The BEAST is back. After a long layoff, football season is only a month away and it's time to start getting ready for the California Golden Bears' 2010-11 season. There have been a few developments since I last blogged (that'll happen when you take 2 months off), so let's get to it.
The Pac-10 is no longer, as new commissioner Larry Scott has created the Pac-12 conference by adding Colorado and Utah, and very nearly adding Texas and others to become the Pac-16. Somewhere, Tom Hansen is thinking "oh, so the Pac-10 doesn't have to be subject to East Coast bias and we can do something to change our image". With conference expansion in the rear view, Scott set his sights on promotion and started that with a revamped Pac-10 media day. The Pac-10 took a few days to promote itself on the East Coast and even had a full segment on ESPN's College Football Live with QB's Jake Locker, Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, and Nick Foles. With the addition of Colorado and Utah in 2011, a new media strategy (and logo), the Pac-12 seems to be in solid hands with Larry Scott. Now about that TV deal...
Next up is the wonderful topic of USC. Ah yes, the land of Troy has finally figured out that they can't cheat their way through college football. Clueless AD Mike Garrett is gone, as is Reggie Bush's Heisman from Heritage Hall, USC's ability to play in a bowl game for the next 2 years, and the general feeling that they are the superpower on the west coast. With these repercussions (plus recruiting restrictions and lost scholarships), USC has lost a bit of it's luster. But don't fear Trojans, wonder-boy Lane Kiffin will right the ship with his steadfast moral compass and PR skills. Oh right (see recruiting violations and pending legal woes with the Titans).
Now to the football. The Pac-10 as a whole is getting a lot of publicity because of "surfire" 1st round NFL QB's Jake Locker and Andrew Luck. While Luck might be ready for that praise (in 2012), Locker's image is still built upon potential and he needs to put together a solid senior year to warrant that talk. The conference race is wide open, as pundits are picking Washington and USC to challenge for the title while dark-horses Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, and Cal (yea, call me a homer) all pose a threat as well. There are several interesting story lines this season, including Oregon's uncertainty without Jeremiah Massoli and LaMichael James, USC's penalties, and Locker and Luck's Heisman candidacy. College football is back soon, so get ready!