A look around the Pac-10

Will Arizona enjoy a breakout season in 2007? Can UCLA compete for a national title next year? Could USC be a preseason No. 1? Our Pac-10 notebook addresses those questions and much more.

Strange season for the Wildcats. With 17 starters back, expectations were high, and fans hoped for the program's first bowl berth since 1998. The Cats started with a quality win over BYU -- it became more impressive as BYU's season went on -- but then were drubbed at LSU. After that, they opened Pac-10 play with a three-game losing streak. Fans started to grumble that maybe coach Mike Stoops wasn't the man to rebuild the program.
Then, the calendar flipped to November, and they reeled off three upset victories over Washington State, California and Oregon. A win over struggling rival Arizona State would have earned them that coveted bowl game. But they flopped, losing 28-14, thereby killing the considerable momentum that was building for the offseason.

MVP: Junior Antoine Cason is the Pac-10's best cover corner who is not named Daymeion Hughes. He led the Wildcats with three interceptions, including a critical pick that he returned 39 yards for a touchdown in the shocking win over California. He also broke up seven passes and recorded 62 tackles.