In the annual occurrence, a group of West Coast media members submitted their ballots, and USC was nearly the unanimous choice to win the Pac 10 conference in 2008. The Trojans received 38 of the possible 39 first place votes. The lone first place vote not received went to Cal. The media projected finishing order looks like this:
1.USC (38) 389
2.Arizona State 330
4.Cal (1) 274
6.Oregon State 192
10.Washington State 61
*numbers reflect points accumulated. Numbers in parenthesis refer to first place votes.
Their projected finish would also bring the assumption that Arizona and Washington may be conducting a coaching search in 2009, because I don’t believe a 7th and 8th place finish can save the jobs of Tyrone Wiilingham and Mike Stoops.
I caught Pete Carroll as a guest on ESPN’s “college football live”. He talked about his quarterback position, and I took his words to mean Sanchez has no lock on the starting job, which is typical of Pete Carroll teams. There is no pecking order, and you have to secure your starting role with each game and practice. He said Sanchez is the most experienced of his QBs, already two years into the Trojan System, and having the luxury of watching it as a local high school player. Carroll says the biggest concern for Sanchez should be how quickly Mustain and Corp may catch up to him.
Joe McKnight has put on another 20 pounds, which is the same as Bush did in his sophomore year. Offseason lifting and conditioning adds muscle, creating a more durable back. The Trojans should go into the opening game against Virginia with their 3 more productive running backs from 2007 healthy. Joe McKnight, Stafon Johnson, and C.J. Gable combined for an average of 6 yards per carry. If the rebuilt offensive line can mesh, the Trojans should be off and running in 2008.