ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman chimes on on the Pac-10's performance on "Measuring Stick Saturday."
The gist: If Oregon is the conference's national title contender, its prospects were boosted over the weekend, in large part because Arizona and Stanford made statements.
I expected Oregon to be good this year. I didn't expect the Wildcats or the Cardinal to look like legit top-15 teams, but they do.
I also thought this was interesting.
In the offseason, I spoke to one of the Pac-10's head coaches, who predicted the Cardinal would flop this season. He told me Stanford had lost too much of its identity when bruising RB Toby Gerhart left for the NFL. The coach praised QB Andrew Luck but didn't have much more to say about the Cardinal.
I heard that from a couple of coaches about Oregon losing He Who Shall Not Be Named.
But if a coach had predicted that to me about Stanford I would have replied: OK. Would you trade your offensive line for Stanford's?
As much as folks wanted to attribute the Cardinal's breakthrough to Gerhart, I'd have said it was more about the offensive line, which was the best -- and nastiest -- unit in the Pac-10 in 2009. And four starters are back in 2010.