(S1) Power Rankings: Week 1 2010 BFR POWER RANKINGS Week 1 Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 #1: It wouldn't be August without talk of an impending Big Ten and national title challenge from Ohio State. The chatter carries a particular resonance after the Buckeyes' Rose Bowl win last season, especially because many faces return. #2: A glowing first season under Chip Kelly quickly unraveled after a Rose Bowl loss as Ducks players frequented the police blotter, leading to QB Jeremiah Masoli's dismissal. Question marks loom large after a tumultuous offseason. #3: After a BCS bowl win and an 11-2 record in 2009, it's possible that expectations are even higher for the Hawkeyes in 2010. The pieces are in place for Iowa to challenge for the Big Ten title, and it will face the league's best teams at home. #4: Lane Kiffin hasn't made many friends during his brief time in college football, but he can endear himself to the USC faithful if he can steer the Trojans out of the stormy waters they face. #5: A Sept. 11 visit to Alabama looms large for Penn State as it decides which untested sophomore passer -- Kevin Newsome or Matt McGloin or Robert Bolden -- will be its starter. One thing is certain: Tuscaloosa is no place for an inexperienced quarterback. #6: Cal started out 2009 with 3 straight wins but then got blown out in 2 straight against Oregon and USC. Cal then won 5 of 6 Pac-10 games, including back-to-back wins over ranked teams, before dropping their final two. The Golden Bears have some good talent coming back this year and could make some noise in the Pac-10. #7: There’s a ton of experience returning on both sides of the ball, but is there any talent? Michigan has about 20 players who could be on the list of the team’s ten best players, but none, with the possible exception of guard Stephen Schilling and center David Molk (if healthy), appear to be certain preseason all-stars. There isn’t a sure-thing star of the defense, but there are plenty of decent veterans and promising risers. #8: Michigan State was a disappointing 6-7 last year including losses to Central Michigan and Notre Dame out of conference. In conference they fared a little better at 4-4 losing to Wisconsin, Iowa and Penn State but also dropping one to Minnesota. In conference they have tough road tests at Penn State and Iowa but they get Wisconsin at home and don't have to face National Championship contender Ohio State. Michigan State appears to be right outside of the Big 4 (Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin). Can they break into the top tier of the Big 10? #9: I think you know the saying "defense wins championships". Well, Arizona State had a pretty good defense last year. It was statistically one of the best defenses in the Pac-10 (they were in the Top 15 in yards allowed last year in the Nation). Unfortunately they couldn't win any conferences games that weren't against teams from Washington and finished the season by dropping 6 straight games (3 of the losses were by a total of 10 points). The Sun Devils look like they will have a pretty good defense again but can the offense rebound from a lackluster outing last year? #10: Last year was a year of streaks for UCLA. They started off with three straight out of conference wins against San Diego State, Tennessee, and Kansas State. After that they promptly dropped their first 5 conference games and then won 3 before falling to USC in their Pac-10 finale. This year, UCLA's offense should be ready to break-out but they also face a tough out of conference schedule as they go to Kansas State and Texas and play Houston at home. #11: 2009 started off worse than Purdue could have imagined. After beating Toledo they dropped 5 consecutive games including a loss to Northern Illinois. In their 7th game Purdue upset Ohio State and went on to win 4 of their last 6 (including that game). Will the 2010 Boilermakers be like the team that started the 2009 season, the one that ended the 2009 season or somewhere in between? #12: There is no way to sugar coat it, Washington State was terrible last year. In fact, they were dead last in the Pac-10 in every offensive and defensive team statistic that we look at in our previews. Washington State is among the leaders in the Pac-10 in returning starters, is this a good thing or a bad thing? The Cougars last went to a bowl game in 2003, will this be the year that they start to build toward their next appearance?