Pac-12 Power Rankings
Oregon- With Chip Kelly off to the NFL, first year head coach Mark Helfrich will try and accomplish what Kelly was unable to do during his time at Oregon, win a national championship. Marcus Mariota now has a year under his belt, and with a plethora of weapons to dump the ball off to, this offense should once again put up remarkable numbers in 2013.
Stanford- David Shaw and the Stanford Cardinal continue to be one of the top two teams in the conference each and every year and look to be the same this season. With some good returning starters on both sides of the ball, Stanford will once again be a contender for the national title, and will likely make another BCS bowl if they fall short of the title game.
UCLA- The Bruins has represented the south division in the Pac-12 championship game for the past two seasons but has failed to come away with a win either time. With another very talented roster in 2013, Brett Hundley and the offense, and Anthony Barr and the defense look to fend of rival USC and the rest of the south division and make it to their third consecutive Pac-12 title game.
USC- The bitter taste of failure from last year is still lingering in the mouths of the Trojans. Once thought of as the favorite to win the national championship last season, the Trojans finished just over .500 with a 7-6 record going 0-4 against top 25 teams and getting embarrassed by Georiga Tech in the Sun Bowl. Though they are yet to name a starting quarterback, the Trojans have one of the most talented rosters in the nation and are determined to redeem themselves from last year's abominable performance.
Washington- After a 7-6 season in 2012, will this be the year that the Huskies finally live up to their potential? With an abundance of starters returning on both sides of the ball, coach Sarkisian is loaded with talented players, but is quarterback Keith Price's last hoorah in a Huskies' uniform. This team could surprise a lot of people this season.
Arizona State- ASU and the mighty Will Sutton start the season with a brutal schedule, playing Wisconsin, Stanford, USC and Notre Dame all in their first five games. If the Sun Devils are able to make it out of those first five games and go 3-2 or possibly 4-1, then watch out, as their second half of the season will be much easier.
Oregon State- With Sean Mannion being named the starter at quarterback, the Beavers will look to add to their successful season in 2012 and make some noise up north. Only problem, Stanford and the school just down the road in Eugene stand between the Beavers and the North division title and it will take just about as good of a game as they can play to knock off Stanford and Oregon.
Utah- The Utes come in at #8 and are out for blood to redeem themselves from last season's performance. With the hire of two-time national championship winning head coach Dennis Erickson as the Utes' new co-offensive coordinator, coach Kyle Whittingham is hoping to see a major improvement from what the offense did last season.
Arizona- Rich Rodriguez and his Arizona Wildcats had a good season in 2012 going 8-5 with a thrilling bowl victory over Nevada. Unfortunately, quarterback Matt Scott won't be there this year to run the offense, which ranked #7 in the nation in total offense in 2012. While Scott may be gone, running back Ka'Deem Carey who had a monstrous year in 2012 will be back. As the Wildcats' offense still should move the ball very well under Rich Rod's direction, the defense is the real question mark of the team. If the Wildcats decide to play some defense this year, then they may surprise some people.
Washington State- Mike Leach and his air raid offense didn't have the best season in 2012. While the Cougars did rank 9th in the nation in passing yards per game with over 330 per, they averaged just 29.1 rushing yards. Whether or not Leach decides to run the ball a little more this season is yet to be seen, but what is known is that his defense must improve immensely from last season if the Cougars want to be competitive this year.
Cal- With Jeff Tedford no longer with the program, Sonny Dykes is now in charge, and has named true freshman Jared Goff his starting quarterback. Even though Cal year in and year out have one of the more talented rosters in the nation, they just haven't been able to translate that into wins. Unfortunately for the Bears, this year looks to be more of the same as wins will be hard to come by with their schedule.
Colorado- Colorado is hoping and praying that Mike MacIntyre will finally be the coach who will bring the Buffaloes back to relevance. Although the hope is there, I just don't see the Buffs making much of an improvement in terms of wins in MacIntyre's first year at the helm, and will most likely be one of the bottom two teams in the conference.
Pac-12 Week 1 Power Rankings
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