Three Sentence College Football Team Previews: Pac-12

Three Sentence College Football Team Previews: Pac-12

Washington State

Three Sentence College Football Team Previews: Pac-12

Three Sentence College Football Team Previews: Pac-12


Quick three sentence previews giving you what you absolutely need to know about every Pac-12 team going into the 2017 season. 


2017 Pac-12 Previews: Quick Version

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CFN 2017 College Football Preview

Here’s what you absolutely you need to know about every team – previewing the Pac-12 here – in three sentences, with links to the full-blown team previews if you’d like to dive in further.

CFN Preview 2017: All 130 Team Previews
Pac-12 Team Rankings
Pac-12 Schedules & Predictions
Pac-12 Bowl Projections
2017 CFN Pac-12 Preview: The Good & The Bad 
2017 CFN All-Pac-12 Team & Top 30 Players

Pac-12 North

California Golden Bears

– Getting former Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin to handle the offense was a stroke of genius by new head man Justin Wilcox, and now expect a versatile attack that’ll show more looks and styles.

– Wilcox comes in after handling Wisconsin’s great defense, and former Fresno State head man Tim DeRuyter knows what he’s doing, but now the production has to come with the experience of four top tacklers returning and trying play a more physical style.

– It’s going to take a little while for all the changes and the differences in styles to start working, but the coaching staff is excellent, there’s enough talent to be hopeful, and there’s a bit of a nothing-to-lose aspect to the program in the first season under the new regime.

California Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

Oregon Ducks

– The offense was just fine last season, and it should be fantastic again with more power to go along with the up-tempo Oregon style, helped by the return of RB Royce Freeman and rising superstar QB Justin Herbert.

– The nightmare of a defense is changing to a 3-4 alignment that’s full of experience and loads of speed and athleticism, everyone has to start making more big things happen, and there has to be more production against the run.

– Under new head coach Willie Taggart, there’s no reason to expect anything other than a massive turnaround and be in the mix for the Pac-12 title, but only if the offense is even stronger to make up for the still-shaky defense.

– Oregon Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

Oregon State Beavers

– The offense will resolve around RB Ryan Nall working around a good offensive line, but the attack has to be more explosive and get more from a passing game that has to settle on a steady starting quarterback.

– One of the biggest disappointments under head coach Gary Andersen has been the lack of a solid run defense, but it’s a veteran group returning up front to help out Manase Hungalu and a good-looking group of linebackers.

– It’s a tough season for anyone to break through in the Pac-12 North, but the Beavers are overdue to do something positive under Andersen, needing to at least get to a bowl game.

– Oregon State Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

Stanford Cardinal

– Even without Christian McCaffrey to do a little bit of everything for the offense the Cardinal attack should still be ultra-effective running the ball with Bryce Love grinding it out behind a line with the potential to be among the best in the country – if the young guys rise up and shine right away.

– There’s no Solomon Thomas on the defensive front, but the secondary is special, Harrison Phillips is an all-star NFL-caliber tackle to anchor the line, and the linebackers will dominate against the run.

– It’s a tough year to be amazing in the Pac-12 North, but as long as the quarterback play and the passing game is a bit more efficient and effective, the Cardinal will be in the College Football Playoff hunt until the end.

– Stanford Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

Washington Huskies

– Even without speedster receiver John Ross, the Huskies should be every bit as good offensively, with Jake Browning once again one of the nation’s top quarterbacks, Myles Gaskin one of the Pac-12’s top running backs, and with a good returning line with three starters back.

– As good as the defense was last season, it’ll be every bit as strong even without S Budda Baker, corners Sidney Jones and Kevin King along with tackle Elijah Qualls – nine of the top 11 tacklers are back.

– There’s no reason not to get back to the College Football Playoff with 15 starters back and a good enough schedule to at least get back to the Pac-12 Championship.

– Washington Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

Washington State Cougars

– You can take a wild guess at what the Mike Leach offense is going to do, with QB Luke Falk destined for another gigantic season to go along with a great ground game that’ll carry its share of the load.

– After a solid 2016 season, the defense should be even better with DE Hercules Mata’afa leading a loaded group of hitters – nine of the top ten tacklers are back – that has to overcome a shaky secondary.

– It’s a not-that-bad schedule, it might be the best Wazzu team yet under Leach, and the expectations are there to push for a ten-win season and make more noise in a fantastic Pac-12 North.

– Washington State Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

Pac-12 South

Arizona Wildcats

– While the quarterback battle between Khalil Tate and Brandon Dawkins might be the key to the early part of the season, the running game will carry the load thanks to a dangerous group of backs – if everyone can stay healthy.

Get ready for a potential youth movement for a defense that needs to find something that works after an injury-plagued disaster of a season, but most of the top tacklers are back to go along with a better-looking secondary that’ll be stronger if the pass rush helps the cause.

– While the defense will still have its issues, and there won’t be a big turnaround overnight, there’s too much talent in too good of an offensive scheme to be 2016 bad again.

Arizona Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

Arizona State Sun Devils

– The quarterback call between Manny Wilkins and Alabama transfer Blake Barnett could be one of the biggest keys to the Pac-12 South season, with the winner needing to bomb away like ASU offenses of the past.

– The worst pass defense in the country has to hope for a big instant turnaround under new defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, who’ll try to ramp up more of a pass rush to help the beleaguered, but experienced, secondary.

– It’s a hot seat season for head coach Todd Graham, but he’s got a good enough group of athletes and talents to potentially make up for the issues on the offensive line and the secondary.

– Arizona State Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

Colorado Buffaloes

– Expect even more from a good offense that revolved around RB Phillip Lindsay and should be stronger through the air as long as QB Steven Montez comes up with a consistently good year.

– After a phenomenal year defensively, and even with the return of big-hitting LB Rick Gamboa, there will be a hit thanks to a secondary that has to replace almost all of the key stars and with eight of the top 11 tacklers gone.

– There won’t be a repeat of the 2016 run to the Pac-12 South title, but there’s just enough talent to at least push for a bowl game – even though the schedule looks like a potential bear after an easy start.

– Colorado Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

UCLA Bruins

– For all of the talk and blather over the Josh Rosen comments, he’s still a next-level quarterback with the talent to bomb away for an offense that won’t have any sort of a running game despite the return of four starters up front.

– Even without a few of the key stars from the front seven, the defense will be a major plus thanks to one of the Pac-12’s best secondaries and a good-looking group of linebackers around Kenny Young.

– Head coach Jim Mora Jr. is under a hot seat to produce in his sixth season at the helm, but he needs his team to stay healthy – unlike last year – and it’s got to own home field advantage in a slew of tough battles in Pasadena.

– UCLA Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

USC Trojans

– The expectations are through the roof thanks to the hype around QB Sam Darnold and with a great group of running backs to take the heat off, but the line has to replace three starters, most of the top receivers are gone.

– It’s an okay defense, but it’s got to get into the backfield more, has to hope for the secondary to make more big things happen, and for linebackers Porter Austin and Cameron Smith to be as good as advertised.

– While the bar has been set at College Football Playoff or bust, just winning the Pac-12 title might be good enough – and hope for more from there – considering this might not be as complete a team as everyone assumes it is.

– USC Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

Utah Utes

– As always, the Utah offense will rely on the power game when it has to, but there’s going to be at least an attempt at more of a downfield passing game with former Oregon Duck Darren Carrington a No. 1 receiver for veteran quarterback Troy Williams to throw to.

– The tackles are going to be the stars of another tough defense up front, and the pass rush will emerge, as always, but the secondary that had a few key meltdowns last season will be the big concern early on.

– The schedule is enough of a bear to all but forget about winning the Pac-12 South, much less the conference title, but there will be a few good upsets along the way to screw up the championship dreams of a few other good teams.

– Utah Preview
– Schedule & Prediction

CFN Preview 2017: All 130 Team Previews
Pac-12 Team Rankings
Pac-12 Schedules & Predictions
Pac-12 Bowl Projections
2017 CFN Pac-12 Preview: The Good & The Bad 
2017 CFN All-Pac-12 Team & Top 30 Players

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