Oregon Magazine

Pigskin Pete
2010 Pac10 Season
Holds Great Promise

By Fred Delkin

The Pac10 did not fare well in recently concluded bowl matchups, with Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State and Arizona losing on the national stage, while UCLA, USC and Cal prevailed vs. weaker opposition. However, the left coast teams return in 2010 with better prospects, led by 2009 titlist Oregon, which is loaded and thus ranked fourth among the 25 2010 squads profiled by ESPN. USC (#20) Oregon State (#22) and Stanford (#24) also made the elite forecast. The top 5 group includes Alabama, Ohio State, Boise State, Oregon and Texas.

Since this list was published, USC has lost coach Pete Carroll to the NFL and may deserve a downgrade, though returning QB Matt Barkley (but facing NCAA sanctions over improprieties in both football & basketball undoubtedly a powerful incentive for Carroll's abdication).

Oregon's Jeremiah Masoli and Stanford's Andrew Luck are also returning Pac10 starting signal callers. Quarterbacks Terrell Pryor of Ohio St. and Boise State's Kellen Moore are certain to be
nominated for Heisman consideration. Pryor was Oregon's undoing in the Rose Bowl. Boise St. finished 2009 unbeaten, dumping also unbeaten TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. The Idahoans return 21 of 22 starters and woe is Oregon State, traveling to Boise next season for a romp on the Broncos' royal blue turf.

Oregon has only a single challenge on its 2010 pre-league play schedule, traveling to Tennessee, and the host Volunteers are discombobulated by the departure of head coach Lane Kiffin to USC.
The Ducks' tough away league tussles are at USC, Cal and Oregon State. Webfoot coach Chip
Kelly has the ammunition to deserve a high rank when 2010 battles begin. Oregon State must break in a new QB to complicate what looms as a faulty start. Members of the anointed top 25 that return veteran QB's include Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Florida St. and Navy.

Notable pre-conference season matchups scheduled by Pac10 teams next year are
OSU@Boise St. and Virginia Tech, UCLA@Texas, Iowa@Arizona, and ArizonaSt.@Wisconsin. The Beavers face opening challenges certain to dampen their league and post season prospects.

One caution to Pac10 squads vying for the 2010 title...Washington returns with who is probably the best individual talent wearing a helmet ... quarterback Jake Locker, whose surrounding cast is not sterling, but may be inspired to overachieve by their leader.

© 2010 Oregon Magazine