2017 Pac 12 Preview

The Pac 12 had one of their better seasons in recent memory according to most prognostications. We think this year will be another step forward. Pac 12 was able to send a team into the playoffs last year, getting knocked out in the first round. This year we think the Pac 12 will have 2 candidates for the playoffs going into the Pac12 Championship game, setting up a de-facto Quarterfinal playoff game (the winner gets in). Pac 12 should have 5 potential top 25 type teams. Washington despite losing a lot of talent, should be able to maintain their high level of play. USC should be able to take another step forward. The X-factor in the Pac 12 will be UCLA. We picked them to win the Pac 12 and make it to the Playoffs last year. We still think they have that kind of potential, but it will be up to Josh Rosen at QB who had a pretty humbling year last year, before exiting at the end of the season for surgery. If he performs to the level many experts think then UCLA can be in the playoff mix. If not they can be sitting at home during bowl season for a 2nd consecutive year.

 

For each Conference we will have the Simplified Football predictions (record) with the Projected Win-Shares and rating of each team next to it. We will also have Bowl Projections for each conference.

 

Pac 12 Predictions:

North

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. Washington – 11-1 (8-1)  /  9.14 (6.39)  /  4.80
  2. Stanford – 9-3 (6-3)  /  7.98 (5.64)  /  4.64
  3. Washington St – 7-5 (4-5)  /  6.85 (4.2)  /  4.16
  4. Oregon – 6-6 (4-5)  /  6.47 (4.27)  /  4.04
  5. Oregon St – 6-6 (4-5)  /  5.57 (3.51)  /  3.91
  6. California – 3-9 (2-7)  /  4.5 (2.9)  /  3.74

South

Team – Record (Conf)  /  Win-Shares (Conf)  /  Rating

  1. USC – 10-2 (8-1)  /  8.73 (6.53)  /  4.68
  2. UCLA – 8-4 (6-3)  /  8.22 (5.97)  /  4.49
  3. Utah – 7-5 (5-4)  /  6.17 (3.92)  /  4.03
  4. Arizona St – 8-4 (5-4)  /  7.71 (5.22)  /  4.42
  5. Arizona – 4-8 (2-7)  /  5.27 (3.0)  /  3.55
  6. Colorado – 4-8 (1-8)  /  5.12 (2.7)  /  3.65

 

Washington and USC win their divisions outright and meet in the Championship game.

 

Championship game – USC beats Washington in an exciting championship game.

 

 

That makes 9 bowl teams for the ACC

Sugar Bowl – USC (Playoff)

Fiesta Bowl – Washington

Alamo Bowl – Stanford

Holiday Bowl – UCLA

Foster Farms Bowl – Arizona St

Sun Bowl – Washington St

Las Vegas Bowl – Utah

Cactus Bowl – Oregon

Heart of Dallas Bowl – Oregon St

Pac 12 Preview and Predictions

For each of the conference Predictions I will put in both the Predicted Finish according to Win-Shares, as well as my own personal predictions (which are largely very similar).

 

Pac 12 Win-Shares

North

 

Oregon – 7.96 (5.63)

Stanford – 7.58 (5.38)

Washington – 7.64 (4.92)

Washington St – 5.72 (3.4)

California – 4.72 (3.1)

Oregon St – 4.65 (2.81)

 

South

 

UCLA – 8.78 (6.54)

So California – 7.87 (5.89)

Arizona – 7.56 (4.85)

Arizona St – 6.53 (4.25)

Utah – 6.3 (4.06)

Colorado – 4.77 (3.17)

 

UCLA over Oregon in the Championship game.

 

In the North it appears to be a 3 way race (which much of the media is predicting) between Washington, Oregon, and Stanford. In the South it will come down to UCLA and Southern Cal. Utah takes a significant drop as does Cal after losing the focal point of their offenses.

 

Simplified Football Predictions

North

 

Stanford = 10-2 (7.2)

Oregon = 9-3 (6-3)

Washington = 8-4 (5-4)

Washington St = 6-6 (4-5)

Oregon St = 4-8 (2-7)

California = 4-8 (2-7)

 

South

 

UCLA = 10-2 (8-1)

USC = 9-3 (7-2)

Arizona = 8-4 (5-4)

Utah = 7-5 (4-5)

Arizona St = 6-6 (3-6)

Colorado = 3-9 (1-8)

 

UCLA over Stanford in the Pac 12 Championship game.

 

SF has Stanford finishing ahead of Oregon in the North and the same outcome in the South (UCLA over USC). SF doesn’t have Utah falling as far and still making a bowl game at 7-5. The rest is pretty much as the Formula thinks.

 

That is 8 bowl teams for the Pac 12

Fiesta Bowl – UCLA (Playoff)

 

Rose Bowl – USC

Alamo Bowl – Stanford

Holiday Bowl – Oregon

Foster Farms – Washington

Sun Bowl – Arizona

Las Vegas – Arizona St

Cactus Bowl – Washington St

Week 8 Match Ups

4-2 again last week. On the season 21-15. Think this is a tricky week.

  1. Cal 34 – UCLA 31
  2. Clemson 28- Miami 24
  3. Oklahoma 42 – Texas Tech 28
  4. Ole Miss 38 – Texas A&M 34
  5. USC 35 – Utah 31

Week 7 Match Ups

Last week went 4-2, brings total on season to 17-13.

Had 6 games picked for the week, but wasn’t able to publish picks yesterday, so I will leave off the Stanford over UCLA pick as it’s a day late, and add the FSU v Louisville Game.

  1. Northwestern 17 – Iowa 14
  2. Michigan 24 – Michigan St 17
  3. Alabama 31 – Texas A&M 28
  4. LSU 24 – UF 17
  5. Notre Dame 38 – USC 28
  6. FSU 28 – Louisville 17

Week 6 Top Match-Ups

2 Weeks ago I was 3-3 which brings me to 13-11 on the season.

This weeks games:

  1. Clemson 24 – Georgia Tech 17: In a defensive battle Clemson is able to run the ball against GT and come out on top in this rivalry game.
  2. Michigan 17 – Northwestern 10: In a game that pits 2 of the better defensive teams, both with little offense, expect a very low scoring game. Michigan continues to impress in this game and comes up victorious.
  3. West Virginia 30 – Oklahoma St 28: In what will be the biggest defensive battle in the Big 12 this year, WVU is able to a tenacious OK St pass rush to win.
  4. Florida 24 – Missouri 17: Florida continues their assent to the top of the SEC East and is able to get a little more offense than Missouri in this game.
  5. Florida State 31 – Miami 21: Florida State is able to control the line of scrimmage and keeps the ball on the ground against Miami. The key will be turnovers. FSU has less turnovers than Miami.
  6. California 28 – Utah 24: Cal upsets Utah on the road, as Utah struggles to stop the Cal passing attack.

Week 2 Top Match-Ups

Last week was a very good start to the season getting all 6 games correct. This week there is only 5 match-ups, and one of them is a stretch to include in this. But there are 3 match-ups including Ranked teams, and 1 match-up of Group of 5 teams that could end up impacting the Playoff race.

 

Notre Dame @ Virginia

  • Notre Dame looked mighty impressive last week dismantling the Texas Longhorns. Virginia looked the opposite against UCLA. I included this game as I think there is a mild chance of an upset here with Virginia likely having a bounce-back game and looking better against Notre Dame than they did against UCLA. However in the end Notre Dame is just much more talented than UVA, and should pull away at the end. I do think Virginia’s defense will have some success against Notre Dame with Folston out for the year.
  • Notre Dame 28 – Virginia 14

Oklahoma @ Tennessee

  • I am a lot more bullish on Tennessee than most, and not sold on Oklahoma. Tennessee is more talented and is playing at home. A win here should solidify them as a top 25 team and people will start to talk about them in SEC East Championship circles. I don’t think this will be quite as high Scoring as many do. I think Tennessee out lasts Oklahoma and blasts Rocky Top all around campus all night long.
  • Tennessee 31 – Oklahoma 24

Oregon @ Michigan State

  • This is the biggest game of the day and the one with the most playoff implications on the line. A loss for either team could see them on the outside looking in, but won’t knock either from contention. Oregon is more talented overall, but Michigan State has quite a bit of talent. Both offenses looked very stellar and this should be a different looking game than last years. The score in this game could potentially get out of hand pretty quickly and perhaps approach 100. Although I think both offenses will be slow to start before gaining traction. Look for a very exciting 2nd half. In the end I think Oregon is just too much for Michigan St.
  • Oregon 42 – Michigan St 38

LSU @ Mississippi State

  • First SEC West match-up of the year. I do not think this one will disappoint. I am very high on LSU this year, and not so much for Mississippi State. However looking at the match-up I think Mississippi State matches up well with LSU and with it being at home (MORE COW BELLS??!!) I think Mississippi St could pull the upset. I think MSU’s front 7 on defense will be able to slow down Fournette and the LSU ground attack, which should severely limit what they do on Offense. In close games I like to go with the better QB. Miss St has the decided advantage in that category.
  • Mississippi St 24 – LSU 21

Boise St  @ BYU

  • Most when they see those 2 names would think you are going to get a lot of offense. However with Boise St having the #1 Defense (S&P) in the nation and BYU without QB Taysom Hill, and with Boise St’s offense looking pretty inept against Washington, I think this is going to be a low scoring affair.  This is a very even match-up with both teams having equal talent (slight advantage to Boise St). Both lines are matched up very evenly. I’m going with Boise St in a nail-biter, luck goes away from the Cougars this time as they fail to convert another Hail Mary (and luck stays with Boise St as they squeak out another win).
  • Boise St 21 – BYU 20

Week 1 Top Match-ups

Last year I finished the season 46-23 on my predictions, that is 67% correct. I will look to improve on that this year. This week there is only 1 match-up between ranked teams, however there are several others that are good match-ups and could figure into the Playoff picture (and several more that do not make the top 6).

 

  1. Washington at Boise St
    • This figures to be one of Boise States most talented teams ever, on the other side Washington has lost a lot of talent over the last few years. Coach Peterson has his work cut out for him there. Despite being a Group of 5 school Boise State is actually the more talented team. Add that to Boise State being at home and I am going with Boise State in this game.
    • Boise State 32 – Washington 24
  2. Louisville vs Auburn
    • Many expect Auburn to have a very explosive offense this season, despite many of their best on offense being gone. They certainly have the talent to reload and not rebuild. Louisville is rebuilding in Coach Petrino’s image and it will be a project. However they do have some talent (some transferred in) on defense and at least in the first half should be able to slow down Auburn’s attack. Auburn’s defense which has been atrocious in the last few years, has one of the top Defensive Coordinators now, and has recruited very well on that side of the ball.  Louisville does not have many play-makers on offense. Auburn will likely give up a few plays on mistakes and I like this game to be close through the first half. Auburn pulls away in the 4th though.
    • Auburn 34 – Louisville 21
  3. Arizona St at Texas A&M
    • Arizona State is a trendy pick to win the Pac 12 and be a playoff team to some experts. I don’t see it. I have them finishing 4th in the Pac 12 South (behind USC, UCLA, and Arizona). Texas A&M I feel could challenge in the SEC if they continue to improve on defense.  Arizona State was torched at times on defense last year, I see that happening again this year and in this game. Expecting a pretty high scoring game in this one. As both offenses out match the defenses. But with the 12th man behind them I have Texas A&M shocking Arizona State.
    • Texas A&M 45 – Arizona State 35
  4. Texas at Notre Dame
    • This Notre Dame team will surprise a lot of people. They are as talented as the squad that took them to the National Championship game a few years ago. Texas is still in the rebuilding process, but they do have a defense that was pretty good last year and should improve even more this year. The difference in this game however will be Texas’ lack of a QB/offense. After this game Notre Dame fans will be clamoring for Everett Golson at QB as Zaire will likely struggle some against a good Texas defense. However being at home, with more weapons and a better QB and more talent gives Notre Dame the advantage still.
    • Notre Dame 28 – Texas 21
  5. Wisconsin vs Alabama
    • Alabama looks as though they are going to have another juggernaut defense and a power running game, however their QB situation is very unsettled and has lots of question marks. Wisconsin is breaking in a new coach, in previous years it has taken them at least half of the season to start to gel and work together with new coaches, although they adjust pretty quickly. The biggest problem in this game is the match-up for Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s strength (it’s power running game) is exactly what Alabama excels at stopping. I don’t expect Wisconsin to have much room to run in this game and relying on Joel Stave to move the ball against Alabama is not a recipe for success. However Alabama’s offense will keep Wisconsin in the game. Look for a lot of running and a low scoring affair.
    • Alabama 28 – Wisconsin 17
  6. Ohio State at Virginia Tech
    • The game Buckeye fans and players alike have been waiting for all summer. REVENGE. Virginia Tech looked like they had derailed Ohio State’s plans at a National Championship run last year, obviously that proved to not be true as they ran the table and won the National Championship. However i’m sure it still stings in Columbus that Tech upset them at home last year. This year they have to travel to Blacksburg to face what is potentially one of the best defenses in the nation. They have a very solid front 7 that uses a lot of blitz packages to keep offenses on their heels, and perhaps the best Cornerback combo in the nation. Many expect Ohio State to run it all over Virginia Tech. We do not think that will happen, especially with some key WR’s out for Ohio State.  On the other side of the ball is where Virginia Tech has been lacking recently, and this year should be no better. They have not been able to find any consistency on offense in several years. The one thing that will be to their advantage is Ohio State is without perhaps the best defensive player in the nation in Joey Bosa for this game. In the end I expect Ohio State to pull this game out as I just don’t think Virginia Tech will be able to put enough points on the board.
    • Ohio State 24 – Virginia Tech 17

Pac 12 Win Shares

Here are the 2015 Pac 12 Win Shares:

TEAM Total (Pac 12)

NORTH

Oregon 9.55 (7.03)

Stanford 7.01 (5.09)

California 6.96 (4.7)

Oregon St 5.52 (3.57)

Washington 5.54 (3.44)

Washington St 5.46 (3.3)

SOUTH

Southern Cal 9.2 (6.75)

UCLA 8.45 (5.92)

Arizona 7.45 (4.67)

Arizona St 5.97 (3.84)

Utah 4.71 (3.11)

Colorado 4.47 (2.58)

 

Have USC and Oregon running away with their respective divisions and facing off in the Championship game. USC is favored in that game with a .55 Win Share.

Notes: We think this is going to be a down year overall for the Pac 12, which means there is a good chance that the Pac 12 champ will be in the playoff. 

2014 Pac12 Preview

The Pac12 in 2013 made a claim to rival the SEC as the best conference in the land.  This year they are starting out with many top 25 teams, and look to again make a strong claim as the top conference.  We believe that they are are good as the SEC through the top 7 teams as the SEC, but the bottom is not as strong as the SEC. There should be 2 team races for each of the division titles as Oregon and Stanford battle it out in the North (with Washington as a dark horse) and USC and UCLA battling it out in the South (with the Arizona schools as dark horses). If one of the teams can make it through the Pac 12 with only 1 loss, we look for that team to be in the Playoffs.

 

On to the preview:

North

OREGON:

Overall Rating – 4.90

PAC 12 Win Share – 7.03 (Total of 9.91)

STANFORD:

Overall Rating – 4.65

PAC 12 Win Share – 5.91 (Total of 8.47)

WASHINGTON:

Overall Rating – 4.30

PAC 12 Win Share – 4.97 (Total of 8.59)

OREGON STATE:

Overall Rating – 3.82

PAC 12 Win Share – 3.62 (Total of 6.09)

WASHINGTON STATE:

Overall Rating – 3.69

PAC 12 Win Share – 2.84 (Total of 5.15)

CALIFORNIA:

Overall Rating – 3.58

PAC 12 Win Share – 2.40 (Total of 4.04)

 

 

South

UCLA:

Overall Rating – 4.70

PAC 12 Win Share – 6.24 (Total of 8.54)

USC:

Overall Rating – 4.54

PAC 12 Win Share – 6.02 (Total of 8.38)

ARIZONA STATE:

Overall Rating – 4.27

PAC 12 Win Share – 4.74 (Total of 7.07)

ARIZONA:

Overall Rating – 4.15

PAC 12 Win Share – 4.54 (Total of 7.13)

UTAH:

Overall Rating – 3.94

PAC 12 Win Share – 3.50 (Total of 5.57)

COLORADO:

Overall Rating – 3.47

PAC 12 Win Share – 2.19 (Total of 4.29)

 

We have Oregon playing UCLA in the championship game, with Oregon winning and making it to the Playoff.

 

 

Top 5 Offenses:

Oregon

Arizona

Arizona State

Washington

Stanford

Top 5 Defenses:

USC

Stanford

Oregon

UCLA

Washington

Storylines to watch for:

  1. Will Marcus Mariotta and Brett Hundley stay healthy and perform to the expectations?
  2. How will Chris Peterson do at a Major FBS program (Washington)?
  3. Will Stanford’s defense be able to replace the backbone of the #Partyinthebackfield?
  4. Will this be the year that Oregon finally breaks through and wins a National Championship?
  5. Will Mike Leach take Washington’s States offense to the next level and create an offensive juggernaut?

PAC 12 – 2013 SF Power Ratings

Here are the 2013 Simplified Football Power ratings for the PAC 12 conference.

North
Washington – 4.26
Oregon – 4.25
California – 4.06
Stanford – 4.05
Oregon St – 3.94
Washington St – 3.45

South
USC – 4.91
UCLA – 4.22
Utah – 3.75
Arizona St – 3.74
Arizona – 3.70
Colorado – 3.50

The Pac 12 North is considerably stronger than the South is. I compare the Pac12 to the ACC. One division with 2 strong teams and a bunch of weaker teams (ACC – Atlantic), One division with a lot of good teams (about as strong as the 2nd best team in the other division).