I think at this point, Joy has to be the favorite with everyone they bring back. (By the way, didnt Wahlers and Beasely start on defense last year? They graduated. AZ Republic article stated that Joy returned all of their defensive starters. Hmm...)
Anyway, I dont know the last time 1A/D6 seemed this wide open. Other than Joy being the favorite, I think teams ranked 2-9 on paper are fairly even. Usually going into a year there might only be 3 or 4 teams with a legit shot. Sometimes not even that many.
Teams that I think have a realistic shot if things fall their way:
Then there is a large group of other teams that could be very scrappy and tough this season:
I dont know if we have ever seen so many decent programs at the 8 man level.