Preseason Pac 12 Power Poll

Ranking the teams from 1 through 12 heading into the inaugural Pac 12 season...

1. Oregon
The Ducks are coming off of a trip to the national championship game and their 2nd straight conference championship. They're starting the season in the top 5 and looking to finish the year with a win in New Orleans. They'll get things kicked off with what looks to be the non-conference game of the year and a showdown against highly ranked LSU.

2. Stanford
The Cardinal return arguably the top player in the country in QB Andrew Luck, but will be without head coach Jim Harbaugh who has moved on to the NFL. It will be up to new coach David Shaw to get this team to a second straight BCS bowl game. Stanford gets one of the worst teams in the FBS in week 1 with San Jose State coming to town.

3. USC
Year 2 of probation for the Trojans should look a lot like year 1 with tons of talent, but inconsistency. QB Matt Barkley looks to make his case as the best in the conference. The Trojans open up at home against Minnesota.

4. Utah
The Utes are now in with the big boys, but open their season at home against Montana State before a week 2 showdown at USC. We'll see if a full season of Pac 12 punishment allows them to put up a fourth straight 10 win season.

5. Arizona State
The Sun Devils came into the summer with high expectations and even talk of being a sleeper national championship team. They've battled injuries that may derail those hopes, but this defense is as good as any in the conference. They'll open at home against UC Davis.

6. Arizona
Arizona was a top 10 team at one point in 2010, but closed the season by losing five straight. They need QB Nick Foles to stay healthy, and with five new offensive line starters, that may not be easy. They'll take on the lumberjacks of Northern Arizona in week 1.

7. Cal
The Bears could end up being the boom or bust team in the conference as you never really know what you're going to get out of Jeff Tedford and company. They open the year at 'home' against the always dangerous Bulldogs of Fresno State.

8. Oregon State
The consummate slow starting Beavers are now with Jacquizz Rodgers, but should get his brother James back at some point, and have highly touted QB Ryan Katz under center as they look to bounce back from a down year in 2010. They'll open at home against Sacramento State.

9. Washington
Jake Locker is gone, but running back Chris Polk remains. The Huskies have brought in huge recruiting classes under Steve Sarkisian and it's time to see them jump into the upper echelon of the conference. Should be a cakewalk in week 1 against Eastern Washington.

10. UCLA
The Bruins are coming into 2011 after a disastrous 4-8 year last season. They open on the road at Houston, where they'll need a win to get some momentum going. A bowl game is a necessity to save Rick Neuheisel's job.

11. Washington State
No BCS conference team has been worse than the Cougars over the past 3 seasons in which they've posted a 5-32 record. Paul Wulff needs wins or he'll be looking for a job. They'll open against Idaho State.

12. Colorado
The Buffaloes make the jump from the Big 12 to Pac 12 with a new head coach in Jon Embree. There won't be a QB controversy this seawson with Tyler Hansen taking all the snaps. It's going to be a few years before they're able to compete in the new conference. The Buff open on the road against WAC favorite Hawaii.

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