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Pac-12 Coaches' Candid Quotes On Conference Rivals


Each year we ask college football coaches to tell us what they really think about the other teams in their conference. But we don't want the same old press conference quotes, so we asked them to give us their quotes...anonymously. Here are this year's quotes in alphabetical order for each team in thePAC-12.

What PAC-12 Coaches Are Saying About: Arizona
“Which Wildcats club will show up this fall? That’s the biggest question. They started out 7–1 with some big wins against Iowa and Cal. Then the wheels fell off. Completely off. Two close losses to USC and Arizona State contributed to a season-ending five-game losing streak."

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"The bad news for Mike Stoops is they could be in for a rough stretch at the start of the year. After Northern Arizona, they play Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon, USC and Oregon State. Only Stanford and Oregon are at home. They could conceivably start 1–5. The question is can they survive that stretch and what will they have left in the second half of the season?"

"The good news is Nick Foles is back at quarterback. The kid is solid, but will he survive behind an offensive line that lost all five starters? Juron Criner is a big-time threat at wide receiver and David Douglas is solid, but will Foles have time to get them the ball? Criner is one of the best in the country."

"Keola Antolin is decent at running back."

"They could be better on defense but must replace (defensive end) Ricky Elmore. He was a beast and led the league in sacks.”

What PAC-12 Coaches Are Saying About: Arizona State
“These guys are loaded. This could be the year (Dennis) Erickson breaks through — I can’t believe I’m actually saying this — and gets to the Rose Bowl."

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"They must find a replacement for Steven Threet at quarterback. It’s too bad he had to give up football (because of multiple concussions). He had good size (6'5", 240). He deserves to play on this year’s team after what he went through last year."

"Brock Osweiler looks like he’ll be the guy at quarterback. He started the final two games last season, leading them to wins against UCLA and Arizona so they don’t have to go with a totally unproven guy back there."

"They’re one of the more physical defenses in the conference. They have a lot of speed on defense. They’re as talented as any linebacking corps that we’ll play."

"They have a fairly easy schedule. They get USC, Oregon State, Arizona and California at home and don’t have to play Stanford. The only road game that would be a stretch to think they could win is at Oregon. Other than that the schedule sets up well for Arizona State. Now can Erickson take advantage of it?”

What PAC-12 Coaches Are Saying About: California
“Who is going to play quarterback? As soon as you find out, please let me know. Kevin Riley is gone and from what I’m hearing they have anywhere from three to five players competing for the starting position. Brock Mansion appears the leader after starting the final four games of last year, but I’ll be interested to see if he starts the season opener. (Jeff) Tedford has the reputation of a quarterback coach guru. Well, he’ll earn his paycheck this year. If they don’t have a starter firmly in place by fall drills it could be another disappointing season like last year when they were sitting at 4–3 only to lose four of their last five."

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"You have to wonder how much playing the entire year off campus will affect them. I can’t imagine playing at the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark (while their stadium is being renovated) will be much of a home-field advantage."

"They have a bunch of guys returning so they should be improved. How much I don’t know. They have some good players — like wide receiver Marvin Jones and linebacker Mychal Kendricks, and also their punter Bryan Anger is one of the nation’s best — but overall they don’t really scare you talent-wise.”

What PAC-12 Coaches Are Saying About: Colorado
 “They were an enigma last year. They had a lot of talent but just didn’t produce. I think that’s a very good job, and it’s hard to put your finger on why they didn’t have more success. I guess it wasn’t too much of a surprise that (Dan) Hawkins was finally fired. New coach Jon Embree will be tested in his first job as a head coach. If debuting as a head coach in a BCS league isn’t difficult enough, doing it in a new league from the previous season should make it even tougher. Former Colorado running back Eric Bieniemy will be the offensive coordinator, and they’ll be running a pro-style offense."

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"Cody Hawkins is gone at quarterback, but they should be all right with Tyler Hansen back there. He split some time with Hawkins last season."

"Rodney Stewart can’t be taller than 5'6" or 5'7", but he is extremely tough to bring down. He’s like a jitterbug."

"Defensively they’re average."

"Overall, it’s hard to get a good read on what to expect from Colorado. Since they only return one coach from last season, no one really knows what to expect out of them this year.”

What PAC-12 Coaches Are Saying About: Oregon
“Well, Auburn finally showed all of us in the Pac-10 how to slow down Oregon — control the line of scrimmage and play them on a slippery field. I am very anxious to see how they do in the season opener against LSU (at Cowboys Stadium)."

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"With Darron Thomas and LaMichael James back, these guys won’t miss a beat. To have any chance against them, you have to force Thomas to throw. But he’s really improved in that area, so that’s not such a good option any more."

"Oregon’s the obvious favorite to win the league, but if the Ducks have a chink in their armor, it’s up front. They must replace three starters on both the offensive and defensive lines. However, as many guys as they play, I’m sure they’ll have some capable replacements ready to go."

"They lost their No. 1 receiver (Jeff Maehl) but to me that guy was just average anyway. But he made some plays."

"I know Oregon’s offense grabs all the headlines, but Nick Aliotti does not get enough credit for what he does as defensive coordinator. That guy can flat out coach.”

What PAC-12 Coaches Are Saying About: Oregon State
“Wow, they’ve lost some good ones — (running back) Jacquizz Rodgers and (defensive tackle) Stephen Paea. Paea was a beast on the defensive line. I don’t know how Oregon State is going to replace those guys. I’m not so sure Oregon State knows how either. Then there is the uncertainty surrounding James Rodgers. Will he be able to return? I certainly hope so, I feel for the kid. But I’m sure that won’t be easy."