Going into the summer, welcome to the post-spring football rankings for all the Pac-12 teams.
Based on how good the teams appear to be after spring ball, welcome to the Pac-12 post-spring football rankings. The 2015 record is next to each team.
12. Oregon State
Will the zone-read offense head coach Gary Andersen loves really start to work? How good can the defense be after a horrific year? Andersen is too good and his coaching staff too strong not to make the Beavers the thorn in the Pac-12’s side, and with 17 starters returning overall, they just might be a factor.
Is this the season when Colorado finally starts to produce and be a factor? The experience is in place, especially on offense with ten starters back. The veterans couldn’t come through in the second part of last year, but now the Buffs have to be more explosive and have to be able to consistently keep up the pace.
Is the system strong enough and the coaching staff good enough to overcome the loss of Jared Goff? The passing game will still work and the offense will have its moments, but the heavy-lifting will likely be done by a defense that gets back almost everyone.
9. Arizona State
Can the Sun Devils overcome the massive personnel losses? The secondary was a disaster last season, and now it’s starting from scratch. The offense will always be terrific, but the stars of last year are done – just four starters are back. It’s a true rebuilding campaign.
You know what you’re about to see. The experienced offense will be outstanding with lots of home runs and lots of big numbers with nine returning starters, but the Scooby Wright-less defense is going to struggle. Get ready for games with the team with the ball last getting the win.
7. Washington State
After a breakthrough season, the offense should continue to be fantastic with Luke Falk growing into a stronger pro prospect quarterback. The D will be more than just an afterthought, but it’ll hardly be a rock – the offense will have to bomb its way to wins.
Can the Utes get over the loss of RB Deontae Booker? Can they find a steady quarterback? Enough parts are there offensively to be solid, and the defense is always going to be fantastic under this coaching staff, but it’s going to be a step-back season.
This should be the bounceback year after having to rebuild, and it should be Chris Petersen’s best campaign yet with the Huskies. The defense is going to be outstanding, and just about everyone of note is back on offense. It’s going to be a very, very dangerous team in the Pac-12 race.
The Cardinal are getting the benefit of the doubt that they’re going to rebuild in a hurry after losing way, way too much talent on both sides of the ball. The defending Pac-12 champs will be solid again, but it’s going to be a fight to stay in the title hunt.
It’ll be tempting to blow off the Trojans after losing QB Cody Kessler and coming off a disappointing season, but the coaching situation is settled and the talent is in place to expect a far better season now that there won’t be so much drama.
It’s all about the quarterback situation going into fall camp with Dakota Prukop coming in from Montana State to battle with Travis Jonsen – Prukop has the experience. The offense will mostly work around RB Royce Freeman early on, but the receivers are there to explode. It’ll have to with DeForest Buckner and six starters gone from the defensive front seven.
Josh Rosen isn’t just a new, fun freshman anymore – he’s a veteran quarterback who could turn into enough of a difference-maker to overcome the loss of RB Paul Perkins, his main receivers, and a few key linemen. The defense should pick up the slack early on led by a terrific back eight that returns everyone. This is where the good recruiting classes under Jim Mora Jr. start to kick in.