2018 Predictions - Pac-12
July 11, 2018
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College Football Predictions: Pac-12
The 2018 college football season is going to be one where the PAC 12 teams need to work hard o re-stablish their conference as a true power in the sport. After all, they did not send a team to the college football playoffs last season and only had two teams with 10 or more wins.
To further compound the issue, PAC 12 teams only managed 1 win versus 8 losses in bowl games. Say what you want about the validity of bowl games, that record does no inspire a lot of faith in this conference. There is certainly enough talent to go around in the PAC 12 but can any of the teams in that conference make a major breakthrough this year. We are going to look at the PAC 12 odds listed at YouWager.eu, check the North and South and pick 3 teams in each who might just have a shot at being in the playoff picture.
Pac-12 CONFERENCE – ODDS TO WIN - Odds provided by YouWager.eu
Arizona State: +2500
Oregon State: +10000
Washington State: +1000
Pac-12 North Division Preview
This is not just the team to beat in the North, they are also the class of the entire conference. One of the reasons why they are so heavily favored this season in that they have no less than 16 starters returning from what was a very good team last year. They will continue to have senior QB Jake Browning under center, which is a definite bonus, but it will once again be the defense that is the star of the show. They gave up a touch over 16 PPG last season, which is a staggeringly good number. Their main issue is going to be a lack of big play guys at the receiver position, but if the defense holds up, this team will be very dangerous indeed.
Stanford are the defending champions in the North Division and are likely to be challenging for the top spot once again. The biggest concern that the Cardinal have coming into this season is their defense. In 2017, they were very susceptible to the run game, and with their best defensive players all leaving for the NFL, those gaps might just get a little bigger. On offense, the outlook is much better, with Heisman nominated RB Bryce Love returning to the fold.
The Oregon Ducks got a little better in 2017 but will have a whole new coaching staff in place this year. The schedule looks favorable for the Ducks, with their biggest games of the season all set to be played at home, but with that said, I’m not so sure that this group will be able to transition quickly enough to challenge for the division. Second spot is probably the best they can hope for.
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Pac-12 South Division Preview
It should be noted that the 3 teams listed in the South are in no particular order, as this division could go either way. The biggest issue for USC is going to be replacing Sam Darnold at QB, but the good news there is that they have a good enough offensive line to protect whomever is under center. They also have a very good running game and a defense returning 6 starters. Get the QB problem solved and the South could belong to the Trojans.
Of the 3 teams listed in the South, it is the Utes who have the toughest path to a division’s crown. Their schedule is brutal, but the bonus here is that they could well be a lock for a playoff spot if they somehow get through it and emerge as PAC 12 champions. It will once again be the defense that will carry this team on its shoulders.
If I had to really go out and pick one of these 3 teams to win the South, my money would be on the Wildcats. Arizona have always had some problems on the defensive side of the football, but with 9 starters returning to the fold, they should take a step forward this season. One thing they will not have to worry about is scoring points, as I think Khalil Mack at QB could end up being the star of the conference.
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