The first year of the Pac 12 should be a boring one. I don't mean to be a downer, but when the conference arranged the divisions they did so to make USC look good. USC will be competing against a fading UCLA team, two average Arizona squads, Utah (can win any game, but not every game), and a Colorado team that has been the Big 12's scraps for awhile.

On the North side we have two very fun to watch Oregon teams, a growing Stanford squad, a California team that has been bright at moments, and two Washington teams that aren't pushovers (well maybe one is, but their fans always give them a slight chance to win at home).

12: Colorado (6th in South)

There is a small part of me that wonders how a Big 12 powderpuff will do jumping into a Pac 12 conference that is known for having only one or two good teams each year.

11: Washington State (6th in North)

Washington State might actually be the 9th or 10th most talented team in the Pac 12, but they aren't ready to do much yet. They have some good players, and they actually can keep up with most teams at home, but the just aren't built for the road, and they are in the tough North. Luckily they won't be obliterated by ranked teams to start the year off like previous years.

10: California (5th in North)

Just like Washington State, the Cal Bears are a better team than ranked. But the problem is that the Bears could go 0-4 against OSU, Oregon, Stanford and Washington. The team has some talent, but will struggle at times on both sides of the field.

9: UCLA (5th in South)

I have been calling UCLA a sleeper the last few years, but I just can't do it this year. The team seems lost on offense when they have to pass. 

8: Washington (4th in North)

The Huskies could be ready to actually have a huge season, but they also could wind up with an average season if they don't fix some of their consistency issues. 

7: Arizona State: (4th in South)

The Sun Devils have a lot of talent coming back which might do them well, but I just don't see them as a great competitor. The team also could be 1-6 after an insanely tough schedule.

6: Oregon State: (3rd in North)

Oregon State is one of those teams that could end up winning the conference championship, or they could end up missing a bowl game. It just won't feel the same without both of the Rodgers brothers there.

5: Arizona (3rd in South)

Arizona's defense is always fun to watch, but they lost three different defensive ends to the draft. The offense should be ok, but they face three top-10 teams in September, followed by USC on October 1st. 

4: Utah (2th in South)

For all of you super-smart readers out there, you notice that I have Utah going to the Pac 12 championship. If I had to grade the teams based on how good they were I think Utah would be 8th in the conference, but they don't face Oregon or Stanford this year, and they could easily win enough games to get to the championship game.

3: Stanford (2nd in North)

Ok, so I know that the Cardinal have the superest duperest pro prospect in college, but the team has some major holes on it to match a new coach. The team's schedule isn't too tough, but their hardest games are at the end of the season.

2: USC (1st in South)

I like USC more than most people, but the team can't do anything in the postseason I expect this season to be a proving ground for a nasty 2012 rampage.

1: Oregon (1st in North)  

Ok, so nothing shocking here, but the Ducks should have a pretty good season. As an Oregon Alum I should be talking about them as a national competitor, but I just don't see it. They have lost power on both lines, they lost receiving power, and they wore down at the end of the season. The Ducks also are half the team when they play on the road, and I expect LaMichael James to take a major step back this season.


The Pac 12 championship game is played as a home team for the team with the best record (because that seems fair). The Ducks will likely win this home game easily, and I expect them to run up the score on the Utes.

Winner: Oregon