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2009 Pac 10 Preview - Unit Rankings
Washington State RB Dwight Tardy
Washington State RB Dwight Tardy
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 28, 2009


2009 CollegeFootballNews.com Preview - Pac 10 Unit Rankings

2009 CFN Pac 10 Preview

Unit Rankings

Team Previews & Predictions
- Arizona | Arizona State | Cal | Oregon | Oregon State
- Stanford |
UCLA | USC | Washington | Washington St 


- 2009 CFN Pac 10 Preview
- Pac 10 Team-by-Team Capsules

- CFN All-Pac 10 Team & Top 30 Players
-
Pac 10 Unit Rankings

- Pac 10 Schedules & Predictions

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2008 CFN Pac 10 Preview

Offenses

1. USC
Steve Sarkisian is now the head coach at Washington, which means it’s time for another young, upwardly-mobile assistant to use Troy as a career launching pad. Former Denver Broncos quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates has taken the same position with the Trojans, while also calling plays. A high-energy guy and offensive innovator, he’ll immediately be under the microscope as the program breaks the seal on a new starting quarterback. Sophomore Aaron Corp earned the nod with a strong spring, but true freshman Matt Barkley was all the rage, showing off his cannon and surpassing veteran Mitch Mustain for the No. 2 job. Whatever concerns Corp might have as a first-time starter should be quelled by the presence of 14 players, who started a game in 2008. The Trojans are absolutely stacked everywhere, but especially in the trenches, where the potential exists to be the most dominant offensive line in the country.

2. Oregon
3. California
4. Oregon State
5. Arizona
6. Stanford
7. Arizona State
8. Washington
9. UCLA
10. Washington State

Quarterbacks

1. USC
Is this position ever boring at Troy? USC is loaded with high-profile players, but not one who’s proven it on this big of a stage. Aaron Corp is the guy for now, but with Matt Barkley looking over his shoulder, one bad performance could be the seedling for a headline-grabbing controversy. Stay tuned because this figures to be interesting all year long.

2. Oregon
3. Washington
4. Oregon State
5. California
6. Arizona State
7. Arizona
8. Stanford
9. UCLA
10. Washington State

Running Backs

1. California
If the Golden Bears remain healthy, and it’s no sure-thing, they’ll boast one of the most exciting big-play backfields in the country. Jahvid Best is an ethereal figure with the ball in his hands, but his track record of getting banged up should somewhat temper enthusiasm as the Heisman hype begins to percolate. Shane Vereen is a strong No. 2.

2. Oregon State
3. USC
4. Oregon
5. Arizona
6. Stanford
7. Washington State
8. UCLA
9. Washington
10. Arizona State

Receivers

1. USC
It’s taken a couple of years to rebuild, but USC is finally at a point where its receivers and tight ends are on par with the rest of the offensive talent. With Damian Williams eyeing an All-America season and everyone around him a year older, the Trojans will frustrate opposing defenses with an intimidating blend of size, speed, and big-play potential.

2. Arizona
3. Oregon
4. Arizona State
5. California
6. Oregon State
7. Washington
8. UCLA
9. Stanford
10. Washington State

Offensive Line

1. USC
Last year, the Trojans rebuilt. This year, they'll dominate. With apologies to Texas and Florida, no one in the country will have a better offensive line. Arguably the best collection of blockers in the Pete Carroll era, the line has it all from depth and experience to run blocking and excellent pass protection ability. This is Exhibit A why the new starting quarterback should feel at ease.

2. Oregon
3. California
4. Oregon State
5. Stanford
6. Arizona
7. UCLA
8. Washington
9. Arizona State
10. Washington State

Defenses

1. USC
Losing seven starters at a place like USC can mean just one thing: It’s time to anoint a new wave of stars. The way the Trojans recruit and coach, even the departures of NFL types, like Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, and Clay Matthews, aren’t enough to derail this defense. Sure, it may not be historically good, like a year ago, but it’ll remain plenty stingy and ridiculously fast. It all starts with All-America FS Taylor Mays, the top cop in the nation’s top secondary. The linebackers will be young, but their talent and upside is indisputable. Up front, there are an unusual amount of question marks, putting pressure on DE Everson Griffen to deliver the season of his life. Tuck aside names, like Armond Armstead, Chris Galippo, Malcolm Smith, and Shareece Wright. They may be unfamiliar today, but odds are that they won’t be by Halloween.

2. California
3. UCLA
4. Arizona State
5. Oregon
6. Arizona
7. Oregon State
8. Stanford
9. Washington
10. Washington State

Defensive Line


1. California
The pieces are in place for this to be the most talented and productive Cal defensive line in years. Tyson Alualu and Cameron Jordan form an all-star bookend, and Derrick Hill and Kendrick Payne will plug holes in run defense from the middle. If Jordan really blows up, as expected, there’ll be few answers for containing this line.

2. Arizona State
3. UCLA
4. USC
5. Stanford
6. Oregon
7. Arizona
8. Oregon State
9. Washington
10. Washington State

Linebackers

1. UCLA
Now that Reggie  Carter is back in a familiar place and Kyle Bosworth is healthy, UCLA is poised to have one of the league’s best linebacking corps. On the strongside, Akeem Ayers has exciting potential and the athletic makeup to do a little bit of everything.

2. Oregon
3. Oregon State
4. USC
5. Washington
6. California
7. Arizona State
8. Stanford
9. Arizona
10. Washington State

Defensive Backs

1. USC
USC will have no problem maintaining its title as college football’s best defensive backfield of the 21st century. The Trojans boast the best safety tandem in America in Taylor Mays and Josh Pinkard, and they have an embarrassment of riches at cornerback. Unless opposing quarterbacks have all day to throw, they’ll again have one of the stingiest and feistiest pass defenses this side of Gainesville.

2. Arizona
3. UCLA
4. California
5. Oregon
6. Arizona State
7. Oregon State
8. Stanford
9. Washington State
10. Washington

Special Teams

1. Arizona State
With PK Thomas Weber and PR Kyle Williams as the foundation, Arizona State will continue to have one of the Pac-10’s more complete special teams units. The primary objectives of special teams coach Jamie Christian will be to solidify the situation at punter and settle on the right man to be the kickoff returner.

2. UCLA
3. Arizona
4. California
5. Oregon State
6. USC
7. Oregon
8. Stanford
9. Washington State
10. Washington