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College Hotline - Pac-12 football: Projecting the 2016 order of finish

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    The projections below won’t be news to readers of the recent Hotline series in which I picked every game for every team.

    (Note to readers who began their outraged Twitter comments with “No way we lose to …”: Of course I picked results that stretch imagination. The only certainty is the unexpected.)

    But unless you read every installment, and perhaps even if you did, the larger picture … the order of finish in each division … might not be clear.

    It’s all laid out below, with placement, record and comment in one-stop shopping format.

    And please note that I’ll have bowl projections — not only for the Pac-12 but also the New Year’s Six games — in coming days.

    The first installment of Pac-12 Picks of the Week will be posted Thursday.

    Click team name to be directed to the game-by-game picks.

    *** NORTH

    1. Washington (10-2/7-2): In the tougher division, by far, Huskies get the nod over Stanford and Oregon because of their quarterback and over WSU because of their defense.

    2. Stanford (9-3/7-2): Central conflict is revamped line and new quarterback against ferocious first-half schedule. If Cardinal is 4-2 or better at the turn, watch out. Playoff will be in range.

    3. Oregon (9-3/6-3): Another mediocre season by recent Duck standards. Defense should be better. But will the FCS QB express continue to produce top-tier play?

    4. Washington State (7-5/4-5): Wouldn’t be surprised if the Cougars win the North. But everything changes with expectations. They won’t sneak up on anyone.

    5. Cal (6-6/4-5): Bears in vastly better position than they were six months ago thanks to transfer QB Davis Webb. But the running game and defense have so much to prove.

    6. Oregon State (2-10/1-8): Wait ’til next year? Nah. Wait ’til 2018.

    *** SOUTH

    1. UCLA (10-2/7-2): Combination of quarterback, offensive line, defense and favorable schedule make Bruins the team to beat in a race with limited contenders.

    2. USC (7-5/6-3): Toughest schedule in the country. Add a vulnerable defensive line and new quarterback, and it’s tough to envision Trojans navigating their way to nine or 10 wins.

    3. Utah (8-4/5-4): Similar to Oregon in there’s much to like but difference between a title and mediocrity depends on the new quarterback.

    4. Arizona (6-6/3-6): Of the South’s second tier, Wildcats are the best bet to jump into contention, but they’ll need to stay healthy early to handle a brutal six-game stretch through the middle of the season.

    5. Colorado (5-7/3-6): Huge season for Mike MacIntyre, whose roster is finally filled with the depth and experience the Buffs need to climb out of the cellar.

    6. Arizona State (3-9/1-8): Far more questions at quarterback than either of the other candidates for the South cellar.


    Washington over UCLA: The Husky defense dominates, UCLA fades down the stretch and Jim Mora walks off field mumbling about the need to get tougher (again) while UW officials scramble to re-write Chris Petersen’s contract (again).

    * Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

    The post Pac-12 football: Projecting the 2016 order of finish appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner

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