So much for a changing of the guard in the Pac-10.
After all the time in the spotlight for Oregon, Cal and Arizona State this season, the league titlist again will be USC - provided the Trojans defeat UCLA this week.
The All-Pac-10 team, though, reflects a little more parity. Though USC still claims 10 spots on the all-conference teams, the rest of the league is catching up fast.
Our Pac-10 offensive player of the year is Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon, who had the Ducks in contention for the league title until he was injured.
USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis is our league defensive player of the year. Ellis was the key cog in a defense that led the Pac-10 in total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense and pass defense.
Arizona State's Dennis Erickson is the coach of the year. In his first season at the school, he orchestrated another turnaround. Arizona State started 8-0 and played in the school's most important game in a decade in a top-five matchup with Oregon on Oct. 27.
Rivals.com 2007 All-Pac First Team
QB Dennis Dixon, Oregon, Sr., 6-4/205 HIGH SCHOOL: San Leandro (Calif.) High BUZZ: The senior was the Heisman front-runner before a torn ACL ended his season and derailed the Ducks' title hopes. When healthy, he ran Oregon's spread offense to perfection. He threw for 2,136 yards and 20 touchdowns and ran for 583 yards and nine TDs.
RB Jonathan Stewart, Oregon, Jr., 5-11/230 HIGH SCHOOL: Lacey (Wash.) Timberline BUZZ: A nightmare for opposing defenses because of his speed, Stewart caused matchup difficulties all over the Pac-10. He and Forsett were neck and neck at the end of the season. Stewart rushed for 1,306 yards and 10 touchdowns with one game left.
RB Justin Forsett, California, Sr., 5-8/196 HIGH SCHOOL: Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep BUZZ: From J.J. Arrington to Marshawn Lynch to Forsett, Cal has little trouble churning out productive tailbacks. Forsett has rushed for 1,307 yards and 13 touchdowns heading into the final week of the season.
WR Brandon Gibson, Washington State, Jr., 6-1/202 HIGH SCHOOL: Puyallup (Wash.) Rogers BUZZ: The Pac-10's leading receiver finished the season with four consecutive games with more than 130 yards. Gibson caught 67 passes for 1,180 yards and nine touchdowns for the Pac-10's top pass offense.
WR Mike Thomas, Arizona, Jr., 5-8/195 HIGH SCHOOL: DeSoto (Texas) High BUZZ: Thomas was one of the top beneficiaries of Sonny Dykes' new offense in Tucson. Thomas was Willie Tuitama's favorite target, with 73 receptions for 929 yards and 11 touchdowns.
TE Fred Davis, USC, Sr., 6-4/250 HIGH SCHOOL: Toledo (Ohio) Rogers BUZZ: USC's wide receivers weren't quite as productive as they had been in years past, so the Trojans turned to this Mackey Award finalist. He has 49 catches for 753 yards and six touchdowns going into the UCLA game.
OT Geoff Schwartz, Oregon, Sr., 6-7/337 HIGH SCHOOL: Los Angeles Palisades Charter BUZZ: A three-year starter, Schwartz has blocked for one of the Pac-10's best offenses over the past two seasons.
OT Mike Gibson, California, Sr., 6-5/302 HIGH SCHOOL: Napa (Calif.) High BUZZ: This former junior college transfer started every game at left tackle, protecting Nate Longshore and leading a prolific running attack. The Bears allowed the third-fewest sacks in the nation.
OG Chilo Rachal, USC, Jr., 6-5/315 HIGH SCHOOL: Compton (Calif.) Dominguez BUZZ: Though Rachal missed three games, USC's running game rebounded from a subpar season in 2006. He blocked for a rotation of three tailbacks during the season, and the Trojans were third in the Pac-10 in rushing at 180.8 yards per game.
OG Roy Schuening, Oregon State, Sr., 6-4/318 HIGH SCHOOL: Pendleton (Ore.) High BUZZ: Schuening has started 48 consecutive games, and has helped tailback Yvenson Bernard to three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Schuening moved to tackle against Washington and Washington State for an injury-riddled line.
C Max Unger, Oregon, Jr., 6-5/300 HIGH SCHOOL: Honaunau (Hawaii) Hawaii Preparatory Academy BUZZ: Unger has been the line's most consistent performer over the past two seasons as Jonathan Stewart, Jeremiah Johnson and Dennis Dixon have put up prolific rushing numbers.
DE Nick Reed, Oregon, Jr., 6-2/255 HIGH SCHOOL: Mission Viejo (Calif.) High BUZZ: Reed leads the Pac-10 with 11 sacks and 20.5 tackles for a loss. He was at his best with 3.5 sacks against then-undefeated Arizona State.
DE Lawrence Jackson, USC, Sr., 6-5/270 HIGH SCHOOL: Inglewood (Calif.) High BUZZ: Jackson has 9.5 sacks, and his finest moment came in a Thanksgiving win over Arizona State when he had four of those sacks.
DT Sedrick Ellis, USC, Sr., 6-2/305 HIGH SCHOOL: Chino (Calif.) High BUZZ: Probably the best defensive tackle in the country not named Glenn Dorsey, Ellis has 12.5 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks on a defense that is in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense, total defense, rush defense and pass efficiency defense.
DT Fili Moala, USC, Jr., 6-5/295 HIGH SCHOOL: Buena Park (Calif.) Western BUZZ: Playing alongside Sedrick Ellis has its perks. Moala heads into the regular-season finale with four tackles for a loss on a deep and talented Trojans defensive front.
LB Spencer Larsen, Arizona, Sr., 6-1/240 HIGH SCHOOL: Gilbert (Ariz.) Highland BUZZ: This tackling machine recorded 43 tackles over a three game span against USC, Stanford and Washington. Larsen has 116 tackles overall and 12.5 tackles for loss going into the last game against Arizona State.
LB Robert James, Arizona State, Sr., 5-11/229 HIGH SCHOOL: Phoenix Maryvale BUZZ: James returned from a season-ending injury last year to lead Arizona State's vastly improved defense. James has 94 tackles and four interceptions.
LB Derrick Doggett, Oregon State, Sr., 6-3/210 HIGH SCHOOL: San Diego University City BUZZ: This quick LB has been one of the most consistent performers in the Pac-10 in getting behind the line of scrimmage. He has 12 tackles for a loss this year after recording 14 of those in 2006. He has 67 tackles, two sacks, a blocked kick and two pass breakups.
CB Antoine Cason, Arizona, Sr., 6-0/185 HIGH SCHOOL: Los Alamitos (Calif.) High BUZZ: Cason is a Thorpe Award finalist. The four-year starter has a career-high five interceptions, which gives him 15 in his career.
CB Walter Thurmond, Oregon, Soph., 6-0/185 HIGH SCHOOL: West Covina (Calif.) High BUZZ: A second-team freshman All-America last year, Thurmond continued his progress in his second year. Thurmond has three interceptions and 16 pass breakups. In Oregon's pressure defense, he also has seven tackles for a loss.
SS Patrick Chung, Oregon, Jr., 6-0, 210 HIGH SCHOOL: Alta Loma (Calif.) Rancho Cucamonga BUZZ: Chung is the leader in a talented Oregon secondary. The hard-hitting rover has a team-leading 102 tackles, with two interceptions and 7.5 tackles for losses.
FS Taylor Mays, USC, Soph., 6-4/225 HIGH SCHOOL: Seattle O'Dea BUZZ: Mays didn't reach the heights of his freshman All-American season but still has 59 tackles, six pass breakups and an interception heading into the regular-season finale.
K Thomas Weber, Arizona State, Fr. (RS), 6-1/202 HIGH SCHOOL: Los Angeles Loyola BUZZ: A Lou Groza Award finalist, Weber started his career by converting his first 17 attempts. He is 6-for-6 on attempts of longer than 40 yards, including a long of 53.
P Keenyn Crier, Arizona, Fr. (RS), 6-1/200 HIGH SCHOOL: Spring (Texas) Westfield BUZZ: Crier leads the Pac-10 in punting with an average of 43.4 yards per kick.
KR Matt Slater, UCLA, Sr., 6-0/198 HIGH SCHOOL: Anaheim (Calif.) Servite BUZZ: Slater has tied a Pac-10 record with three kickoff returns for touchdowns. He averages 30.9 yards per return.
PR Antoine Cason, Arizona, Sr., 6-0, 185 HIGH SCHOOL: Los Alamitos (Calif.) High BUZZ: Cason's talents were not confined to defense. He averages 9.2 yards per punt return and took two to the end zone.
ALL-PURPOSE Louis Rankin, Washington, Sr., 6-0/205 HIGH SCHOOL: Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln BUZZ: Washington didn't rely solely on quarterback Jake Locker. Rankin has run for 1,149 yards and six touchdowns, including two 200-yard games in his past four. He also averages 24.3 yards per kickoff return, with one touchdown.
Rivals.com 2007 All-Pac-10 Second Team
QB Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State, Jr., 6-2/199 HIGH SCHOOL: Westlake (Calif.) High BUZZ: Arizona State's porous offensive line didn't give him much time, but Carpenter has passed for 2,768 yards and 21 touchdowns for a team that started 8-0.
RB Yvenson Bernard, Oregon State, Sr., 5-9/204 HIGH SCHOOL: Boca Raton (Fla.) High BUZZ: Bernard has the third 1,000-yard season of his career and has overcome some adversity. He has been banged-up, star guard Jeremy Perry is injured and the Beavers' quarterback situation has been unsettled all season.
RB Chauncey Washington, USC, Sr., 6-1/220 HIGH SCHOOL: Torrance (Calif.) South Torrance BUZZ: The long wait for Washington paid off. Washington has emerged from a crowded backfield to rush for 828 yards and four touchdowns going into the finale against UCLA. His season included a 220-yard game against California.
WR Lavelle Hawkins, California, Sr., 5-11/185 HIGH SCHOOL: Stockton (Calif.) Edison BUZZ: Hawkins upstaged more heralded teammate DeSean Jackson by topping him in catches and receiving yards. Hawkins goes into the "Big Game" with 62 catches for 792 yards and five touchdowns.
WR Jaison Williams, Oregon, Jr., 6-5/240 HIGH SCHOOL: Culver City (Calif.) High BUZZ: Numerous injuries to the receiving corps put more pressure on Williams. The big-play threat caught 49 passes for 788 yards and seven touchdowns.
TE Jed Collins, Washington State, Sr., 6-2/250 HIGH SCHOOL: Mission Viejo (Calif.) High BUZZ: In an offense with receivers Brandon Gibson and Michael Bumpus, Collins managed to get attention from quarterback Alex Brink. He finished with 52 catches for 512 yards and three touchdowns.
OT Eben Britton, Arizona, Soph., 6-6/310 HIGH SCHOOL: Burbank (Calif.) John Burroughs BUZZ: Arizona's top offensive lineman got plenty of practice in pass protection in Sonny Dykes' offense. Britton has made 23 consecutive starts.
OT Sam Baker, USC, Sr., 6-5/305 HIGH SCHOOL: Tustin (Calif.) High BUZZ: Baker returned for his senior season, but it didn't play out as he would have liked. He missed three games because of injury, but remains a top-flight NFL prospect.
OG Shannon Tevaga, UCLA, Sr., 6-2/316 HIGH SCHOOL: La Mirada (Calif.) High BUZZ: The Bruins' offense never got off the ground this season, thanks to a rash of injuries. Tevaga missed two games, but was productive for the makeshift backfield behind him.
OG Josh Tschirgi, Oregon, Sr., 6-4/310 HIGH SCHOOL: Vancouver (Wash.) Skyview BUZZ: Another three-year starter on Oregon's line, Tschirgi has aided in the development of an offense that turned big numbers into wins.
C Alex Mack, California, Jr., 6-5/300 HIGH SCHOOL: Santa Barbara (Calif.) San Marcos BUZZ: Mack is projected to be one of the first centers taken in the NFL draft. At Cal in the past two seasons, he has helped Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett to 1,000-yard seasons.
DE Bruce Davis, UCLA, Sr., 6-3/234 HIGH SCHOOL: Houston Cedar Creek BUZZ: Davis, who has good feet and quickness, enters the USC game with 9.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss and nine pass breakups.
DE Dexter Davis, Arizona State, Soph., 6-2/247 HIGH SCHOOL: Phoenix Thunderbird BUZZ: After recording six sacks as a freshman, Davis continued his development as a sophomore. He leads the Sun Devils with 11.5 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks.
DT Kevin Brown, UCLA, Sr., 6-3, 294 HIGH SCHOOL: Long Beach (Calif.) Poly BUZZ: He has come through nicely in the absence of tackle Brigham Harwell. Brown has 38 tackles and four sacks as the Bruins rank 15th in the country in rush defense and 12th in sacks.
DT Jordan Reffett, Washington, Sr., 6-6/295 HIGH SCHOOL: Moses Lake (Wash.) High BUZZ: In his first full season as a starter, the fifth-year senior has proved to be worth the wait. Reffett has 34 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, two sacks and two blocked field goals (against Boise State and Ohio State).
LB Zack Follett, California, Jr., 6-2/232 HIGH SCHOOL: Clovis (Calif.) High BUZZ: A Riavls.com first-team freshman All-American in 2005, Follett has continued to fly around the football. Despite missing two games, he leads the team in sacks (5.5) and has 52 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, six pass breakups and a forced fumble.
LB Rey Maualuga, USC, Jr., 6-3/250 HIGH SCHOOL: Eureka (Calif.) High BUZZ: Maualuga carries the banner for the touted USC linebacker corps on this all-conference team. The hard-hitting man in the middle has 67 tackles and 7.5 tackles for a loss heading into the last game of the regular season.
LB Andy Mattingly, Washington State, Soph., 6-4/241 HIGH SCHOOL: Spokane (Wash.) Mead BUZZ: Mattingly emerged as a standout on a defense that otherwise struggled this season. He finished with 91 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, eight sacks, four forced fumbles, four pass breakups and three quarterback hurries.
CB Trey Brown, UCLA, Sr., 5-9, 189 HIGH SCHOOL: Overland Park (Kan.) Blue Valley Northwest BUZZ: UCLA stayed afloat thanks to its defense. Few have been as productive as Brown, who has four interceptions and 17 pass breakups.
CB Terrell Thomas, USC, Sr., 6-1/200 HIGH SCHOOL: Alta Loma (Calif.) Rancho Cucamonga BUZZ: Other Trojans have received more fanfare, but Thomas has been as productive as any of his teammates. Thomas has picked off three passes and forced two fumbles.
SS Troy Nolan, Arizona State, Jr., 6-2/204 HIGH SCHOOL: Woodland Hills (Calif.) El Camino Real BUZZ: Arizona State leads the Pac-10 in turnover margin and is second in pass efficiency defense. Give some credit to Nolan and his five interceptions, including two he returned for touchdowns.
FS Dennis Keyes, UCLA, Sr., 6-2/199 HIGH SCHOOL: Canoga Park (Calif.) Birmingham BUZZ: The three-year starter has had a career season with a team-leading 97 tackles and three interceptions, including one taken back for a touchdown.
K Jason Bondzio, Arizona, Jr., 5-9/165 HIGH SCHOOL: Humble (Texas) High BUZZ: He has made 20 of 24 field goals, including all eight between 40 and 49 yards.
P Aaron Perez, UCLA, Jr., 6-4/223 HIGH SCHOOL: Covina (Calif.) Charter Oak BUZZ: Perez is second in the Pac-10 and 17th in the country with an average of 43.2 yards per kick.
KR Jonathan Stewart, Oregon, Jr., 5-11/230 HIGH SCHOOL: Lacey (Wash.) Timberline BUZZ: In addition to his duties as the Ducks' primary running back, Stewart averaged 26.7 yards per kickoff return. He has averaged 28.7 yards per return in his career.
PR Terrence Austin, UCLA, Soph., 5-10/164 HIGH SCHOOL: Long Beach (Calif.) Poly BUZZ: Austin ranks third in the Pac-10 with 10.2 yards per punt return.
ALL-PURPOSE DeSean Jackson, California, Jr., 6-0, 172 HIGH SCHOOL: Long Beach (Calif.) Poly BUZZ: In what has been a disappointing season for Jackson, he still has averaged 10.8 yards per punt return. He one spectacular return for a TD against Tennessee. He also caught 60 passes for 681 yards and five touchdowns.