Athlon's Pac-12 thoughts

The college preview magazines are hitting bookstore shelves now, and Athlon's was kind enough to mail me its Pac-12 preview, thereby creating another reason for me not to stand up.

Here are some highlights:

  • The magazine ranks the Pac-12 second behind the SEC in its conference rankings, with the Big Ten third and the Big 12 fourth.

  • It picks Oregon to win the Pac-12 and ranks it third in the nation, behind Alabama and Ohio State. It ranks Stanford seventh, Arizona State 23rd and Oregon State 25th. It has the Sun Devils winning the Pac-12's South Division, and Oregon playing Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

  • It projects just one Pac-12 team earning a BCS bowl berth.

  • Five conference players earned first-team All-American honors. On offense: Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey, Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, USC WR Marqise Lee and Stanford OG David Yankey. On defense, Arizona State DT Will Sutton, Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Stanford S Ed Reynolds.

  • It ranks Oregon QB Marcus Mariota the No. 6 Heisman Trophy candidate, with Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey ninth, Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas 11th, UCLA QB Brett Hundley 12th and USC WR Marqise Lee 14th. It has Ohio State QB Braxton Miller No. 1, head of Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, the 2012 winner who is No. 2.

  • It ranks USC coach Lane Kiffin as the coach on the nation's hottest seat.

  • It ranks the hiring of coaches last year (out of 28): UCLA's Jim Mora is eighth, Arizona State's Todd Graham is ninth, Arizona's Rich Rodriguez is 11th and Washington State's Mike Leach is 21st.

  • It notes 10 Pac-12 players who are coming back from major injuries: Cal LB Khairi Fortt, Washington DE Hau'oli Jamora, USC OLB Devon Kennard, USC RB Tre Maddon, Cal CB Stefan McClure, Colorado WR Paul Richardson, Washington RB Jesse Callier, Oregon DT Jared Ebert, Washington OL Erik Kohler and Washington OG Colin Tanigawa.

  • It ranks Oregon No. 1 in the conference at quarterback, running back and secondary. It ranks Stanford No. 1 at offensive line and linebacker. It ranks USC No. 1 at receiver and Arizona State No. 1 at defensive line.

  • It ranks Stanford's offensive line and linebackers No. 1 in the nation. USC's receivers No. 1.