Pac-10 Media Day capsules with teams listed in their order of finish as predicated by the annual media poll:
Coach Pete Carroll says that Mark Sanchez has all that it takes to become a great quarterback … if he can just win the starting job. It's that way across the roster, where the names may be new but the talents remains high enough to contend for a BCS title.
The schedule becomes tougher in coach Dennis Erickson's second season. However, he has plenty of horses, including what may be the league's top quarterback: senior Rudy Carpenter. Chief concern is the offensive line, which Erickson calls young and athletic.
Coach Mike Bellotti said replacing quarterback Dennis Dixon is an area of "interest," but not "a concern" due to his faith in Nate Costa and Justin Roper. Meanwhile, a solid defense appears able to buy the new guys on offense time to find their rhythm.
Jeff Tedford said he is excited about the young players and new leadership that has surfaced. He said the QB competition between Nate Longshore and Kevin Riley is "a great situation." He sees potential for his "most explosive backfield" ever.
Coach Rick Neuheisel said the Bruins' catching up to USC is a matter of when, not if. He said he will allow coordinator Norm Chow to run the offense and call the plays. QB Ben Olson (foot) is expected to be ready for the start of fall camp.
6. Oregon State
The Beavers lost their front seven starters on defense, but coach Mike Riley said there are experienced reserves to step up. He lamented the loss of TB Yvenson Bernard, but said receiver Sammie Stroughter appears poised for a big bounce-back season.
Starting his fifth season, coach Mike Stoops said he has his best offensive team yet, led by senior QB Willie Tuitama. He acknowledged that there are plenty of defensive questions, but concluded "we have better players than people think."
Tyrone Willingham said the Huskies will be a blend of youth and experience, but added that he thinks "we can hit this thing just right." He cited off-season emphasis on training so the team can turn close losses into wins with strong fourth quarters.
The Cardinal returns a league-high 16 starters, and coach Jim Harbaugh said he is especially excited about both of his lines. He said there will be true quarterback competition in camp, including last year's starter, Tavita Pritchard of Tacoma.
In his Pac-10 media day debut, coach Paul Wulff said QB Gary Rogers is the clear No. 1 but must compete to stay there. Noting the predicted 10th-place finish, Wulff said WSU has "the opportunity to surprise some people and have a very successful year."