That honor goes to Oregon for the 2010 season. The Ducks are a slight favorite to win the Pac-10 while USC is picked for second by those that bet on college football.
College football betting on the Pac-10 is going to be very competitive this season and it could be that the champ finishes with two conference losses. The Pac-10 media poll picked Oregon over USC and that should be good news for the Ducks since the poll has picked the ultimate winner in nine of the last ten seasons. That stat is really overrated though since USC has dominated this conference for more than a decade. That dominance looks to be over now though and Oregon is the team that could take advantage.
The Pac-10 appears to be very wide open in 2010 as seven teams in the media poll got at least one first place vote. Oregon got 15 first place votes and they were followed by USC with 12. Oregon got 314 total points, just three ahead of USC who got 311. Oregon State received three first place votes and was picked for third. Stanford and Arizona rounded out the top five. Washington was picked for sixth and they were followed by California, UCLA, Arizona State and Washington State. Only the Sun Devils and the Cougars were given no chance to win the Pac-10 this season.
Oregon State could be the wild card in the conference for those that bet on college football. They are picked for third even though they are replacing their starting quarterback. Head coach Mike Riley believes that the offense will be very good with Ryan Katz leading them.
USC may have the best quarterback in the conference in Matt Barkley but they their depth is going to be tested this season and for years to come. This year the Trojans have 71 scholarship players and that number is going to go down in future years due to NCAA sanctions. The Trojans will not be in a bowl game this season and it is unclear if they will be credit with the Pac-10 title if they finish at the top of the standings.