Seven teams in the PAC-12 are bowl eligible: Arizona State, California, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Utah, and Washington. USC is ineligible because of NCAA/self-imposed sanctions; had they have been eligible, USC would not only be bowl eligible, but also would have won the PAC-12 South. Colorado and Washington State were status quo, as both were projected to be at the bottom of their divisions. Oregon State and Arizona both struggled at the beginning of the season and couldn’t make up for it at the end, despite their, relatively, strong finishes. UCLA is eligible based on an NCAA waiver, since they won the PAC-12 South.
It’s time to look at the fourth quarter of the season report card for PAC-12 teams; the regular season is over, heading into the bowl season. The report card will factor in each team’s success (or lack thereof) offensively and defensively, while keeping their win-loss record in mind. In the event a team is playing in a bowl game, it will be noted.
Note: No predictions were done for the conference title.
Arizona – Projected Record: (7-5); Actual Record: (4-8)
Total Offense: 465.25 yards/game; 16th.
Run Offense: 94.50 yards/game; 113th. Pass Offense: 370.80 yards/game; 3rd.
Total Defense: 460.50 yards/game; 110th.
Run Defense: 161.58 yards/game; 66th. Pass Defense: 298.92 yards/game; 119th.
Notes: Arizona had their worst record since 2005, when the Wildcats went 3-8. A 1-5 start ultimately cost Coach Mike Stoops his job. Interim Coach Tim Kish went 3-3 down the stretch, including destroying PAC-12 South Champion UCLA. QB Nick Foles (4334 passing yards, 69.1% completion, and 28 passing TDs), WRs David Douglas (666 receiving yards, 10.2/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) and Juron Criner (956 receiving yards, 12.7/catch, and 11 receiving TDs), and RBs Keola Antolin (568 rushing yards, 4.5/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) and Ka’Deem Carey (425 rushing yards, 4.7/carry, and 6 rushing TDs) have been bright spots for the otherwise disappointing Wildcats. Next season, Rich Rodriguez takes over in Tucson. Coach Rodriguez was the head-man at West Virginia and Michigan before arriving in the desert with his run-based spread offense. For a team that has struggled in recruiting, largely due to facilities, the hire should help to bring in recruits, but Greg Byrne needs to upgrade the facilities, too. In addition to the nine game conference schedule, Arizona plays Toledo, Oklahoma State, and South Carolina State next season. Five of the nine conference games will be played at home. With home games against Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State, and UCLA and Utah on the road, Arizona has a good shot at returning to a bowl game next season.
Wins: Northern Arizona (41-10); UCLA* (48-12); @ Arizona State* (31-27); Louisiana-Lafayette (45-37).
Losses: @ #9 Oklahoma State (14-37); #6 Stanford* (10-37); #10 Oregon* (31-56); @ USC* (41-48); @ Oregon State* (27-37); @ Washington* (31-42); Utah* (21-34); @ Colorado* (29-48).
Current Grade: D+.
Arizona State – Projected Record: (8-4); Actual Record: (6-6)
Total Offense: 450.92 yards/game; 26th.
Run Offense: 140.75 yards/game; 78th. Pass Offense: 310.20 yards/game; 11th.
Total Defense: 418.92 yards/game; 88th.
Run Defense: 148.00 yards/game; 59th. Pass Defense: 270.92 yards/game; 107th.
Notes: The Sun Devils started off 5-1 (3-0 in PAC-12) before the bottom fell out. Arizona State went 1-5 down the stretch, squandering a PAC 12-South lead and ultimately costing Dennis Erickson his job. Arizona State will draw Boise State in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl. Over the last six games, Arizona State was outscored an average of 33-29. Brock Osweiler (3441 passing yards, 63.1% completion, 24 passing TDs, but 12 INTs), RB Cameron Marshall (1038 rushing yards, 4.7/carry, and 18 rushing TDs), WR Gerell Robinson (1156 receiving yards, 18.1/catch, and 6 receiving TDs), and WR Aaron Pflugrad (620 receiving yards, 15.5/catch, and 5 receiving TDs) have led Arizona State offensively. Arizona State has hired SMU Head Coach June Jones as their replacement. Arizona State was in the top quarter of the PAC-12 in recruiting in 2009, but in the bottom quarter the past two seasons. With USC on probation this year, it was thought it was Arizona State’s best chance at winning the South Division. The Sun Devils will have one chance to add to their win total.
Wins: UC Davis (48-14); #21 Missouri (37-30 OT); #23 USC* (43-22); Oregon State* (35-20); @ Utah* (35-14); Colorado* (48-14).
Losses: @ Illinois (14-17); @ #9 Oregon* (27-41); @ UCLA* (28-29); @ Washington State* (27-37); Arizona* (27-31); California* (38-47).
Current Grade: C-.
California – Projected Record: (6-6); Actual Record: (7-5)
Total Offense: 418.67 yards/game; 37th.
Run Offense: 167.17 yards/game; 48th. Pass Offense: 263.70 yards/game; 38th.
Total Defense: 339.42 yards/game; 26th.
Run Defense: 130.33 yards/game; 37th. Pass Defense: 209.08 yards/game; 43rd.
Notes: California is in their ninth bowl game in ten years now. After a hot start, at 3-0, California lost their next three games, with an average MOD of 19. California finished the season with a 4-2 record down the stretch, with an average score of 29-20, favoring Cal. Despite the 7-5 record, the Golden Bears only defeated two bowl teams, Arizona State and Utah, which are a combined 13-11. California will meet Texas in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. QB Zach Maynard (2802 passing yards, 57.0% completion, 17 passing TDs, but 11 INTs), WRs Keenan Allen (1261 receiving yards, 14.2/catch, and 6 receiving TDs), and Marvin Jones (758 receiving yards, 14.0/catch, and 3 receiving TDs), and RB Isi Sofele (1270 rushing yards, 5.5/carry, and 9 rushing TDs) led the Golden Bears offensively. California has had excellent recruiting classes the last two seasons, picking up two-5 stars in 2010: WR Keenan Allen (recruited as a DB) and DE Chris Martin. Last season, the Golden Bears picked up ten-4 star players, including RB Brendan Bigelow. California welcomes in Nevada and makes a trip to Columbus next year, with a non-conference game yet to be determined. California has a lot of winnable conference road games: Oregon State, Utah, and Washington State; they also face Stanford and Oregon at home. California should exceed 7 wins next year.
Wins: Fresno State (36-21); @ Colorado (36-33 OT); Presbyterian (63-12); Utah* (34-10); Washington State* (30-7); Oregon State* (23-6); @ Arizona State* (47-38).
Losses: @ Washington* (23-31); @ #9 Oregon* (15-43); USC* (9-30); @ UCLA* (14-31); @ #9 Stanford* (28-31).
Current Grade: B-.
Colorado – Projected Record: (1-12); Actual Record: (3-10)
Total Offense: 346.31 yards/game; 92nd.
Run Offense: 108.69 yards/game; 106th. Pass Offense: 237.60 yards/game; 54th.
Total Defense: 439.31 yards/game; 103rd.
Run Defense: 183.92 yards/game; 89th. Pass Defense: 255.38 yards/game; 97th.
Notes: Colorado has won only three games in a season for the second time in three years. The Buffs haven’t made a bowl game since 2007. Despite the struggles this year, Colorado finished the season on a high note, winning two of their last three games, avoiding finishing in last place in the PAC-12 South. A win over rival Colorado State made the season a bit more bearable. QB Tyler Hansen (2883 passing yards, 56.1% completion, 20 passing TDs, but 11 INTs) and WRs Paul Richardson (555 receiving yards, 14.2/catch, and 5 receiving TDs) and Toney Clemons (680 receiving yards, 15.8/catch, and 8 receiving TDs), and RB Rodney Stewart (1425 total yards, 4.5/carry, and 4 rushing TDs) have led Colorado offensively. Unfortunately for Colorado, Hansen, Clemons, and Stewart are all seniors. Colorado was last in recruiting in the PAC-12 last season and second to last in 2010. Coach Jon Embree, in his first year at his alma mater, will need to bring in some recruits to compete with Arizona, Arizona State, and UCLA, all of which will have new coaches next season. The Buffaloes will open with rival Colorado State next season, in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. They will also play an FCS opponent and at Fresno State. Home games against Arizona State, UCLA, and Utah are winnable, while road games against Arizona and Washington State are possible wins. Colorado should improve on this season’s win total, but is probably a season away from bowl eligibility.
Wins: vs. Colorado State (28-14); Arizona* (48-29); @ Utah* (17-14).
Losses: @ Hawaii (17-34); California (33-36 OT); @ Ohio State (17-37); Washington State* (27-31); @ #7 Stanford* (7-48); @ Washington* (24-52); #10 Oregon* (2-45); @ #21 Arizona State* (14-48); #21 USC* (17-42); @ UCLA* (6-45).
Current Grade: D-.
Oregon – Projected Record: (11-1); Actual Record: (11-2)
Total Offense: 515.23 yards/game; 6th.
Run Offense: 295.69 yards/game; 5th. Pass Offense: 219.50 yards/game; 68th.
Total Defense: 381.00 yards/game; 60th.
Run Defense: 137.46 yards/game; 46th. Pass Defense: 243.54 yards/game; 82nd.
Notes: Oregon has won ten or more games for the fourth straight season; the first time in Oregon history. Oregon will be making their third straight BCS bowl appearance; their second appearance in three years in the Rose Bowl. Oregon will face Wisconsin, winners of the Big Ten Championship. QB Darron Thomas (2493 passing yards, 61.4% completion, and 20 passing TDs), RBs LaMichael James (1646 rushing yards, 7.4/carry, and 17 rushing TDs) and Kenjon Barner (909 rushing yards, 6.3/carry, and 11 rushing TDs), WR/RB De’Anthony Thomas (1011 total yards, 13.6/catch, 14 total TDs), and WR Lavasier Tuniei (441 receiving yards, 11.0/catch, and 8 receiving TDs) have led the Ducks offensively. Since 2009, Oregon has been at least in the top half of recruiting in the PAC-12, if not the top quarter. In 2010, Oregon picked up five-star RB Lache Seastrunk; they picked up two-5 star recruits in 2011: ATH De’Anthony Thomas and ATH Colt Lyeria. So far, for 2012, Oregon has verbal commitments from ten-4 stars, including RB Byron Marshall and QB Jake Rodrigues. Oregon’s non-conference schedule is fairly soft next season, playing Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech. The Ducks do draw five road games, of which, USC is the most troublesome. Outside of home games against Stanford and Washington, there should be no trouble, and Stanford will, presumably, lose QB Andrew Luck. Oregon should be able to match their 10 win regular season win total, next season.
Wins: Nevada (69-20); Missouri State (56-7); @ Arizona* (56-31); California* (43-15); #18 Arizona State* (41-27); @ Colorado* (45-2); Washington State* (43-28); @ Washington* (34-17); @ #4 Stanford* (53-30); Oregon State* (49-21); UCLA* (49-31).
Losses: vs. #4 LSU (27-40); USC* (35-38).
Current Grade: A.
Oregon State – Projected Record: (6-6); Actual Record: (3-9)
Total Offense: 373.67 yards/game; 77th.
Run Offense: 86.92 yards/game; 118th. Pass Offense: 286.80 yards/game; 19th.
Total Defense: 411.25 yards/game; 83rd.
Run Defense: 196.83 yards/game; 101st. Pass Defense: 214.42 yards/game; 49th.
Notes: Oregon State is bowl ineligible for the first time in back-to-back years since 1997-1998. Oregon State started the season 0-4, finishing 3-5, with all three wins coming in PAC-12 play. Oregon State did play tough opponents in Wisconsin and Brigham Young in non-conference play, but got the season off to a bad start with a home loss to FCS Sacramento State. QB Sean Mannion (3328 passing yards, 64.5% completion, 16 passing TDs, but 18 INTs), WRs Markus Wheaton (986 receiving yards, 13.5/catch, and 1 receiving TD) and James Rodgers (514 receiving yards, 11.4/catch, and 3 receiving TDs), and RB Malcolm Agnew (423 rushing yards, 4.8/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) led the Beaver offense. Over the past few years, Oregon State has been in the bottom third in the PAC-12 in recruiting. Coach Mike Riley was riddled with injuries this season; certainly unfortunate for a team that had a lot of potential. Oregon State hosts Nicholls State and Wisconsin to open the season, before hitting the conference schedule for three weeks. They wrap up the non-conference slate with a visit to Brigham Young in October. Oregon State has the benefit of playing five PAC-12 home games next season, with winnable games against Arizona State, California, Utah, and Washington State. Oregon State also has potential wins against Arizona and UCLA on the road. Oregon State should improve upon their three wins this season, next season.
Wins: Arizona* (37-27); @ Washington State* (44-21); Washington* (38-21).
Losses: Sacramento State (28-29 OT); @ Wisconsin (0-35); UCLA* (19-27); @ Arizona State* (20-35); BYU (28-38); @ Utah* (8-27); #4 Stanford* (13-38); @ California* (6-23); @ #10 Oregon* (21-49).
Current Grade: D-.
Stanford – Projected Record: (10-2); Actual Record: (11-1)
Total Offense: 480.92 yards/game; 11th.
Run Offense: 207.92 yards/game; 22nd. Pass Offense: 273.00 yards/game; 26th.
Total Defense: 331.42 yards/game; 25th.
Run Defense: 90.33 yards/game; 5th. Pass Defense: 241.08 yards/game; 78th.
Notes: Stanford’s national title hopes were dashed with a crushing home loss to Oregon. Despite the loss, Stanford was in great position to make their second straight BCS bowl game. Stanford went on to defeat rivals California and Notre Dame in Palo Alto and earned a bid to the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State. The Cardinal have been led by presumptive number 1 pick QB Andrew Luck (3170 passing yards, 70.0% completion, and 35 passing TDs), TE Coby Fleener (648 receiving yards, 20.3/catch, and 10 receiving TDs), RB Stepfan Taylor (1153 rushing yards, 5.6/carry, and 8 rushing TDs), and WR Griff Whalen (664 receiving yards, 13.6/catch, and 4 receiving TDs). Stanford has been in the top half of the recruiting rankings of the PAC-12, in recent years. They landed seven-4 star recruits for their 2011 class, including WR Ty Montgomery, OL Brendon Austin, LB James Vaughters, and RBs Remound Wright and Kelsey Young. Stanford has six-4 star recruits verbally committed for 2012, including WR Kodi Whitfield. Stanford has non-conference games against San Jose State, Duke, and at Notre Dame next season. The Cardinal play five conference road games next season, including California, Oregon, and Washington. They play USC at home. Stanford will be hard pressed to meet their regular season win total from 2011, in 2012.
Wins: San Jose State (57-3); @ Duke (44-14); @ Arizona* (37-10); UCLA* (45-19); Colorado* (48-7); @ Washington State* (44-14); #25 Washington* (65-21); @ #20 USC* (56-48 3OT); @ Oregon State* (38-13); California* (31-28); #22 Notre Dame (28-14).
Losses: #7 Oregon* (30-53).
Current Grade: A.
UCLA – Projected Record: (6-6); Actual Record: (6-7)
Total Offense: 388.77 yards/game; 62nd.
Run Offense: 190.69 yards/game; 30th. Pass Offense: 198.10 yards/game; 81st.
Total Defense: 424.15 yards/game; 91st.
Run Defense: 191.54 yards/game; 96th. Pass Defense: 232.62 yards/game; 68th.
Notes: UCLA saw Arizona State crumble and seized upon the opportunity, winning the PAC-12 South. UCLA has had a losing season in four of their last five seasons, including this year. The Bruins put up a good effort in Eugene, but were easily outmatched by Oregon, 49-31. Lucky for the Bruins, the NCAA granted them a waiver to appear in a bowl game despite their losing record. UCLA will face Illinois, in a matchup of a disappointments, in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. QB Kevin Prince (1627 passing yards, 57.4% completion, 10 passing TDs, but 7 INTs), RBs Johnathan Franklin (947 rushing yards, 6.0/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) and Derrick Coleman (726 rushing yards, 5.1/carry, and 11 rushing TDs), and WR Nelson Rosario (1106 receiving yards, 18.1/catch, and 4 receiving TDs), and TE Joseph Fauria (445 receiving yards, 13.1/catch, and 6 receiving TDs) have paced the Bruins offensively. Outside of this past season, UCLA has been in the top half in terms of recruiting in the PAC-12. In 2010, UCLA pulled in one-5 star recruit (DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa) and twelve-4 stars, including RB Jordon James and OL Kody Innes. For the 2012 class, to date, UCLA has verbal commitments from three-4 star recruits, DE Morgan Breslin, LB Aaron Porter, and OL Lacy Westbrook. UCLA opens at Rice, and home to Nebraska and Houston. UCLA plays five PAC-12 road games next season, with winnable games against Arizona State, Colorado, and Washington State. UCLA will host Arizona, Oregon State, and Utah. With the talent the Bruins have, they are more than capable of exceeding this year’s win total. With that said, the non-conference slate is tough, and the most winnable conference games are on the road. UCLA will be hard pressed to exceed six wins next year, and may find it tough to be bowl eligible in the 2012 season.
Wins: San Jose State (27-17); @ Oregon State* (27-19); Washington State* (28-25); California* (31-14); #19 Arizona State* (29-28); Colorado* (45-6).
Losses: @ Houston (34-38); #23 Texas (20-49); @ #6 Stanford* (19-45); @ Arizona* (12-48); @ Utah* (6-31); @ USC* (0-50); @ #9 Oregon (31-49).
Current Grade: C-.
USC – Projected Record: (10-2); Actual Record: (10-2)
Total Offense: 456.75 yards/game; 22th.
Run Offense: 162.58 yards/game; 57th. Pass Offense: 294.20 yards/game; 15th.
Total Defense: 374.75 yards/game; 54th.
Run Defense: 111.42 yards/game; 19th. Pass Defense: 263.33 yards/game; 101st.
Notes: USC was not eligible for the PAC-12 Championship due to NCAA probation; if they would have been eligible, they would have clearly won the PAC-12 South. USC upset Notre Dame in South Bend, defeated Oregon at Auzten Stadium, and smashed crosstown rival UCLA to end the season. USC ended the season on a four game win streak, with three of the four wins by at least three touchdowns. RBs Marc Tyler (568 rushing yards, 4.7/carry, and 4 rushing TDs) and Curtis McNeal (1005 rushing yards, 6.9/carry, and 6 rushing TDs) led the Trojans ground game. QB Matt Barkley (3528 receiving yards, 69.1% completion, and 39 passing TDs), WR Robert Woods (1292 receiving yards, 11.6/catch, and 15 receiving TDs) and WR Marqise Lee (1143 receiving yards, 15.7/catch, and 11 receiving TDs) led USC through the air. USC last was home for the holidays in 2000, by virtue of a 5-7 record. USC won at least ten games for the eighth time in the last ten years. In 2011, Coach Lane Kiffin signed one-5 star (WR George Farmer) and fourteen-4 star (WR Victor Blackwell, RB Amir Carlisle, QB Cody Keller, WR Marqise Lee, and QB Max Wittek) recruits. Kiffin has eight-4 star recruits (TE Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, WR Darreus Rogers, RB Kelvin York, and ATH Jaydon Mickens) and one-5 star recruit (OL Jordan Simmons) verbally committed for 2012. USC plays Hawaii, Syracuse (at East Rutherford, NJ), and Notre Dame in the non-conference slate; USC plays five PAC-12 road games, with Stanford and Washington presenting the toughest tests. The Trojans host California and Oregon in their toughest home games. If Matt Barkley returns, USC will be the hands down favorite to win not only the South Division, but the PAC-12 Championship. Assuming he leaves, the Trojans will find it a bit tougher, but USC is capable of matching their ten win season again.
Wins: Minnesota (19-17); Utah* (23-14); Syracuse (38-17); Arizona* (48-41); @ California* (30-9); @ Notre Dame (31-17); @ Colorado* (42-17); Washington* (40-17); @ #4 Oregon* (38-35); UCLA* (50-0).
Losses: @ Arizona State* (22-43); #6 Stanford* (48-56 3OT).
Current Grade: A.
Utah – Projected Record: (7-5); Actual Record: (7-5)
Total Offense: 308.67 yards/game; 110th.
Run Offense: 137.08 yards/game; 82nd. Pass Offense: 171.60 yards/game; 99th.
Total Defense: 342.75 yards/game; 29th.
Run Defense: 97.00 yards/game; 7th. Pass Defense: 245.75 yards/game; 89th.
Notes: Utah’s streak of double-digit win seasons came to an end this year, after compiling a record of 33-6 over the past three seasons. The success of the Utah football program coupled with the Salt Lake City media market made Utah an attractive candidate for the PAC-12. Utah struggled in their first season in the PAC-12, largely due to injuries. Despite their struggles, Utah could have been the PAC-12 South representative in the PAC-12 Championship game, but lost, at home, to Colorado. Utah accepted an invite to play in the Hyundai Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech. QB Jon Hays (1266 passing yards, 57.4% completion, 9 passing TDs, but 7 INTs), RB John White IV (1404 rushing yards, 4.8/carry, and 14 rushing TDs) and WRs DeVonte Christopher (589 receiving yards, 15.5/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) and Dres Anderson (355 receiving yards, 15.4/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) led Utah. Utah was in the middle of the PAC-12 in recruiting last season, pulling in two-4 star recruits, RB Harvey Langi and DB Keith McGill. For 2012, Utah ranks near the bottom of the PAC-12 in recruiting, largely due to the low number of verbal recruits; they do have two-4 star recruits: ATH Chase Hansen and DB Justin Thomas. The Utes open with games against Washington State (conference game), at Utah State, and Brigham Young; they still need to add one non-conference game. Utah plays five PAC-12 games on the road, with winnable games at Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State, and UCLA. Besides Washington State, the Utes host Arizona and California in winnable games. Utah will likely be close behind USC as the favorite to win the PAC-12 South in 2012; USC plays both Stanford and Oregon in 2012, while Utah will avoid both. Expect Utah to top seven wins, next season.
Wins: Montana State (27-10); BYU (54-10); Pittsburgh (26-14); Oregon State* (27-8); @ Arizona* (34-21); UCLA* (31-6); @ Washington State* (30-27 OT).
Losses: @ USC* (14-23); Washington* (14-31); #22 Arizona State* (14-35); @ California* (10-34); Colorado* (14-17).
Current Grade: C+.
Washington – Projected Record: (6-6); Actual Record: (7-5)
Total Offense: 392.33 yards/game; 57th.
Run Offense: 163.89 yards/game; 67th. Pass Offense: 240.30 yards/game; 51st.
Total Defense: 426.33 yards/game; 94th.
Run Defense: 142.58 yards/game; 54th. Pass Defense: 283.75 yards/game; 116th.
Notes: Washington has now made bowl games in back-to-back years for the first time since 2001-2002 under then-Coach Rick Neuheisel. Stanford and Oregon were the picks to win the PAC-12 North, so Washington expected to finish a distant third in the division, living up to expectations. QB Keith Price (2625 passing yards, 67.4% completion, 29 passing TDs, but 11 INTs), RB Chris Polk (1341, 5.1/carry, and 11 rushing TDs), WRs Devin Aguilar (521 receiving yards, 14.5/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) and Jermaine Kearse (501 receiving yards, 11.9/catch, and 6 receiving TDs), and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (479 receiving yards, 13.3/catch, and 6 receiving TDs) led the Huskies. Washington loses their top two WRs, Aguilar and Kearse, to graduation; Polk may elect to go pro, so Coach Steve Sarkisian may have a little bit of a rebuilding job ahead of him. Washington was in the top half of the PAC-12 in recruiting the past two seasons, picking up five-4 stars the past two seasons – RB Bishop Sankey, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and WR Kasen Williams were part of the 2011 class. Washington has verbal commits from two-4 stars for their 2012 class: QB Jeff Lindquist and QB Cyler Miles. Washington’s non-conference schedule next year is tough, opening with San Diego State, at LSU, and Portland State. Washington also plays five PAC-12 road games, including California and Oregon. Washington will host Stanford and USC. Expect Washington to get to seven wins against next year, possibly eight.
Wins: Eastern Washington (30-27); Hawaii (40-32); California* (31-23); @ Utah* (31-14); Colorado* (52-24); Arizona* (42-31); Washington State* (38-21).
Losses: @ #11 Nebraska (38-51); @ #8 Stanford* (21-65); #8 Oregon* (17-34); @ USC* (17-40); @ Oregon State* (21-38).
Current Grade: C+.
Washington State – Projected Record: (3-9); Actual Record: (4-8)
Total Offense: 422.42 yards/game; 36th.
Run Offense: 100.17 yards/game; 111th. Pass Offense: 322.30 yards/game; 9th.
Total Defense: 409.58 yards/game; 81st.
Run Defense: 157.17 yards/game; 62nd. Pass Defense: 252.42 yards/game; 95th.
Notes: In Coach Paul Wulff’s first year, the Cougars won one game. They have improved each year since then. Unfortunately, three wins in one season by the third season wasn’t the progress that was expected and Wulff was shown the door. One day later, Mike Leach was introduced as the head-man in Pullman. He’ll bring his high powered, and exciting, offense to a division already with two high-octane offenses – Stanford and Oregon. WRs Marquess Wilson (1388 receiving yards, 16.9/catch, and 12 receiving TDs) and Jared Karstetter (700 receiving yards, 11.7/catch, and 6 receiving TDs), QB Marshall Lobbestael (2584 passing yards, 61.0% completion, 19 passing TDs, but 8 INTs), and RBs Rickey Galvin (602 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) and Carl Winston (442 rushing yards, 3.6/carry, and 4 rushing TDs) have led the Cougs. Washington State has been at or near the bottom in the PAC-12 in recruiting for some time now. With the hire of Coach Mike Leach, expect some immediate infusion in talent, but the results may take some time. Washington State opens with a conference game, Utah, before picking up Eastern Washington and at UNLV. The Cougs will play Brigham Young during the season to complete the non-conference slate. Washington State has five conference home games next year, including winnable games against California, Colorado, and UCLA. They play winnable road games against Arizona State, Oregon State, and Utah. Washington State can exceed their three game win total, but expecting big strides towards bowl eligibility may be too much to ask, especially for a program that hasn’t made a bowl game since 2003.
Wins: Idaho State (64-21); UNLV (59-7); @ Colorado* (31-27); Arizona State* (37-27).
Losses: @ San Diego State (24-42); @ UCLA* (25-28); #7 Stanford* (14-44); Oregon State* (21-44); @ #7 Oregon* (28-43); @ California* (7-30); Utah* (27-30 OT); @ Washington* (21-38).
Current Grade: D.