The Pac-12 is an interesting conference because it always has a wealth of teams who would win it even if we do not know who they are. I have seen multiple teams win the conference over the past few years, and I am stumped about which one will win this year. This article explains why I am experiencing confusion over the winner of this season’s conference championship, and I will delve into a few teams who have a chance to win the conference outright.
Oregon has been in the college football playoff before, but they are not as far above the other teams in the conference in talent as they once were. Oregon spent a few years winning the conference every year, but they are now in an arms race with every other team in the conference. They have played tough rivalry games with teams such as Stanford and UCLA, and they have been caught by the other three teams on this list.
Stanford has not fully recovered from the loss of Andrew Luck, but they are still an incredible team with the college football leader in total yards from scrimmage in Christian McCaffrey. They will score quite a lot of points every game, and they will compete for the conference title. It is quite possible they may win the conference with help from a few lucky bounces and a potential Heisman winner.
USC may return to prominence under Clay Helton, but only time will tell. Clay Helton has been given free reign to create a new culture in Los Angeles, but it is possible he may take a few years to create a culture that will consistently win. The winning Clay Helton does this season will ensure the Trojans are on the right track for a much harder push at a national title in 2017.
Jim Mora has done quite a good job with UCLA and their culture even though he is a Washington graduate. He is an incredible coach who has used his personality to help the team understand how they must play, and he has shown that his coaching style is quite effective. He still has good recruiting classes every year, and he has shown that he knows how to develop quarterbacks under his system. UCLA has not been this good since Troy Aikman transferred there in the 80s, and it appears they will compete for another conference title.
Any one of the four teams on the list may win a conference championship, but I believe that Stanford will come out on top because they have a gamebreaker in Christian McCaffrey. He is the sole reason why their offense is so efficient, and he is simply too hard to defend for the average college football player in the conference. They will enter the playoff with at least one loss, but they will survive their conference title game after what will prove to a hard-fought season of tough games against strong opponents.