Pac-12 Teams Who Could Win National Title in 2017-18

by George Nichols .

With the 2017-2018 season about to kick into high gear, it’s time to start looking into which teams are shaping up to go all the way during the 2017-2018 Pac-12 season. So now, in no particular order are our picks for seven teams that may have what it takes to win this year’s championship trophy.


USC’s defensive line will be strong as the team welcomes back their defensive line of Rasheem Greene, Porter Justin and Cameron Smith that will provide a challenge to any top line Pac 12 team. Quarterback Sam Darnold provided to be a force to be reckoned with during 2016 as a freshman, who threw over 3,000 yards even after only starting during the fourth week. But, by our estimates, USC will have to watch how its offensive line shapes up due to the departure of NFL entrant Damien Mama and some of their former starting tackles.


The huskies had an outstanding 2016 season, but will have to deal with the departure of most of the team’s defensive line such as Budda Baker and Elijah Qualls to the NFL. The future of the Washington defensive line appears to be uncertain. However, The Washington offensive line remains intact and with returning quarterback Jake Browning the Huskies can easily make it back into the playoffs.


The Oregon Ducks appear to be poised to rise up toward the championship due to the change in coaching staff. The Ducks have the advantage of Justin Herbert’s experience paired with a maturing offensive line that is sure to make Oregon a great turnaround team for the upcoming championship. Jim Leavitt’s linebacker coaching gig with the San Francisco 49ers leaves him well poised to provide Oregon with the best in defensive line in the conference. Plus, the addition of Wille Taggart as head coach is shaping up to make Oregon’s potential ascent towards the championship quite interesting.


Colorado is in a unique position to raise in the ranks for a potential spot in the championship, the Buffaloes move to expand on offense due to freshman Steven Montez arm strength should help compensate for the departure of senior Sefo Liufau. Montez’s experience and fresh battle tested energy is setting up to be a great addition to take the team toward a championship final. But, a strong offensive line isn’t the only thing Colorado will be counting on, defensive performers with immediate impact such as defensive end Chris Mulumba and nose tackle Javier Edwards twill also bring fresh stopping power to the group. Colorado will also benefit from the return of Coach Mike Macintyre who created the circumstances that brought the buffaloes up in the ranks to end 2016 with a 15th place ranking according to the USA today/coaches poll.


UCLA’s chances to enter into the Pac-12 championship are good if improvements are made on the offensive line. But, the team has suffered losses in its defensive line that will need to be replaced. Freshman Darnay Holmes, son of former Buffalo Bill Derrick Holmes could provide a much-needed boost to the team’s offense. He tallied 1,400 yards receiving coupled with 14 touchdowns during his senior season. He’s hoping to carry that success over to Pac-12 play. We like that UCLA has also recruited outstanding pass rusher, Jaelan Phillips to the Bruins. The 6-foot-5 ½ tall Phillips has a high motor and quick skills that Coach Jim Mora may rely on from day one.


The Wildcats appear to have some potential with plenty of good prospects coming on board to help the effective downfield passer, Brandon Dawkins. The Arizona quarterback’s rushing yards per game was ranked fourth in the Pac 12 during 2016. However, Dawkins will need to improve his aerial game if he wants to lead the Wildcats towards a championship. While the team continued to be hampered in 2016 by injuries, Coach Rich Rodriguez has worked steadily to strengthen the team with the addition of defensive coordinator Scott Boone as well as recruiting five new linebackers that could see Arizona sitting pretty for a championship run.


Head Coach David Shaw has recruited a solid group of offensive lineman who could boost the Cardinals championship hopes for the 2017/2018 season. Stanford’s ability to bring in strong football talent has been continually showcased with first-rate All-Americans and draft picks. They have continued to provide strength to its offensive line with great incoming support from tight end recruits Colby Parkinson and Tucker Fisk. The Cardinals have also signed the nation’s top quarterback Davis Mills as well as five-star offensive tackle Foster Sarell which shows Stanford is shaping up to be top contenders for Pac 12 glory.

So, that’s our picks for up-and-coming teams that could go all the way to the 2017/2018 championships. Whoever squares off during the championships match with such a great pack of players and coaching staff this season’s college season is going to be a great one.

2016 Pac-12 Football Predictions

by George Nichols .

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.

#1: Oregon

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.

#2: Stanford

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.

#3: USC

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.

#4: UCLA

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.