Ted Miller The grass is freshly cut. The numbers have been assigned. The helmets are shiny and without blemish. For the last time until December, the gear smells clean. Every team is flushed with hope, thinking -- just maybe -- this could be a special year. At around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict will walk into the Dickey Dome, and a gaggle of Sun Devils freshmen will go silent and be glad they took a bathroom break before practice. (By the way, speaking of Burfict, if you haven't read Matt Hayes' story on Burfict, well, stop right now and go do that. We'll wait here). What we're trying to say is Pac-12 preseason practices start this week -- or at least seven teams do. Five start Monday, Aug. 8. Arizona State is the first to take the field Tuesday evening. Arizona, Colorado and Utah follow shortly thereafter on Thursday. Each Pac-12 team will commence 2011 preparations with reasonable hope it can reach a bowl game. Yes, even Washington State. Two teams, Oregon and Stanford, have legitimate national title hopes. And those teams feature the two biggest stars in college football: Cardinal QB Andrew Luck and Ducks running back LaMichael James. Combine that with the first year of a 12-team league with North and South Divisions and a championship game, and there's a lot going on out West. And the hype begins in earnest this week. So buckle up. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. By the way, here are the dates of camp openings, if you missed it before. Arizona Aug. 4 Arizona State Aug. 2 California Aug. 6 Colorado Aug. 4 Oregon Aug. 8 Oregon State Aug. 8 Stanford Aug. 8 UCLA Aug. 8 USC Aug. 4 Utah Aug. 4 Washington Aug. 8 Washington State Aug. 7 Originally posted by ESPN.com - Pac-10 Blog Click here to view the article.