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!
(AP) Jonathan Martin has had Jim Harbaugh's support all along, from his early college days at Stanford to the offensive tackle's tumultuous year in which he accused a Dolphins teammate of bullying, and even in a formal NFL investigation into the situation in Miami. More.