The 2009 Media Poll will be released later today from Los Angeles, and when that happens, we will be able to compare it to our brand-spanking new Building the Dam pre-season poll, which looks like this:
- USC - It's obviously Carroll and company's conference to lose, as we saw no reason not to rank the Trojans at #1 in the conference. Just as ArbyOSU said in the comments, "There are so many changes from last season to this season that no one can say for sure what’s going to happen. A constant for several seasons has been USC’s ability to reload and defend its title. I’d bank on them being the top dogs to start the year." Well said.
- Oregon State - While six people wanted to say that the Beavers would win the Pac-10 this year, the overwhelming majority (53%) said that Oregon State would sneak past the likes of Cal and Oregon to take the #2 spot in the conference. That means that the BtD is projecting the Beavers two win the Civil War... go figure!
- Cal - On most any other blog, you would probably see Cal or Oregon coming in at #2 and #3, but this is Building the Dam! Many like Oregon State's chances to beat Cal, but... Cal's placement in the final Pac-10 poll will likely come down to a September 26 matchup between the Bears and Ducks in Eugene.
- Oregon - The thing about the game I just mentioned is that it's the first game of the Pac-10 schedule for both teams, which means the loser will have time to recover. It seems like the Ducks could recover by knocking off USC... do you really see the Ducks beating both the Bears and Trojans? You'd also have to think that these rankings imply that the Beavers win the Civil War.
- Arizona State - Dennis Erickson gets some respect here, as playing ASU, especially in the desert, will be no easy task for any team this year. To me, 5-8 seems almost interchangeable, but the BtD voters put the former OSU coach's team on top. Classy move.
- Stanford - Toby Gerhart is good. His success will likely reflect the success of his team. He went for 1,136 yards last year, and seems primed to go for even more this year.
- Arizona - Tuitama is gone, so the Wildcats have some major questions at quarterback. The QB play will likely determine how well they fare. Again, 5-8 seems somewhat interchangeable. I could easily see them moving up a few spots, but it seems like Stoops' crew will regress from last season, which ended in UA's first bowl appearance since 1998.
- UCLA - Questions on offense, especially on the line, have the Bruins coming in last in the middle echelon of teams.
- Washington - Coach Sark has some young talent now in Seattle, and he still has Jake Locker, but that probably only means that Washington will win 3-5 games, if that, this season. Washington State was nearly a unanimous #10 for the BtD voters... which means Washington is nearly a unanimous #9.
- Washington State - We go back to the wise words of ArbyOSU: "With the off the field issues this off-season and the lack of any real direction or incoming talent, the Cougs seem to be headed toward a very dangerous place. I hope they can right the ship quickly. The longer things continue to slide the harder it is to claw your way back (take it from a Beaver). Cougs--tenth place with a bullet. Bank it. "
Look for the media to rank Oregon State approximately way lower than they will actually finish-- it's just a tradition around here.
What are your thoughts on our poll? Oregon State seems high to me, but I could definitely see the orange and black finishing second in the conference this season. In other words, this isn't unreasonable by any stretch.