Who will finish second?

I know, I know. Why am I talking about second place when the USC loss clearly shows that the conference is wide open?

I know, I know. Why am I talking about second place when the USC loss clearly shows that the conference is wide open.

Well, that answer is simple.

It's not.

Make no mistake about it, the Trojans are the best in the conference and will be when the season ends. The loss on Thursday was embarrassing, but if anything, it will serve to motivate the Trojans.

With that in mind, I ask the question of which team is the second best.

First, there is Arizona State. With the struggles of the offensive line and Dennis Erickson clearly lying about the injury to Keegan Herring, the Sun Devils have a ton of weaknesses. The Sun Devils have a legitimate squad, but there may be too many questions to call them the second best.

Cal Golden Bears? Most would have said yes before the loss to Maryland. Maryland is a very bad football team and Cal got manhandled by it. There is the factor of arriving Friday and getting up for an early game, so it will be interesting to see Cal play another good team.

You could also make a case for Oregon if not for the fact that the starting quarterback is bound to get injured. For everybody that loves the Oregon offense, it still puts the signal caller in a position to get destroyed. Oregon's biggest nemesis might be injuries, something that it likely cannot beat.

Arizona is the next logical choice and the schedule definitely fits. If the UA can win out, the conference race will be interesting. However, that is a lot of faith to put in a team that has not won much, yet alone win out.

Those three teams are definitely the contenders for second place and yes, I know Oregon State is missing. The Beavers are obviously very good but the talent is not there to compete for a conference title, with or without a USC win.

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