Who’s Number Two???

It’s pretty clear that everyone is picking USC to finish first in the conference for their 7th straight Pac-10 crown.  Fine.  Now the next question is: Who is going to finish second?  Most years, whoever finishes second gets a nice little trip to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl and all is forgotten.  But this year, with USC probably making a strong case to play for the National Championship, especially if they beat Ohio State on September 13, then second place in the Pac-10 may be looking at a BCS Bowl berth.

The three preseason preview magazines we read: Phil Steele, Athlon, and Lindy’s are somewhat are the same page.

Phil Steele has California as his #2 team in the Pac.  He cites the schedule as one of the deciding factors in placing them that high.  Cal gets both Oregon and Arizona State at home this year along with UCLA, Stanford, and Washington. 

Both Athlon and Lindy’s have Arizona State as their second place team.  Lindy’s call them a team that is a year away, but still the best of the remaining nine.  Athlon mentions that 13 starters return from last year’s 10-3, plus QB Rudy Carpenter has more career starts than any other FBS quarterback with 31.

Our pick: We’re going to side with the master Phil Steele and pick California as the runner-up to the Trojans.  But don’t sleep on Oregon, they have the potential to be lethal and all three magazines rank them as their #3 team.

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