Updated Aug 31, 2011 - 2:25 pm
Wide, wide open Pac-12 South
The Pac-12 South is as open as the Grand Canyon is wide.
USC still has probation attached to their name.
Rick Neuheisel's seat is warmer than the state of Arizona in August. He's 15-22 since taking over at his alma mater. Not exactly what the Bruin family had in mind when they handed the reigns over to one of their sons.
The newcomers are exactly that, newcomers. Colorado is bringing in a new coaching staff and a 17 game road losing streak. Not the recipe for success.
Utah is the most intriguing team. In recent years they've had the most success when you look at the W and L column but they were playing in the Mountain West. For every great matchup against BYU & TCU over the past few years they were racking up multiple wins against Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming.
While I have full confidence they can compete with a team in the South on any weekend I have my doubts on them being able to do it on a weekly basis. Time will tell.
On to the state of Arizona. Last year in mid-October Arizona looked like a team rolling through the season with very good quarterback. A 0-5 finish to the season left a bad taste in the mouths of Wildcat fans.
An early trip to Stillwater, Okla. will tell us a lot. Following are home bouts with Stanford and Oregon before trips to USC and Oregon State. Their schedule screams opportunity. Or 1-5.
Arizona State. A sexy sleeper pick. The team is full of talent (and seniors - 31) on paper. The 'what could have been' squad of 2010.
They are the easy sleeper pick of the year. Looking at the schedule, returning players and how competitive they were last year, you sit there and think, 'this team could do some damage.'
On Friday, September 9 we're going to find out a ton about this team. Fair or not, when they host Missouri on national television people's minds are going to be set for the season.
Injuries to Omar Bolden and Brandon Magee have calmed the excitement around ASU's defense. I feel crazy writing this but I think they'll overcome them. The offense will have a huge say in helping the defense. If the offense starts getting compared to a track team on turf this team will be in a good place. That's their goal. The ball is in Brock Osweiler's hands. Literally.
And with that I think the Sun Devils will be headed to Eugene, Oregon to play in the first Pac-12 Championship Game.
I'm not the most confident in the pick, but when I look around it's who I see emerging from the South.
What I learned this week…
I learned super agent Drew Rosenhaus isn't afraid of using the University of Phoenix Stadium parking lot as a dressing room. Headed to the Cardinals Luncheon on Tuesday we drove up on a changing Rosenhaus while he was on his phone yakking away and probably getting a new deal done for one of his clients.
Tweet of the week…
If u LOVE basketball, Baltimore is the place to be tonight. #basketballneverstops
Ohhhhh how sweet it would have been to be in Baltimore Tuesday night.
Kevin Durant put up 59 points. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul were on the other squad and held on for a 149-141 win.
Suggestion of the week…
College Football. Finally.