After the Pac-12’s top teams reminded us all that recruiting plays a key role in the sustainability of a program, it became clear which squads will finish amongst the top of the Conference of Champions. It is not, however, clear as to what order they will finish in. After ESPN released their 2013 Top 25 Predictions that had four of the Pac-12 schools in the rankings, we’re going to show you how we think the Pac-12 will play out next season.
Each short blip about these teams is far from perfect, as there’s a long way to go prior to the start of the season. Remember that everything could change in the blink of an eye, and while we are not fortune tellers, we are gonna give you what we’ve got. Be sure to check back for a Pac-12 Championship preview later in the season.
1. Oregon (ESPN #5) finishes the season 10-2, but beats newfound rival Stanford to claim the #1 spot in the North Division.
2. Stanford (ESPN #2), like Oregon, finishes the season 10-2, but falls to the Ducks and the Fighting Irish, missing out on a Pac-12 Championship game rematch with UCLA.
3. Oregon State (ESPN #18) continues to build with its talented core, ending with a 9-3 record after defeats at the hands of Oregon, Stanford and USC.
4. Washington caps off a disappointing 6-6 season on a nice note after taking down in-state foe Washington State in the Apple Cup at newly-renovated Husky Stadium.
5. California also ends the season at 6-6, but after losing to Washington, falls into the fifth-place spot in the North.
6. Washington State finds itself in a hole at 4-8 in Mike Leach’s second year, again the worst team in the Pac-12 North.
1. UCLA (ESPN #21) finishes the season at 10-2, dominating the South Division en route to a Pac-12 Championship berth.
2. USC gets its expected wins, but disappoints for a program of the Trojans’ stature, finishing with an 8-5 record.
3. Arizona State falls back to its oh-so-average ways, winning as many as they lose: six wins and six losses.
4. Arizona, at 5-7, falls off the radar of major threats in the West. Though a strong start might imply otherwise, this is the Cats’ ultimate landing spot.
5. Utah embarrasses itself in 2013, finishing with four wins and twice as many losses. But the Utes don’t give up, winning their last two games of the season.
6. Colorado, as per usual, finishes with a terrible season for the books. At 3-9, the Buffs have the worst record in the Pac-12, but still show vast improvement in head coach Mike MacIntyre’s first season.