Courtesy Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com. (Direct quote from Dodd: "Who will win? Probably one of the quarterbacks playing for the Big 12 or SEC [Championship] on Saturday. Who should win? Someone else. Please. I'm voting Colt McCoy right now, but that could change.")
Who will win the Pac-10? Probably one of the teams from Oregon playing for the Pac-10 Championship on Thursday. Who should win the Pac-10? Someone other than USC. Please. They've won the thing seven years straight! Nonetheless, and in direct contradiction of my previous sentence, I'm voting for USC right now, but that could change.
2. Cal/Oregon/Arizona 90
Courtesy Stuart Mandel, SI.com (Direct quote, link same as above: "[L]ast weekend finally provided some clarity. I figure there are four guys left that could win: McCoy, Gerhart, Tebow and Ingram. I'll wait until after Saturday's games to decide.")
Last month has finally provided some clarity. I figure there are three teams that could be the Pac-10's second-best: Cal, Oregon and Arizona. So instead of offering an actual opinion in an opinion column, how about I just bloviate? I'll wait until after Thursday and Saturday's games to decide.
3. USC 92
4. USC 92
5. USC 92
Courtesy Brock Huard, ESPN College Gamenight. He submitted the following brilliant ballot on Sunday night, on the account of wanting to be unconventional: No. 1 McCoy, No. 2 Gerhart, No. 3 McCoy, No. 4 Gerhart and No. 5 Gerhart. (I was watching at a bar on mute, and I thought some production assistant was about 15 minutes from getting fired for mistakenly putting that on the screen.)
So I see you've asked me a serious question here in trying to rank the Pac-10's No. 3, 4 and 5 teams. It's a question which requires that I analyze each team's strengths and weaknesses, compare them to one another, process all the data and arrive at and articulate a conclusion. That is a lot of work for a TV announcer. So I'm going with USC No. 3, 4 and 5. Hey, it's unconventional, right?
6. Florida 84
Courtesy Mike DeArmond, Kansas City Star (Direct quote: "I just sent in my ballot for the Heisman Trophy. And, as I do sometimes, I used my third choice of three as recognition for [sic] a player who has absolutely no chance of winning the Heisman. This year that vote went to Danario Alexander, Missouri's senior wide receiver who in the last four games has finished with 200 or more yards receiving in three of them. … Until last Saturday, my third-place vote was going to running back Toby Gerhart of Stanford. And Gerhart would still be worthy of my throw-away support. He ran for 205 yards, ran for three touchdowns and passed for another over the weekend. Alexander receives my vote not because I cover Missouri football, but because people who rise from the ashes of three knee surgeries and have to wait around until their senior seasons to show the world what has been hidden inside deserve to be recognized. It may be the only vote Danario Alexander receives for the Heisman Trophy. And if so, I'll be darned proud to have been the person to cast that vote."
I just sent in my vote for the Boot Power Ratings. And, as I do sometimes, I used my No. 6 choice as recognition for [sic] a team which has absolutely no chance of winning the Pac-10. This week, that vote went to Florida, the SEC powerhouse whose defense, in the last four games, has allowed no more than 10 points in three of them. … Until last Saturday, my No. 6 spot was going to Stanford. And Stanford would still be worthy of my throw-away support. They beat Notre Dame for the first time in eight years in a 42-35 thriller, finished 6-3 in the Pac-10 and climbed back into the Top 25. Florida receives my vote not because I make a mockery of journalism and everything it stands for, but because teams which rise from the ashes of three four-plus loss seasons under Ron Zook and have to wait around until Chris Leak's senior season to show the world what has been hidden inside deserve to be recognized. It may be the only vote Florida receives in the Pac-10 rankings. And if so, I'll be darned proud to have been the person to cast that vote."
7. College of the Pacific 80
Courtesy former winner George Rogers. (Direct quote: "George Rogers says he plans to vote for C.J. Spiller in this year's Heisman Trophy balloting. … Of course, Rogers also will vote for Alabama running back Mark Ingram. And for Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who often this season has played like a tailback. ‘I like those running backs,' said the 50-year-old Rogers. ... "Nobody this season has stepped out and thrown ridiculous numbers at you," he said. "If I'm a voter in, say, New York, I'm probably going with the Tebows and McCoys and Ingrams as opposed to stepping out (and voting for Spiller). But, that said, it's hard to argue he's not one of the best two or three players."
George Rogers says he plans to vote for College of the Pacific No. 7 in this week's Boot Power Ratings. Of course, Rogers will also vote for Arizona State. And for Notre Dame, who often this season has played teams in the Pac-10. "I like those Pac-10 teams," said the 50-year-old Rogers, sufficiently out of touch with today's game that he thinks Pacific still belongs in the league. … "No team this season has stepped out and put up ridiculous numbers against USC and Oregon, the two best teams in the league," he said, blissfully unaware of Stanford's back-to-back victories, not to mention Toby Gerhart's 1,736 yards and NCAA-best 29 touchdowns. "If I'm a voter in, say, Cambridge, I'm probably going with the Harvards and Armys and Princetons as opposed to stepping out (and voting for Pacific). But that said, it's hard to argue they're not vaguely in the neighborhood of No. 7."
8. Washington State 64
(Courtesy SI.com) Hey, wanna see pictures of some scantily clad 20 year-old models from our SI swimsuit issue? [Click for next page.] Hey, ever notice that our website makes you click onto a new page every two paragraphs in a desperate ploy to boost page views? [Click for next page.] Hey, wanna click through a 15-slide gallery of some scantily clad cheerleaders from the NBA? [Click for next page.] Oh, here is our story highlight conveniently published in a box in the upper-right corner for readers too stupid to scan the article themselves: Washington State is No. 8.
9. Stanford 52
(Courtesy ESPN.com's Heisman Watch) Here at the Worldwide Leader, we're so used to the sports world running on our clock that as of late Monday night, a full 48 hours after the conclusion of last weekend's games, we have yet to update most of our Heisman Watch. More confusing yet, our site is half-updated with this past Saturday's results and half-stale from the old week, so you can't even tell what's what.
As far as the Pac-10 goes, same principle applies. Heck, we hardly pay any league east of the Mississippi any attention anyways, so we're even more behind: we haven't taken into account the last four years' results. So, for us, it's December 1, 2005 and Stanford just lost a 38-31 thriller to Notre Dame to finish 5-6. Tough bounce, but that's why they're No. 9. Right behind 2009 Washington, who has a big game vs. Cal on Saturday, with Jake Locker at QB and the Sark at the helm. One bright spot though: That Trent Edwards is going to be playing on Sundays.
10. UCLA 2
(Courtesy Teddy Greenstein, The L.A. Times via Chicago) In his real life at the Chicago Tribune, Greenstein said the following: "I've voted since 2004, and this is my easiest selection: Golden Tate. Who cares that Notre Dame went 6-6. [sic] This is not an M.V.P. award. Simply put, Tate is the most outstanding player in college football." In his alter ego's life in L.A., Greenstein has the following pearls of wisdom:
"I've voted since 2004, and this is my easiest selection: UCLA. Who cares that they're 6-6 while Washington State is 0-11. [sic] This is not ranking the teams. Simply put, my hometown team is the singularly worst team in the Pac-10 because I said so. Right there. Even put a "simply put" in front of it. Who cares that they won in Wazzu 43-7?"
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