College Football Preview: Pac-12

Chris Moore| BKD TV Insiders

Mike Bercovici will look to lead Arizona State to it's first Pac-12 title since 2007.

Mike Bercovici will look to lead Arizona State to it’s first Pac-12 title since 2007.

Only a few days left until the first college football Saturday is here. Earlier in the week, the Big 12, BIG 10, and ACC were previewed. Today is the Pac-12 which has become arguably the deepest, or most competitive conference in college football. How will Oregon respond after losing the Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota? Can Arizona State live up to the lofty expectations that they have for the first time in a long time? All questions to be answered in the Pac-12 this season.

Favorite: Oregon

Oregon has become a national powerhouse but has yet to win a national championship. Coming into 2015, Oregon is having to replace maybe the best quarterback in the program’s history. Vernon Adams, a transfer from FCS school Eastern Washington, is taking over the helm. He was electric in the FCS and is looking to make the step up to the Pac-12. Oregon’s offense is loaded again with depth at the skill position’s. The key game will be early when Oregon plays Michigan State. If Vernon Adams can play well enough to win that game, Oregon’s confidence will build and they could be back to the College Football Playoff.

Team to Watch: USC

The Trojans appear to be back to being among the nation’s elite. Steve Sarkisian has done an excellent job at getting the necessary talent to contend again. Despite the sanctions still coming down on USC, the Trojans’ offense will be outstanding. Cody Kessler is returning to play quarterback and the receivers and offensive line are loaded with talent. If USC can pressure the quarterback, they will be a threat to win the conference and make the playoff.

Player to Watch: JuJu Smith, WR USC

With Nelson Agholar in the NFL, Cody Kessler will be looking for a new favorite target this season. At 6’2, 215 lbs. Smith has the potential to be an All-American this season and win the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s best receiver. Throw in the fact that Cody Kessler can win the Offensive POY, and Juju Smith’s ceiling is as high as anybody’s in the country.

Projected Finish:

North

  1. Oregon
  2. Washington
  3. Stanford
  4. California
  5. Washington State
  6. Oregon State

          South

  1. Arizona State
  2. USC
  3. UCLA
  4. Utah
  5. Arizona
  6. Colorado

Conference Championship: Arizona State over Oregon

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the SEC Preview.

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