Pac-10 Rankings: High School Clique Edition

Unless I am mistaken, all of us spent time in high school. While none of us had the same experience, most of the different type of people who roamed the halls of your high school roamed the halls of my high school. In this look at the Pac-10 we take a look back at those crazy high school days.

Just like there are different styles and personalities to the teams in the Pac-10, there were similar personalities and styles to the people in the various high school cliques. We use some of those high school stereotypes to not only breakdown the Pac-10, but to also make my preseason predictions.

USC is like the popular kid, the prom king. You want to hate him, but at the same time you want to be just like him. Although you'd love to steal away his girlfriend, you wouldn't mind just sitting at his table in the lunch room. In the case of the Trojans, you want to dislike them, but for some reason you cannot completely hate what they are doing.

2. UCLA – The younger brother
The Bruins are like USC's younger brother. He is still cool and popular, but lives in the shadow of his older brother. He is a good athlete, a good student and has a ton of friends, but is just now quite as good or as popular as his older brother. In this case, the Bruins are still the No. 2 team in LA. They have good teams, but not great teams like the Trojans.

3. Cal – The Vice President
Cal is like the guy who just can't get over the top. He loses out on valedictorian to BMOC by a percentage point. He is vice president of the school. He dates the second cutest cheerleader and is the second leading scorer on the basketball team. Cal has been the second best team in the Pac-10 the past few years, but just has not been able to overtake the Trojans.

4. Oregon State – The Musician
No one really knows that much about the musician in school. Then one day you see him out with his friends and realize that his girlfriend is hot and he is much cooler than anyone gave him credit for. In the case of Oregon State, they have flown under the radar, but have quietly put together a very nice team.

5. Arizona – The Reform Fat Kid
For years he was the fat, dorky kid who got picked on by the rest of the school. Then after a summer he comes back, lost the weight, got a cool hair cut, but still hangs out with his D&D friends. He's been invited to the cool table (upper half of the conference), but can he leave his old friends (the bottom part of the conference) behind? The Cats have gone through a huge transformation from the Mackovic days but have yet to get to the cool table, in this case a bowl game. Is this the year the Cats go to the good parties? Or is it another Friday playing Super Mario Bros.?

6. Arizona State – The Party Boy
The talent is there. The ability is there. Why is he not reaching his potential? ASU is like that guy who parties too hard, who is a little too apathetic and never takes full advantage of his natural abilities. He does okay in school. He is a decent athlete, but you always wonder what he could achieve. Now there is a new male role model (Dennis Erickson) who wants to shape him up. The Devils are trying to go from a good team who can't beat the big dogs, to a team that can compete for league titles.

7. Oregon – The Rich Kid
Thanks to his generous father (Phil Knight) the rich kid has it all. He has the coolest car, the coolest clothes and all of the latest toys. When he throws a party everyone wants to come…except when the BMOC throws a party. In fact at one time the Rich kid was the most popular guy in school but that was before the BMOC moved to town. Oregon has been among the best teams in the Pac-10 for years, but since USC's re-emergence they have not been the same powerhouse that they were when Joey Harrington was taking snaps.

8. Washington State – The Blue Collar Kid
He has all the disadvantages but overcomes them with hard work. He doesn't have as much money, is not quite as smart and does not have the support at home but somehow gets good grades, has good friends and works hard for everything he has. Washington State has similar disadvantages, but has overcome them for the most part. They have the most remote campus, do not have the best facilities and have to really work hard to land recruits, often needing to unearth sleepers.

9. Washington – Past Glory Guy
He was really, really popular…back in grade school. Suddenly he gets to high school and is no longer hanging out with the cool kids. He's making strides to get back in the graces of the popular set, but so far it has not worked. There was a time when the Huskies were the cream of the Pac-10's crop, but that was four coaches ago. Is Tyrone Willingham the guy to get them back to the top? Or is it another stretch at the bottom?

10. Stanford – The Brain
Sure he's got great grades, will go to a great college, but that does not save him from wedgies and de-pantsings. Maybe a new influence will toughen them up, but if that does not work, at least they have the high SAT scores. Is Jim Harbaugh the guy to get the Cardinal out of the cellar? Only time will tell, but for now the Cardinal will take their lumps.

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