Is the Pac-10 now the Pac-12? That’s right! And the college football season is fast approaching. Most teams are revving at top speed and are ready to get the season underway. The Pacific 10 Conference (Pac-10) of past years has become the Pac-12. The Pac-10 has added both the University of Utah and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Although the conference will not admit it, the biggest reason for adding the other two teams was the money.
With the new season about to begin, the conference currently has three teams ranked in the AP top 25. Oregon at #3, Stanford at #7, and rounding out the list is USC ranked #25. Our teams Washington and Washington State fail to start out the season ranked in the top 25 and expectations are rather low for both teams. Washington will have the daunting task of starting the season with a brand new quarterback. That’s right, last year’s star quarterback Jake Locker has moved on to the NFL and will be starting a new career with the Tennessee Titans. His replacement, Keith “The Dream” Price, will be expected to step in and fill the Locker void at QB. The season will still bring great excitement and anticipation for both schools.
As many of you know, people take pride in their college. The fans will be rocking all the Pac-12 school stadiums in support of their teams. A local favorite in this region is the yearly Apple Cup.
The two big name players to watch for this season are Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Oregon’s star running back LaMichael James. Both of these unbelievable players are favorites to win the 2011-2012 Heisman Trophy. Luck decided at the end of last season that he would not enter the NFL draft, but rather stay at Stanford and play his senior year.
In other news around the Pac-12, USC is still on probation for the Reggie Bush scandal. Bush allegedly received benefits that were not allowed by the NCAA sanctions. The sentence was crippling to the university’s athletic department and the NCAA will disallow USC to play in the postseason for two years and lose 10 scholarships for three years. We are heading into the second year of the probation, so two more years to go until they are back to operating at 100 percent.
Other mentionable Pac-12 players to watch this season are Arizona State’s linebacker Vontaze Burfict and the explosive cornerback at Oregon, Cliff Harris. There are several unnamed players in the Pac-12 who will certainly gain the attention of NFL scouts this season. Don’t miss one minute of action this year because it is sure to be an exciting season for all 12 teams. Hopefully Colorado and Utah make a good addition to the 2011-2012 football season for the Pac-12. Best of luck to all the teams!