong. Max Unger is the cornerstone of one of the college footballs best interior units.
    Defense
    The Duck Defense is very good. Defensive line may be the weakest link, but the other units have enough talent to compensate.
    The defensive backfield may be the best in the country. Patrick Chung is a nightmare for opposing teams. Couple that with Walter Thurmond and Jarius Byrd and it is lights out for opponents.
    If it can stay healthy this year, the linebacker unit is extremely talented. Running up the middle will be difficult for opponents.
    Outlook
    If a solid quarterback emerges early and this team could go far. The schedule is no cakewalk, travelling to USC, Arizona State, Cal and Oregon State. The BCS better be on the lookout for the Ducks if they can gain some momentum early.

    California Golden Bears
    Offense
    The Golden Bears may have a quarterback battle on their hands. That may not be a bad thing in the quarterback hungry Pac-10. Whoever wins the starting job has to hope that Jahvid Best develops into the homerun threat he was expected to be.
    Whoever starts at quarterback will not have DeSean Jackson to rely on. With only 14 receptions between the top two returning receivers, this unit needs time to mature.
    Offensive line is the bright spot on offense. Center Alex Mack is a stud and the rest of the line is solid. They only average 12 sacks a year over the past two seasons.
    Defense
    Cal is stacked at linebacker. Zack Follett leads a group of monsters. This strength should allow the defensive line time to gel.
    Elsewhere, there are no glaring holds in the defense. The D-line has six returning starters.
    The secondary has experience and playmakers. With pressure from the linebackers, the defensive backfield could make plays if they are aggressive.
    Outlook
    An easy schedule will benefit the Bears. They should compete well in the Pac-10. If the offense can get it’s act together, the sky is the limit for Cal.

    Arizona Wildcats
    Offense
    Quarterback Willie Tuitama is back, and that is a good sign for coach Stoops. He will throw early and often.
    The Wildcats will have to go the air often, because they have no real threat at tailback. Ranked near the bottom of the Pac-10 a year ago, there isn’t much reason to think this will change.
    The good news is that the O-line returns virtually intact. That experience should help the running game.
    At the receiver position, almost everyone is back. This unit should be the strength of the offense.
    Defense
    On the other side of the ball, there is virtually no starting experience and that is not usually a good sign. The talent level is not extremely high. When talent is low and experience is non-existent, bad things usually occur.
    Maybe coach Stoops will surprise everyone a field a much improved team. Any success should be shocking to most, due to all the new faces.
    Outlook
    Look for a Stoops to get sent back to Oklahoma if the Wildcats don’t go at least .500. They will have to outgun opponents, and past Stoops teams have not been particularly high octane. Maybe he should call his brother for some players and advice.

    UCLA Bruins
    Offense
    This is a unit with nowhere to go but up. Only four returning starters from a lackluster squad, big improvements are needed.
    Quarterback may be the bright spot, with Patrick Cowan and Ben Olson battling for playing time. Hopefully they are durable, since the offensive line is very porous.
    Only two linemen who have ever played in a college football game return. Ouch. They will have to get the ball out quick if they don’t want a kicker playing quarterback.
    The skill positions are little better. But sometimes big things happen when no one expects them.
    Defense
    The defense is better than the offense, but no one will confuse them with an elite squad.
    The D-line is solid with one half of the Bosworth twins at end. Tackles Harwell and Price are also solid.
    The other Bosworth twin, Kyle, is the most talented linebacker. Reggie Carter may have a big year due to his good natural instincts.
    Alterraun Verner is the bright spot in an otherwise bleak secondary. Look for big things from him.
    Outlook
    With a new coach, this could be a bit of a rebuilding year. They do have talent, if it can come together at the right time.
    The best news is that the coaching staff is top notch.
    The bad news is the schedule is tough. They have plenty of opportunity to play spoiler, virtually every week.

    Washington Huskies.
    Offense
    Jake Locker, ‘nuff said. He is a stud and if he has a great year, the Huskies can really sneak up on people.
    The running back unit has a handful of weapons; someone just needs to emerge as the leader.
    Talent is deep in the Washington receiving unit. Experience is short though. Look for Locker to make this group of receivers look good early.
    The offensive line is neither horrible or great. Luckily Locker is fleet-footed, so pass protection should be easier for this group.
    Defense
    Last year the Huskies were bad. Really, really bad; they couldn’t stop a Pop Warner team.
    Unless the defense makes great improvements under new DC Ed Donatell, Washington could be in for a long year.
    Outlook
    The defense will pace this season. If they play well, it could be a good year. If not, the team will crash and burn.
    Just like last year, the schedule I brutal. Oregon in week one, followed by BYU and the Oklahoma Sooners. It doesn’t get much better after that.

    Oregon State Beavers
    Offense
    The Beavers have two good quarterbacks on the roster, one mobile, one a strong passer. Either can win games for the Beavers.
    Learn this name; Jacquizz Rodgers. He will be a stud for the Beavers at running back.
    The offensive line looks solid. They should be able to control the line of scrimmage against all but the best teams in the Pac-10.
    Sammie Stroughter is back after a huge year in 2006. The Beavers could be really explosive on offense this year.
    Defense
    Though only three starters return, there is a lot of experience in this group. They can get after the quarterback and are solid against the run.
    Oregon State was solid on defense last year, and hopes to continue that success in 2008.
    Outlook
    Beaver Nation plays host to most of the top Pac-10 teams. If they can play with intensity, they have the ability to play with anyone. Look for another bowl game this year.

    Washington State Cougars
    Offense
    The Cougs will have to find a new quarterback after the departure of Alex Brink.
    There is no clear cut starter at running back. Either Dwight Tardy or Chris Ivory could be the man here.
    RB Dwight Tardy returns, but is coming off an ACL injury. Chris Ivory is a more breakaway threat, and if Tardy isn't 100%, Ivory will see more carries.
    All-American Brandon Gibson returns and he is the only big threat in the receiver corp.
    The line looks a lot more promising; with nine of the top ten back.
    Defense
    Looks like another year for Wazzu with no defense.
    Outlook
    A new coach, new offense and lingering defensive issues will not give the Cougs' opponents any reason to fear them.

    Stanford Cardinals
    Offense
    Any of the quarterbacks on the Stanford roster could press for playing time. That parity may help improve the overall quality of the position.
    There will be a drop off at receiver this year, after one of the schools leading receivers graduating. That doesn’t mean there is not talent, but it may take time to show itself.
    Anthony Kimble looks to lead the Cardinals in rushing yards. A fairly dynamic back, he will look good due to a deep offensive line.
    The offensive line is the strength of the team. They really can control the line of scrimmage.
    Defense
    The Cardinals only lose two starters from last year. This is the team the beat USC. Remember though they lost to dreadful Notre Dame.
    What defense will show up this year? If the Cardinals want to go bowling, they better hope for the unit that beat USC.
    Outlook
    A tough schedule and an irritated USC may prove to much for Stanford to handle. Coach Harbaugh has some tricks up his sleeve, but the Cardinals will be extremely lucky to go .500
     
  3. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

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    Haha, you can really tell I ran out of steam at the end.
     
  4. Colemanchu

    Colemanchu GOAT SPLITTER

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    Good write up! Just one thing it's Colemanchu, Manchu just sound weird. Also thanks for locking me into the easy schedule category.
     
  5. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

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    I know, I just hate gamertags.:)

    So Cole Manchu is your coach name, LOL
     
  6. Basis4aDay56

    Basis4aDay56 Walk On

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    Awesome write-up Shaun! Very nice.
     

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