There's nothing like the start of football season to make optimists out of the most callous and hardened bloggers; the SB Nation's own PAC-10 bloggers got together to make predictions about the upcoming season. With USC licking their Reggie-inflicted wounds and Oregon's former starting quarterback running smack dab into the law, the race is more wide open than expected. Dreams of roses dance in everyone's head, well maybe not in the Cougars, but almost every other PAC-10 team.
Arizona Desert Swarm's Matt Ortega breaks down the Wildcat's chances in with three keys:
The "three-headed monster" in the backfield will be expected to carry a load. The trio expects big things this season as all three hope to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing apiece. That's a tall order, but Nick Foles and the offense will count on them to help put points up on the board in large quantities.
Nick Foles must regain his midseason form from last year. His production began to slip as the season went on and culminated in an abysmal 9-for-29 performance in the Holiday Bowl, including an interception.
The defense needs to make stops, plain and simple. If the defense cannot piece together strong stands, each game will devolve into shootouts, putting even more pressure on the offense to put up huge numbers to eek out close wins.
ASU is able to win seven games. If that happens, 2010 will be considered a great year. Since the Sun Devils are playing two FCS teams, they must win five games between Wisconsin and the Pac-10 schedule in order to be bowl-eligible. The Pac-10 is strong across the board (with the exception of Washington State), and to win five games would be an accomplishment. It would also be a success if Threet and the offense are able to lay groundwork for 2011, when I anticipate ASU to be able to compete again. Either way, the situation has improved in Tempe for the 2010 season.