It’s hard to imagine opening weekend of the PAC 12 kicks off tonight. Here’s a quick synopsis of how I see some of the PAC rolling out this season:
USC: I’m starting with the obvious – the triple threat returns this year with Barkley, Woods, and Marqise Lee on their quest to a National Title. This offense averaged 457 yards per game last season; Barkley set the PAC 12 record with 39 TD passes last season, and they have 19 returning starters. They are the team to beat . . . end of story. The Warriors are not going to enjoy their trip to the mainland this weekend.
Matt Barkley - AP Photo
Oregon: Fresh off a 45-38 win over the Badgers and a 12-2 season, Oregon looks strong heading into the season. My prediction is SC and Oregon will battle it out at the end for the PAC title. Die-hard Duck fans don’t seem too excited about Arkansas State since Groupon was offering a 2 ticket package deal this week for the season opener; maybe because it’s a team from the Sun Belt Conference. I’ll give kudos to the Red Wolves for a perfect 8-0 conference record last season, but they are about to experience second half speed snaps at Autzen Stadium – something few teams have been able to survive the past few years.
De'Anthony Thomas - AP Photo
Washington State: Exit Paul Wulff - Enter Mike Leach. Things are going to get interesting the next few years in the Palouse. I watched what he did at Texas Tech, and I can’t wait to see what he can do with this program. 18 return to the starting lineup this season. I struggled with this first week pic; if it was in Pullman I think the Cougs could pull out a win. The Cougs will be fun to watch this season as Leach starts to build a team that could be a serious contender in the 2014 season.
Week 1 Chick Picks
9 Starting QB’s Returning; 4 New Head Coaches; 2 PAC Teams in the Top 10, and 1 PAC 12 Championship Game – and a 3 day weekend to kick it off!