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The Pacific 12 (formerly Pac-10) conference says hello to two new teams who will be competing in the conference in 2011.  The Utah Utes make the move from the Mountain West conference and the Colorado Buffaloes make the move from the Big 12.  Because of the league now having 12 teams, they will have two, six team divisions and the top team from each division will compete in a conference title game at the end of the regular season.  Here are my top returning quarteraback’s in this conference for the 2011 season:

1. Andrew Luck, Sr, Stanford, 2010 stats: 263-372 (71%), 3,338 yds, 32 td’s, 8 int’s; 55 car, 453 yds, 3 td’s. Perspective: Luck returns for his senior season with the Cardinal as arguably the top Heisman candidate in the country.  He is also projected to be a top 3 pick in the 2012 NFL draft.  Many thought Luck would leave school for the NFL this past offseason, especially after Jim Harbaugh took the head coaching job with the San Francisco 49’ers.  Luck decided he wanted to develop his game a little more while getting his college degree.  His perseverance should pay off as Stanford is a consensus preseason top 10 team and projected to be in a BCS bowl.

2. Darron Thomas, Jr, Oregon, 2010 stats: 222-361 (62%), 2,881 yds, 30 td’s, 9 int’s; 93 car, 486 yds, 5 td’s. Perspective: Thomas lead his Ducks to the national title game last season but lost a 22-19 heartbreaker to the Auburn Tigers on a last second field goal.  The goal for Thomas and the Ducks is to win the Pac-12 and get back to the national title game and win this time.  Thomas has the weapons around him to do just that.

3. Matt Barkley, Jr, Southern California, 2010 stats: 236-377 (63%), 2,791 yds, 26 td’s, 12 int’s. Perspective: Barkley should have another solid season for the Trojans in 2011.  It will be his second season under Lane Kiffin.  The one thing that will make it difficult for Barkley and the Trojans to overcome, once again, is the fact that they will not be able to compete in a either a Pac-12 title game or a bowl game because of the probation the program is on because of committing NCAA violations.

4. Nick Foles, Sr, Arizona, 2010 stats: 286-426 (67%), 3,191 yds, 20 td’s, 10 int’s. Perspective: Foles returns for his senior season in the high powered Wildcat offense.  Foles looks to finish his career with a bang and lead UA to a PAC-12 championship.

5. Jordan Wynn, Jr, Utah, 2010 stats: 186-299 (62%), 2,334 yds, 17 Td’s, 10 int’s.  Wynn and his Utes will have to make a big adjustment in 2011.  They will no longer be competing in the Mountain West Conference.  The Pac-12 is tougher from top to bottom.  I still think Wynn and the Utes will be competitive.  This is a program that has competed in a BCS bowl game before.

My predictions:

North

1. Stanford

2. Oregon

3. Oregon St.

4. California

5. Washington

6. Washington St.

South

1. USC

2. Utah

3. Arizona St.

4. Arizona

5. UCLA

6. Colorado

 

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