2012 PAC-12 South Football Projections

By: Maize_in_Spartyland

 

Now just 11 days from the beginning of college football, its time to unveil the 2012 PAC-12 South Division projections! On Thursday, August 30, a trio of PAC-12 South teams are in action, with the Utah Utes hosting FCS Northern Colorado Bears at 7:15 PM EST, the UCLA Bruins traveling to Houston to take on the Rice Owls at 7:30 PM EST, and Arizona State Sun Devils hosting FCS Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at 10:30 PM EST.

 

The remaining three teams are in action on Saturday, September 1, with the Rocky Mountain Showdown kicking off at 4:00 PM EST – the Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams meet at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver. The USC Trojans open as PAC-12 favorites, hosting the Hawaii Warriors at 7:30 PM EST. The Arizona Wildcats, under new head coach Rich Rodriguez, conclude the PAC-12 South games by hosting the Toledo Rockets at 10:30 PM EST on ESPNU.

 

Projected

Team

Overall

Conference

1

USC

(11-1)

(8-1)

2

Utah

(7-5)

(4-5)

3t

Arizona

(5-7)

(3-6)

3t

UCLA

(5-7)

(3-6)

5

Arizona State

(4-8)

(2-7)

6

Colorado

(4-8)

(1-8)

 

Meet the favorites . . .

 

(1) USC Trojans

Remember, the last two years the Trojans were ineligible for the postseason due to sanctions incurred in the Pete Carroll era. Despite being ineligible and some attrition, the Trojans were 8-5 in Lane Kiffin’s first season and 10-2 in his second. If the Trojans would have been eligible last year, they would have won the PAC-12 South by two games over rival UCLA. The coordinators remain intact for USC, with Kennedy Polamalu as offensive coordinator and Ed Orgeron as defensive coordinator. Lane’s father, Monte, returns for his third season as assistant head coach. USCs toughest road test is arguably Washington – they face Oregon at home. Expect USC to be a national title contender.

 

(2) Utah Utes

Utah’s dominance in the Mountain West was one thing. They had a bit of a learning curve in their first year as BCS conference member, going 4-5 in conference. Much of the struggles last year were due to depth, as injuries played a large role. The Utes have John White back at running back and a pair of quarterbacks with game experience, so that should certainly help. Avoiding Oregon helps as well. The Utes could conceivably be 8-1 in conference play, but like the PAC-12 in general, there are a lot of teams who are bunched in terms of talent.

 

(3) Arizona Wildcats

Arizona has a quality head coach in Rich Rodriguez. Mike Stoops did a good job at building Arizona’s program until he lost control last season, partly due to a brutal opening schedule. Expect Arizona to have a bit of a learning curve though, but not as much as Michigan did under Rodriguez. Unlike Michigan, Arizona has a quarterback who is capable of running his offense – Matt Scott. Arizona is missing numerous pieces on the offensive side. On the defensive side, Jeff Casteel will be there to help. Defense was a huge problem in Ann Arbor, but Rodriguez now has a guy who knows the 3-3-5 defense. Calvin Magee and Rod Smith will be back to help Rodriguez on the offensive side. Arizona does draw Oregon and Stanford on the road, which are likely losses along with USC. Outside of those three games, they are very capable of winning their remaining conference games.

 

What are your thoughts on the PAC-12 South Division projections? Tweet to us @BVTSB.

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  1. Pingback: New Content Added: Week of August 19th « Before Visiting The Sportsbook

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