Is it too early to offer projections for where each Pac-12 Conference football team will end up in 2013? Yes it is, but since we have a long seven months until the season starts, why not offer an early look at where every school might end up in each division. We’ll start here with the South and note: the conference looks deeper than ever before.
1. UCLA Bruins – The coaching and talent will keep them in the running all season and they get Arizona State at the Rose Bowl. That game may be for the division title.
2. Arizona State Sun Devils – Offensively, they will be as good as any team; however, their defense will be key. If they struggle, then they could drop a position or two but if the Sun Devil D holds the line – with a rather light schedule – they could be in the championship game.
3. USC Trojans – Speaking of light schedules, next years slate of games (see related articles) could be their friend in 2013 and if the Trojans can choose the best quarterback to lead them, they’re talented enough to win it all. Otherwise, the men of Troy will knock off some quality teams but lose to others they shouldn’t have.
4. Arizona Wildcats – A home game in mid-season against Utah could decide whether they match last season, which was a comparatively successful year for Rich Rodriguez’s first effort in Tucson.
5. Utah Utes – It’s hard to expect this team to be down another year. Their schedule is relatively tough and they play on the road at Arizona (as stated above) and USC in the middle of the season back-to-back. The Utes probably get to a bowl game but since moving to the big time in 2011 … well, it ain’t what it’s all cracked up to be.
6. Colorado Buffaloes – Once again, they’re in a rebuilding mode with another new head coach in Mike MacIntyre, who directed the San Jose State Spartans to 11 wins and a national ranking in 2012. One more dismal season awaits the Buffaloes, yet they will not end up with double-digit losses.
The South is a crapshoot with the top three teams all very tight and honestly too close to call until at least spring practice. Technically, this would be the Bruins third division title in-a-row, yet they’ve not been to the Rose Bowl Game this century.
If I chose my Trojans to win the South, most would think I’m a typical homer … I didn’t choose them. However, USC has enough talent on defense and at the skill positions to play with anyone and a break or two could give them the title. If the coaching can come around, the USC Trojans could be dangerous.
Best in nation?
Personally, I believe the Pac-12 should be the top conference in the country with every team but one potentially rated nationally in the Top 25 at some point in the 2013 season. The Oregon at Stanford contest in November may be for all the marbles – meaning: the victor will win the North Division, be the home team for the league championship, locked into a BCS bowl and probably set up for the national championship game.
More will be known after the freshman signings in February and then spring practice. Until then, expect any of the five schools other than Colorado as potential 2013 division champs.
Sources – FBS Schedules, Pac-12 Conference
2013 USC Trojans Football Schedule Preview
Jadeveon Clowney is a Future NFL Great
USC Trojans 2012 Losses Lead to Lost Recruits
Alabama Makes Mockery of Notre Dame and Poll System in Championship Rout
Daryle lived in Los Angeles Ca. most of his life and has been a longtime fan of USC and the Pac-12, having closely followed the Trojans since he was just a youngster. Fight On!