It has been a tumultuous offseason for the Pac-10. Pete Carroll packed his bags for the NFL, Jeremiah Masoli gets caught lifting some laptops and LaMichael James gets in a domestic dispute. To top things off, Mike Bellotti steps down as Oregon's athletic director. Things can only go up from here right?
Here are the top questions facing the teams from the Pac-10 this spring.
Will the Wildcats offense miss offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes?
Gut: Probably not with playmakers all over the field and Nick Foles another year wiser.
Will transfers Steven Threet (QB) and Aaron Pflugrad (WR) grab starting jobs?
Gut: Yes to Plufgrad, most likely with Threet. Brock Osweiler will have something to say, but Threet gives Dennis Erickson the best chance to win this year.
Will Jeff Tedford pull the plug on the Kevin Riley era in the spring?
Gut: No. Riley has started 22 games in his career and most likely be under center in the opener. However, he might not make it through the season with multiple talented signal callers waiting in the wings.
Who will take over the starting quarterback job from Masoli? And are James' troubles behind him?
Gut: Darron Thomas and Nate Costa will battle it out this spring. Thomas has the youth and upside and Costa has the experience. We are giving young fella. Regarding James, all seems to be back on track. He's at practice and we can only assume he is taking care of this classwork. But you know what happens when we assume.
Will the NCAA grant a sixth year to quarterback Lyle Moevao?
Gut: No. The Beavers are still holding out hope but it doesn’t look good. Look for Ryan Katz and Peter Lalich to battle it out this spring.
Will one player replace Toby Gerhart?
Gut: No. This has every indication of being a time-share or a dreaded three headed-monster. Tyler Gaffney and Stepfan Taylor will battle this spring, but don’t count out incoming freshman Anthony Wilkerson.
Will a running back step up to take the pressure off QB Kevin Prince?
Gut: Yes, but neither of the top options are going to participate in spring practice. Incoming freshmen Malcolm Jones and Jordon James look to be the best bets.
Will Allen Bradford be the lead horse for the Trojans?
Gut: Yes. With Joe McKnight and Stafon Johnson headed to the NFL, Bradford should be the man. With C.J. Gable as his main competition he should get 15-18 carries a game and score 15 touchdowns.
Will the Huskies be explosive on offense in 2010?
Gut: Yes. While the depth isn’t nearly as good as other teams but they have the potential to have a 3,000 yard passer (Jake Locker), a 1,200 yard rusher (Chris Polk) and a 1,000 yard receiver (Jermaine Kearse). They could push 30 points per game.
Will quarterback Jeff Tuel lead Washington State out of the cellar?
Gut: No. Tuel has gotten a lot of hype but the rest of the team is just not on par with the rest of the conference. Their best hope is to pass Arizona State, but the Sun Devils defense should win them some games.