Buckle your seat belts ladies and gentlemen as we take you on a four-state tour from the rainy terrain of Pullman, Washington, to the arid desert of Tucson Arizona. Only two years remain for the Pac-10 as we know it. In the near future, Colorado and Utah will join the conference and change the landscape. With them, they will bring divisions, a revised schedule, and a conference championship game. For now, sit back and enjoy the extravagant ride as we take a look at each team in the conference.
4. Stanford Cardinal
Offense: QB Andrew Luck (SO) Defense: DE Brian Bulke (SR)
RB Jeremy Stewart (SR) NT Sione Fua (SR)
FB Owen Marecic (SR) DE Matt Masifilo (JR)
WR Chris Owusu (JR) LB Chase Thomas (SO)
WR Ryan Whalen (SR) LB Shayne Skov (SO)
TE Levine Toilolo (FR) LB Owen Marecic (SR)
LT Jonathan Martin (SO) LB Thomas Keiser (JR)
LG Andrew Phillips (SR) CB Corey Gatewood (SR)
C Chase Beeler (SR) CB Richard Sherman (SR)
RG David DeCastro (SO) SS Delano Howell (JR)
RT Derek Hall (SR) FS Austin Yancy (SR)
Projected 2010 Record: 8-4
Outlook: Since he arrived on campus, coach Jim Harbaugh has turned the tide in Palo Alto. In 2009, Stanford went to its first bowl in eight seasons and featured Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart. Heading into the 2010 campaign, Stanford will have the top-signal caller in the conference–sorry Jake Locker. Redshirt sophomore Andrew Luck showed incredible pocket presence last season, extending plays with his scrambling ability and connecting with receivers via precise passes. The good news: eight starters return to an offense that was the eleventh most prolific in the country. With four lineman returning, Luck will have more time to sit back and make decisions, and Gerhart’s replacement at tailback will have an easier time running the ball. The entire success of the offense will rest on the receiving corp. Chris Owusu has the speed and talent to be an All Pac-10 receiver, but he needs to limit the drops and have surer hands. Defensively, there is serious cause for concern. The Cardinal is switching to a 3-4 defense and has some major questions in the secondary.
Stanford strung together a series of impressive victories last season and competed for the conference title. In 2009, the Cardinal marched into the Coliseum and downright embarrassed the Men of Troy. Time for even more optimism on the Farm. Yes, Gerhart is gone, but Andrew Luck is a wizard with the ball in his hand. He should be able to carry this team and offset any deficiencies on offense. The trip to Oregon will be difficult and Cal has dominated the Bay Area rivalry lately. Toss in two tough dates with Oregon State and USC, and Stanford is looking at three or four conference losses. Stanford doesn’t quite have the firepower or consistency to win the conference, but anything less than a fourth place finish would be a disappointment.
Jim Harbaugh, who isn't afraid to stir up controversy, has led a resurgence in Palo Alto. Source:Yardbarker.com