Quick take: A friend of mine watched the Sun Devils in the spring and wasn't impressed. There is some risk with ranking them so high, especially with Georgia on the schedule, but three things - 1.) Dennis Erickson is a great college coach, and teams usually improve in a coach's second year, 2.) Oregon and Cal are both having to replace ultra-talented stars, and UCLA will need a couple of years before they're serious contenders (which should make Arizona State the toughest test for USC) and 3.) If Rudy Carpenter can get protection from the offensive line, expect his numbers to explode.
My player to watch: QB Rudy Carpenter (6-3, 225). Just call him Mr. Reliable. Carpenter begins 2008 with the second most consecutive starts in the nation at 31, and is on the Walter Camp Award watch list. In 2007, Carpenter threw for 3,202 yards and 25 touchdowns, and leads all Pac 10 quarterbacks in four major offensive categories, including career passing yards (7,998).
Thoughts, comments? Agree, disagree? Share your opinion.