The pre-season magazines haven’t hit the shelves yet — they come out earlier than ever these days, but not quite this early.
But some of their selections are beginning to leak out in other avenues.
So it is with Lindy’s, where one of its editors, Anthony Gimino, posted today how that magazine will rank the Pac-10.
(And in the full disclosure portion of this blog, I do some work for Lindy’s, including writing the UW preview and some of the Pac-10 preview stuff. That includes providing input on how to rate the teams and helping pick the all-conference team. But the editors there have the final say in all selections).
Here is how Lindy’s will pick the Pac-10:
3, Oregon State
9, Arizona State
10, Washington State.
Gimino, who covers Arizona, goes on to explain the picks this way:
I could have used two weeks just to figure out how to rank the Pac-10.
If only there was a right answer.
Since this is an Arizona-themed blog, I’ll stick to what matters most to Wildcat fans. Here are some UA-related tidbits from the magazine:
-Arizona is ranked sixth in the Pac-10. Too high? Too low? I’d like to call it a five-way tie for fourth. Just like last season, the difference between those middle teams is going to be only a play or two across a nine-game conference season. Hard to pick among them.
We went with USC as the preseason favorite in the Pac-10. I like Oregon’s starting lineup better, top to bottom, but the suspension of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli looms as a huge deal. And the Ducks have to play in Los Angeles this season.
Oregon State is third, followed by Washington, Stanford, Arizona, Cal, UCLA, Arizona State and Washington State.
Cal and UCLA, like Arizona, could be much better than their preseason slot … but you’ve gotta rank them somewhere. Arizona State deserves, logically, to be ninth, but I don’t think they are far away from top-division status either.
Having been involved in this process a little bit, I can say we had some back-and-forth about who to put where. And I agree with Gimino that picking teams 4-8 is pretty darn hard. There’s not a huge amount separating any of those teams and what helped push UW up is the presence of Jake Locker and having a little bit more experience than some of the others across the board.
But as Gimino writes, a play or two here or there — and I might add, an injury or two here or there — may be all that separates fourth from eighth this year.
Pretty sure this is the highest UW has been ranked in any of these since at least 2007 though I need to do some research on that.
As for the official Pac-10 media poll, that doesn’t come out until late July when the conference holds its annual media day.
LARRY SCOTT SPEAKS — Also today, here’s a good Q-and-A with Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott (thanks to ESPN.com’s Ted Miller for the initial link). Not much on specifics — don’t think there will be until the conference has something to announce. But just about all there is to know about where the conference stands on these issues right now.