This last week we covered several way-too-early predictions and even though you might that over it, especially the way some Pac-12 teams are perceived, there is one that was released that Bruiin fans might appreciate. Sports Illustrated came out with their own Post-Spring power rankings which may be the most realistic and accurate way-to-early poll to come out recently.
Here is the Sports Illustrated Power Rankings:
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—Recent Way-Too-Early Predictions—
- Pac-12 Football: Conference Odds To Win The National Championship
- Predicting The Final 2015 Pac-12 Football Standings
- ESPN Makes Predictions For Bowls and College Football Playoffs
- ESPN’s Mark Schlabach Has UCLA Football At #11
So here are five quick points about this poll…
Dec 7, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; The Pac-12 logo is displayed prior to the game between the Arizona State Sun Devils against the Stanford Cardinal at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
1. The Power Pac
Bravo to Sports Illustrated writer Ben Glicksman for picking six Pac-12 teams relatively high in his power rankings, four of which are from the South Division. It has been argued that the Soutb may be one of the toughest divisions in college football as UCLA, USC, Arizona and Arizoan State have all developed into national contenders the last few years. As for the North, no one will dispute the fact that Oregon and Stanford are the standard in the North Division, so those selections seem on par with what the conference will produce next season. Good job SI and nice grouping!
2. The Ducks Not Flying As High
Though Oregon will remain a top tier team, many experts have the Ducks in the Top 5 of their polls. Make no mistake, Oregon will continue to be a force, but they will take a step back due to the loss of Heisman-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota and three of his starting offensive linemen who are heading to the NFL. Being ranked #10 is still very good for Mark Helfrich‘s squad, but they might have chemistry issues early in the season adjusting to new players.
3. Finally, Some One Gets It About USC
USC has been the darling of many college football pundit’s predictions and have been an overwhelming choice to be a Top 10 team, the Pac-12 Champion and a national title contender. As Glicksman puts it, “the Trojans still lack depth, especially on defense” and even references their schedule which he says is “formidable”. This seems to be what most experts forget. Mind you, the Trojans will be very good next year, but they will experience some turbulence next season, so having them at #14 seems like a fair assessment at this point.
4. UCLA Over-Hyped?
UCLA is ranked the highest out of every Pac-12 team, which is nice in theory, but UCLA might be closer to a 12-15 ranking. Just like Glicksman, I also believe the Bruins will be one of the best teams in the Pac-12, even though we do not know who the Bruin’s starting quarterback will be. Other than the unknown offensive leader, UCLA is returning the majority of starters from last year which as it seems, are pretty damn good.
5. A National Perspective
The fifth thing about this poll is the perception of the rest of the nation, specifically the SEC. Quite honestly, it looks as it should be. The SEC has six teams in this poll, the same as the Pac-12, but only two of them have made an impression on Glicksman as Auburn and Alabama are in the Top 5, but the other four are outside the Top 10. Well done.
Of course, this is still just the opinion of one writer and a great many things can happen before the start of the 2015 season which could throw a wrench into these power rankings, but it is good to see a poll that is not overhyping teams like USC, Oregon and the entire SEC. Frankly, it is quite refreshing.