October 20, 2006

Several Pac-10 teams have disappointed

It's not just Stanford that's having trouble winning over its fans these days. With the exception of three Pac-10 teams, there's been a lot of disappointment in the Pac-10 this season.

When talking about other disappointing teams, you have to start with Arizona State. Fans came into the season thinking that the Sun Devils had a legitimate chance to go to the Rose Bowl but after starting the Pac-10 season 0-3, the only talk is about buying out head coach Dirk Koetter's contract.

Down I-10 is Arizona, a school expecting its first bowl game since 1998. While the Wildcats are still in contention for a bowl at 3-4, fans have turned on head coach Mike Stoops, whose squad boasts one of the worst offenses in the country.

UCLA is 4-2 on the season (after a weak non-conference schedule, but nevertheless) and 2-2 in the Pac-10. However, Bruins fans are already talking about firing coach Karl Dorrell, who isn't exactly being very imaginative in his play calling. Losing to USC again at the end of the year probably won't help Dorrell's case.

Washington actually got off to a very good start at 4-1 and 2-0 in the Pac-10. However, after losing two straight games - not to mention the team's quarterback, Isaiah Stanback - things don't too bright in Seattle.

Oregon State was actually predicted by at least one publication to finish second in the Pac-10 but the Beavers are 3-3 and 1-2 in the Pac-10, with an important game on Saturday against Arizona. Like most of the coaches above, Mike Riley is definitely on the hot seat.

While Stanford struggles, the only three programs that are meeting or exceeding expectations are USC, California and Oregon. Washington State has been decent, but it's hard to put the Cougars at a level even close to those three schools.

Stanford has plenty of work to do to get to a level in which its competitive in the Pac-10. However, while the Cardinal are trying to rebuild, so are many other Pac-10 schools.

With that said, the Pac-10 won't be too down for long and Stanford needs to make its move sooner rather than later. The rest of the conference is in better position to recruit because other coaches might be on the hot seat, but Walt Harris' chair is on fire.

There aren't too many schools really pushing ahead of Stanford right now, but the longer the Cardinal are down, the harder it's going to be to make a move back up.

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