The Pac-10 has been widely thought of as Southern California and nine other teams in recent years, an unfair label to say the least. California has emerged as a top-15 program nationally and Arizona State and UCLA are on the rise. Additionally, Washington is looking to resurface as a national power behind the leadership of new coach Tyrone Willingham.
But make no mistake: The Trojans, who are seeking a third consecutive national title, are still the kings of the Pac-10. That said, it's no surprise that the Men of Troy dominated the Rivals.com 2005 Preseason All-Pac-10 team with 11 overall selections and eight first-team picks.
California was second with eight players selected, while Arizona State and UCLA followed with seven each. Adding to the Civil War drama, Oregon and Oregon State each had five players choosen.
The following is the Rivals.com 2005 Preseason All-Pac-10 team.
2005 Preseason All-Pac-10 First Team
: Matt Leinart
6-5, 225, Southern Cal (Sr.)
With arguably the nation's top receiving corps and a talented offensive line at his disposal, it should be another big year for the reigning Heisman winner.
: Lawrence Jackson
6-5, 265, Southern Cal (Soph.)
Mike Patterson and Shaun Cody got most of the attention of the Trojans' D-line in 2004. But Jackson was solid with 11 tackles for losses and six sacks.
: Marshawn Lynch
5-11, 215, California (Soph.)
Lynch piled up 628 yards and averaged 8.8 yards per carry backing up 2,000-yard rusher J.J. Arrington a year ago. Lynch is the man now, so watch out.
: Devan Long
6-4, 266, Oregon (Sr.)
Double-teams to teammate Haloti Ngata opened the pass-rushing lanes for Long as he notched 7.5 sacks and 15 total tackles for losses in 2004.
: Maurice Drew
5-8, 205, UCLA (Jr.)
Some say Drew is the most talented player in Los Angeles not named Bush. He rushed 160 times for 1,007 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
: Haloti Ngata
6-5, 338, Oregon (Jr.)
Opposing teams have no choice but to double-team the powerful Ngata. Still, he piled up 46 tackles, including 8.5 for losses, as a redshirt sophomore.
: Dwayne Jarrett
6-5, 200, Southern Cal (Soph.)
Jarrett helped ease the loss of Mike Williams a year ago with 55 catches for 849 yards and 13 TDs en route to earning freshman All-America honors.
: Manase Hopoi
6-4, 285, Washington (Sr.)
Strong and quick, Hopoi lives in opposing backfields. He recorded a Pac-10-best 22 tackles for losses last season to go along with nine sacks.
: Derek Hagan
6-2, 202, Arizona State (Sr.)
Big, strong and fast, Hagan had 83 receptions for 1,248 yards and 10 TDs a year ago. He'll be the top target for new quarterback Sam Keller.
: Will Derting
6-0, 228, Washington State (Sr.)
The hard-hitting Derting was a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2004 after recording 93 tackles, including 11.5 for losses, and 3.5 sacks.
: Marcedes Lewis
6-6, 256, UCLA (Sr.)
A powerful blocker, Lewis also has the speed to make plays down the field. He had 32 catches for 402 yards and seven touchdowns a year ago.
: Spencer Havner
6-4, 245, UCLA (Sr.)
The veteran Havner, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2004, led the league in tackles with 125, 84 of which were solo and 8.5 for losses.
: Ryan O'Callaghan
6-7, 360, California (Sr.)
O'Callaghan was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2004. He and center Marvin Philip aided one of the league's most potent offenses a year ago.
: Trent Bray
6-1, 237, Oregon State (Sr.)
A second-team All-Pac-10 choice in 2004, Bray recorded 122 tackles, including 7.5 for losses, last season, the eighth-best total in school history.
: Sam Baker
6-5, 305, Southern Cal (Soph.)
The burly Baker started every game during his redshirt freshman season in 2004 and earned numerous Pac-10 and freshman all-american honors.
: Antoine Cason
6-1, 180, Arizona (Soph.)
The best young cornerback in the Pac-10, Cason had 70 tackles, six pass break-ups and four picks last season to earn freshman All-America honors.
: Fred Matua
6-2, 305, Southern Cal (Jr.)
A two-year starter, Matua is another anchor for the Trojans line. He had a solid 2004 season despite playing on an injured ankle and with a sore back.
: Harrison Smith
6-2, 200, California (Sr.)
A dependable cover corner, Smith ranked second in the Pac-10 and seventh nationally in passes defended with 18 break-ups last season.
: Shannon Tevega
6-3, 310, UCLA (Soph.)
Powerful and athletic, Tevega started the final six games as a true freshman last season and went on to earn All-Pac-10 freshman team honors.
: Donnie McCleskey
5-10, 190, California (Sr.)
Playing through nagging injuries that limited his playing time in 2004, McCleskey still recorded 38 tackles in what was an inspirational effort.
: Marvin Philip
6-2, 305, California (Sr.)
Anchored a Golden Bears offensive front that allowed J.J. Arrington to rush for 2,000 yards last season. Marshawn Lynch will benefit this year.
: Darnell Bing
6-2, 220, Southern Cal (Jr.)
Big and powerful, Bing is a sure tackler who plays the pass and run equally well. He had 63 tackles, including eight for losses, and two picks in 2004.
: Tom Malone
6-0, 205, Southern Cal (Sr.)
A three-year starter for the Trojans, Malone averaged 43.8 yards per punt in 2004 and his career average of 44.5 ranks as the best in school history.
: Justin Medlock
6-0, 186, UCLA (Jr.)
Medlock, a Lou Groza semifinalist in 2004, made 15 of 20 field goal attempts, including three from 50 yards or more, and all but one PAT.
: Justin Phinisee
5-11, 200, Oregon (Sr.)
Phinisee, also a cornerback, was one of the Pac-10's best punt returners last season. He averaged 15.4 yards per attempt and had one TD.
: T.J. Rushing
5-11, 180, Stanford (Sr.)
A first-team All-Pac-10 choice in 2004, Rushing was sixth nationally with an average of 28.4 yards per kick return, including a 99-yarder for a TD.
: Reggie Bush
6-0, 200, Southern Cal (Jr.)
A threat to score every time he touches the ball as a running back, receiver or return man, Bush joins teammate Leinart as a Heisman Trophy favorite.
2005 Preseason All-Pac-10 Second Team
: Sam Keller
6-4, 233, Arizona State (Jr.)
After sitting behind Andrew Walter, the strong-armed Keller takes over the Sun Devils offense. He passed for 606 yards and five TDs last season.
: Mkristo Bruce
6-6, 255, Washington State (Jr.)
Bruce had a breakout season in 2004 for the Cougars. The aggressive junior notched 60 tackles, including 12.5 for losses, and 6.5 sacks.
: LenDale White
6-2, 235, Southern Cal (Jr.)
Overshadowed by teammate Bush but the power in the USC offense, White rushed for 1,103 yards on 203 carries (5.4 avg.) with 15 TDs in 2004.
: Kyle Caldwell
6-3, 270, Arizona State (Jr.)
Caldwell steadily improved last season, recording 26 tackles, including 16 solo stops. He also had a team-high seven sacks and four pass break-ups.
: Terrence Whitehead
5-10, 220, Oregon (Sr.)
A tough runner with good speed, Whitehead, who underwent knee surgery in the offseason, rushed for 1,144 yards and six TDs on 200 carries in 2004.
: Babatunde Oshinowo
6-2, 320, Stanford (Sr.)
A starter in his last 22 games at nose tackle, Oshinowo had 41 tackles and 3.5 sacks for the Cardinal in 2004. He's the glue on the defensive line.
: Mike Hass
6-1, 208, Oregon State (Sr.)
Hass was a third-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2004. He had 86 catches for 1,379 yards and seven TDs.
: Jordan Hill
6-2, 281, Arizona State (Jr.)
The always-active Hill moved from linebacker to tackle last season and finished with 47 tackles, including 12 for losses, and seven sacks.
: DeSean Jackson
6-0, 175, California (Fr.)
Jackson, the No. 3 wide receiver by Rivals.com in the class of 2005, turned down USC for the chance to make an immediate impact with the Bears.
: Jon Alston
6-1, 220, Stanford (Sr.)
A fifth-year senior, Alston was the only player in the Pac-10 to finish among the top six in the league in sacks, tackles for losses and forced fumbles.
: Zach Miller
6-4, 253, Arizona State (Soph.)
A Rivals.com Freshman All-American last season, Miller had 56 catches for 552 yards and six touchdowns for the pass-happy Sun Devils.
: Joe Lobendahn
5-10, 230, Washington (Sr.)
The senior leader of the Huskies defense, Lobendahn had 100 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loses, three sacks and two forced fumbles last season.
: Winston Justice
6-6, 300, Southern Cal (Jr.)
After sitting out last season, Justice should be able to return to the form that made him a two-year starter and major contributor in 2002 and 2003.
: Desmond Bishop
6-2, 245, California (Jr.)
Bishop, a JUCO transfer, was California's 2004 junior college defensive player of the year. He will probably start at middle linebacker this fall.
: Andrew Carnahan
6-8, 292, Arizona State (Jr.)
The hulking Carnahan, who's great in pass protection, earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2004 and helped pave the way for a prolific offense.
: Justin Wyatt
5-10, 185, Southern Cal (Sr.)
In 2004, Wyatt had 40 tackles, 4.5 for losses, seven deflections, a forced fumble and an interception. He's the leader in the Trojans secondary.
: Roy Schuening
6-4, 316, Oregon State (Soph.)
Schuening started 12 games as a redshirt freshman in 2004, helping the Beavers to the seventh best passing offense in the nation (308 ypg).
: Aaron Gipson
5-9, 179, Oregon (Sr.)
The leader of the Ducks' secondary, Gipson notched four interceptions in 2004. He also recorded 42 tackles and has four pass break-ups.
: Kili Lefotu
6-5, 315, Arizona (Sr.)
The powerful Lefotu, who has started 30 consecutive games, returns for his senior season to anchor the Wildcats' offensive line.
: Jarrad Page
6-2, 220, UCLA (Sr.)
The hard-hitting, physical Page, who spent the spring playing baseball for the Bruins, had 79 tackles and three interceptions last season.
: Grayling Love
6-3, 301, Arizona State (Sr.)
A preseason Outland Trophy candidate and a three-year starter, Love is the leader of a talented and deep Sun Devils offensive line.
: Sabby Piscitelli
6-3, 224, Oregon State (Jr.)
The speedy Piscitelli is one of the league's top pass defenders. He had 54 tackles, five interceptions and eight pass break-ups in 2004.
: Chris MacDonald
6-4, 215, Arizona State (Soph.)
In 2004, MacDonald was 15th natioanlly with an average of 43.1 yards per punt. In addition, he recorded 11 kicks of 50 yards or longer.
: Alexis Serna
5-8, 157, Oregon State (Soph.)
A semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award last season, Serna connected on 17 of 20 field-goal attempts and 29 of 32 PAT chances for the Beavers.
: Tim Mixon
5-10, 180, California (Jr.)
Mixon, who also had a team-leading three interceptions in 2004, was third in the Pac-10 with an average of 11.1 yards per punt return.
: Chris Markey
5-11, 203, UCLA (Soph.)
The elusive Markey, also the Bruins' third-leading rusher in 2004, ranked seventh in the Pac-10 with his 22.2 kickoff return average.
: Michael Bumpus
5-11, 185, Washington State (Soph.)
The speedy Bumpus was a Rivals.com Freshman All-American 2004. He returned two punts for TDs while catching 35 passes for 318 yards.