Preseason Pac 12 Power Rankings

The defending champs start the season at the top of the list

1. Oregon
The Ducks ended up number 2 in the nation last season, and despite the loss of last year's Heisman trophy winner, there shouldn't be a big drop-off with Vernon Adams transferring over from Eastern Washington and a stable of backs led by Royce Freeman, a stable of playmakers of at wide receiver, and a defense led by future top 10 pick in DeForrest Buckner.

2. USC
The Trojans are loaded on both sides of the ball with the likes of Cody Kessler, JuJu Smith, and Adoree Jackson, but the wildcard that is Steve Sarkisian keeps them from the top spot.

3. Arizona State
There's as much talent in Tempe as they've had since the days of Jake Plummer. A talented offense and a young defense with plenty of playmakers are making them a trendy playoff pick.

4. UCLA
The Bruins return a boat-load of starters, but replacing Eric Kendricks at linebacker isn't easy and a true freshman will try to fill the huge shoes of Brett Hundley with Josh Rosen getting the nod.

5. Utah
Defense, special teams, and a running game. Utah does it Big 10 style with their physical play, and are often looked at as the team that no one wants to take on. Lots of seniors and arguably the league's best back have them targeting a Pac 12 South title.

6. Stanford
Take what I wrote for Utah, subtract the running back and special teams, add playmakers at wide receivers and an elite offensive line and you get Stanford.

7. Arizona
The Rodney Dangerfield of the conference, Arizona, despite being the defending South champs, can't get any respect. Scooby Wright returns though to bolster a team that could go anywhere from 5-7 to 11-1.

8. Cal
The Bears may end up scoring more points than anyone else in the conference with Jared Goff at the helm and a hoard of wide receivers at his disposal. They also may end up giving up the most points as well.

9. Washington
It'll be a transition year for Chris Petersen and Washington as they're very young and will have to fight to get to a bowl game.

10. Colorado
The Buffs are getting better, but an unkind schedule and inconsistent play could spell a second straight winless conference season.

11. Oregon State
Gary Andersen took over a big rebuild as the Beavers are significantly lacking in the talent department, especially on offense. It'll be a tough year in Corvallis.

12. Washington State
Is this the last hurrah in Pullman for Mike Leach? He's on shaky ground and another losing season could mean he gets the boot.


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