Considering the teams in our 2016 PAC-12 college football preview, we find that those in the North are a bit stronger than those that occupy the South. However, both divisions bring Top 20 and Top 40 teams to the field with the North’s Washington Huskies and Stanford Cardinal teams being the best. By the way, the Oregon Ducks aren’t far behind them. The PAC-12 will offer some surprises this season, especially in terms of which club finishes on top. It will be a battle.
Rundown PAC-12 North
If you’re looking for a veteran team that looks to have a breakout season, then it’s the Washington Huskies. With 15 returning starters, and many of them being accomplished players, they will vie for the conference crown. But it won’t be easy, as the Stanford Cardinal club features one of the best RBs in the PAC-12, Christian McCaffrey. Oregon’s Royce Freeman is another major rushing force on the field. Of the three, Washington has the kindest schedule and Stanford the toughest.
Don’t count out Washington State, which had a solid stretch run in 2015. QB Luke Falk is probably only second to UCLA’s Josh Rosen. Also helpful for the Cougars will be their 14 returning starters and a very playable and winnable schedule. The California Golden Bears look good enough to earn a bowl bid, while the Oregon State Beavers bring very little experience to the field.
PAC-12 North Predicted Finish
- Washington State
- Oregon State
Rundown PAC-12 South
In the battle for the top spot in the South, our 2016 PAC-12 college football preview finds that there will be two contenders, the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans. UCLA has QB Josh Rosen, 13 returning starters, two ultra solid lines, and a fine D. The USC squad includes WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, RB Justin Davis, and a great O-line. But the Trojans have to play one of the most difficult schedules in all of college football, while in comparison the Bruins have a relatively kind one. The Bruins get the edge.
Utah finished in the Top 20 last year, but they have lost a lot of the experienced players that got them there. The Utes also have a fairly tough schedule and a worrisome running and receiving game. The defensive line and linebackers for Arizona State are amazingly solid, and the team has solid running and receiving corps, but QB and O-line weaknesses will hurt them. We find that the Wildcats of Arizona offer one of the better offenses and boast of 15 returning starters. Colorado does not have a bad team, but the Buffaloes have a terribly tough schedule.
PAC-12 South Predicted Finish
- Arizona State
2016 PAC-12 College Football Preview Final Word
In our 2016 PAC-12 college football preview, we find that the big game in this conference will occur early in the season when on September 30th the Washington Huskies play the Stanford Cardinal. That could be the PAC-12 winner takes all contest. However, don’t forget the Oregon Ducks, UCLA Bruins, and USC Trojans. They will all be a force. The Bruins host the Trojans on November 12th for the major contest in the PAC-12 South.