Pre-Season Breakdown - Athlon Sports

Despite having no position ratings lower than 7th in the league, Athlon Sports has decided Washington is again the worst team in the Pac-10. How did they come to that analysis? Check it out for yourself as we break down their pre-season picks.

Top 25: USC (1)
Arizona State (19)

All-American Teams (1st, 2nd, 3rd Teams): USC (5)
Matt Leinart - 1st Team
Reggie Bush - 1st Team
Dwayne Jarrett - 1st Team
Darnell Bing - 2nd Team
LenDale White - 3rd Team

Arizona State (2): Grayling Love - 2nd Team
Derek Hagan - 3rd Team

California (2): Marvin Philip - 1st Team
Ryan O'Callaghan - 3rd Team

Oregon State (2): Mike Hass - 2nd Team
Joe Newton - 2nd Team

Arizona (1): Darrell Brooks - 3rd Team

UCLA (1): Spencer Havner - 3rd Team

League Unit Rankings:
Quarterback: USC
Oregon
Arizona State
UCLA
Stanford
California
Washington
Washington State
Oregon State
Arizona

Running Back: USC
Arizona
California
UCLA
Oregon
Washington
Washington State
Arizona State
Oregon State
Stanford

Receiver/Tight End: USC
Oregon State
Arizona State
Washington State
Stanford
Oregon
Washington
California
UCLA
Arizona

Offensive Line: California
USC
Arizona State
Washington
UCLA
Washington State
Arizona
Stanford
Oregon
Oregon State

Defensive Line: USC
Oregon
Washington State
Washington
UCLA
Oregon State
California
Arizona State
Stanford
Arizona

Linebacker: UCLA
Oregon State
USC
Arizona State
Washington
Stanford
Washington State
Arizona
California
Oregon

Defensive Back: Arizona
Arizona State
Oregon
USC
California
UCLA
Washington
Stanford
Oregon State
Washington State

Predicted Order of Finish:
USC
ASU
UCLA
California
Oregon
Washington State
Oregon State
Arizona
Stanford
Washington

Pac-10 Recruiting: USC
California
Arizona
UCLA
Oregon
Stanford
ASU
Washington State
Oregon State
Washington

Post-Spring Analysis: Washington should find out fairly quickly whether its last-place Pac-10 freefall was more the result of a crush of injuries and bad luck or the absence of talent. The Huskies open with four games in Seattle, starting with Air Force at the Seahawks' Qwest Fieldand ending with Notre Dame, Willingham's old team, at Husky stadium. They don't go on the road until October.

Both lines are promising with honors candidates in Joe Toledo and Manase Hopoi, but the ongoing quarterback problems might be compounded by a lack of speed at running back and receiver. The linebackers are tough and trustworthy, but the cornerback corps is seriously thin.

Considering the task at hand, Willingham may have to perform minor miracles to achieve anything greater than a three-victory season.


Dawgman.com Top Stories