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2022 Pac-12 Conference Football Preview





Predicted Order of Finish-



North Division-


1. Oregon State- HC Jonathan Smith has the Beavers offense rolling scoring over 40 points 4 times in 2021 and with junior QB Chance Nolan as well as 4 offensive linemen returning it should continue this season, the first half of the schedule is a bear with non-conference matchups against Boise State, Fresno State, and FCS runner up Montana State


2. Oregon- new HC and former Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning inherits a talented roster with 14 combined returning starters on both sides of the ball, however, the Ducks must replace almost the entire secondary on defense and offensively Travis Dye and Anthony Brown, the top 2 rushers from 2021, have also moved on


3. Stanford- with 9 returning starters on offense that includes junior Tanner McKee who passed for 2,327 yards and 15 TD’s last year the Cardinal are poised to end their 3-year postseason drought, the defense has switched to 4 man front after finishing 127th in rush yards allowed but it may not matter with a depth chart lacking both depth and talent on the front 7


4. California- you can count on a stingy defense under HC Justin Wilcox and offensively the Bears have a solid combo at RB in junior Damien Moore and freshman Jadyn Ott, QB Chase Garbers must be replaced after being the starter for most of his 4-year career and only sophomore Jeremiah Hunter has experience at receiver


5. Washington State- HC Jake Dickert did an admirable job following the Nick Rolovich midseason fiasco leading the Cougars to an Apple Cup victory and berth in the Sun Bowl, the offense must replace leading rusher Max Borghi (880 yards, 12 TD’s) and question marks remain on the offensive line which struggled last year


6. Washington- rising young HC Kalen DeBoer, who boasts a 79-9 career record at both Fresno State and Sioux Falls (NAIA), looks to right the ship after a forgettable year and a half under the previous staff, the defensive depth chart is littered with new faces and can Indiana junior transfer QB Michael Penix Jr. finally regain his form following a torn ACL in 2020



South Division-


1. Utah- led by All-Pac 12 junior QB Cameron Rising and a whole host of talented playmakers on offense the Utes have their sights set not only on a repeat conference title but a potential berth into the College Football Playoff, the defense must fill some big holes after losing LB’s Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell to the NFL


2. USC- new HC Lincoln Riley, who averaged 11 wins in 5 seasons at Oklahoma, looks to restore the shine on a program that has fallen off the national stage in recent years, bringing Oklahoma sophomore transfer QB Caleb Williams along with should help Riley and the offense make the transition, but with so much roster turnover on both sides of the ball it may be wise for Trojans fans to tone down expectations in 2022


3. UCLA- fifth year senior QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and senior RB Zach Charbonnet are back after combining for 43 TD’s and over 4,100 yards last season, new defensive coordinator Bill McGovern must rely on a bevy of transfers following massive roster turnover in the offseason


4. Arizona State- Herm Edwards continues to silence the critics producing winning records in all three full seasons as HC, the Sun Devils lost an alarming number of players to the transfer portal and projected starting Florida senior transfer QB Emory Jones must cut down on the 13 INT’s from a year ago


5. Colorado- the defensive line is both talented and experienced and senior Baylor transfer WR R.J. Sneed should provide a boost to the passing game on offense, after a surprise 4-0 start in 2020 the Buffaloes have dropped 10 out of their last 14 and will face a challenging non-conference slate that features road games at Air Force and Minnesota


6. Arizona- sophomore transfer QB Jayden de Laura earned Pac 12 Freshman of the Year honors at after passing for 2,789 yards and 23 TD’s last year while at Washington State, the defense gave up its fair share of points in 2021 and will be breaking in new coordinator Johnny Nansen after Don Brown was named HC at UMass



Buy- Stanford


Sell- Arizona State


Best Bet- Stanford OVER total wins


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