It isn’t necessarily a fun read, but Ted Miller gives a fairly accurate assessment of the Pac-10’s 2006 today over at the sports entertainment mothership. In short, it wasn’t pretty.
Unfortunately for Pac-10 opponents and haters, any downward trending will almost surely be reversed sharply in 2007:
– Seven teams welcome back their starting quarterback (not Oregon State, Washington and Stanford). Experience at quarterback is critical for any team, but particularly in the pass-happy Pac-10.
– The top 15 rushers are all scheduled to return (though Cal junior Marshawn Lynch figures to enter the NFL draft).
– Only three of the top 10 receivers are seniors (though USC junior Dwayne Jarrett figures to enter the NFL draft).
– USC and UCLA, the top two defenses in 2006, both lose only one starter for those units.
– UCLA presently starts just three seniors; Arizona also three; USC just four.
– USC, California, Oregon and UCLA should be ranked in the 2007 preseason poll. Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon State will receive votes.
– If Lynch and Jarrett don’t return, USC quarterback John David Booty, Oregon tailback Jonathan Stewart, Cal quarterback Nate Longshore and Cal receiver wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be leading Heisman Trophy candidates.