Pac-12 2018 Spring Rankings & Analysis

Pac-12 2018 Spring Rankings & Analysis

2018 Spring Football

Pac-12 2018 Spring Rankings & Analysis


The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Pac-12.


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Pac-12 2018 Spring Rankings

Based on how good the teams appear to be this spring.

12. Oregon State Beavers

Jonathan Smith is getting a clean slate. The new head coach – and former Beaver quarterback – has to hope for his offensive backfield to come together in a hurry, but his O line should be okay, and the defensive back seven is a good place to start building around.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

11. Arizona State Sun Devils

This should be fun, no matter what. The Sun Devils weren’t exactly a brick wall defensively, and now they’re inexperienced, too. The offensive side has a terrific receiving corps, and the line should be sound, but the spotlight is on Herm Edwards to prove right away that he can be a difference-maker.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

10. Colorado Buffaloes

Can the Buffs bounce back from a disappointing follow-up act after the great 2016 season? Steven Montez is one of the conference’s best quarterbacks, but he has to be more consistent. However, the rest of the skill spots have new starters – getting Virginia Tech grad transfer RB Travon McMillina helps – and the line needs reworking. The secondary that was so great last year needs a lot of help, too.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

9. Cal Golden Bears

Don’t be shocked if Cal turns into the Pac-12’s biggest surprise. Justin Wilcox and the coaching staff are excellent, and now he’s starting to get the pieces in place. All five starters are back up front for an offense loaded with experience, but the Bears’ calling card should be defensively. Yeah, really.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

8. Washington State Cougars

The grad transfer of East Carolina’s Gardner Minshew – by way of Alabama – is a big boost for a rough quarterback situation. The Wazzu offense will be the Wazzu offense, but the defense might take a wee step back, even with a good-looking secondary. The team’s biggest problem? Minshew isn’t Luke Falk.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

7. Utah Utes

This is the toughest call several months away from the season – Utah might sneak up and be really, really good. It’s missing plenty of key parts from last year, but the offensive changes – more downfield passing and a bit quicker tempo – should kick in and work better. The secondary should be fantastic, but the front seven loses a ton.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

6. Arizona Wildcats

Kevin Sumlin inherits Khalil Tate, but can the passing game work well enough to do everything the new staff wants? The ground attack will be devastating at times as long as the line comes together in a hurry. Sumlin teams were never big on that whole defense thing, but at least the secondary is experienced.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

5. UCLA Bruins

Give the Chip Kelly experience a year to put everything place. The team needs to get a whole lot tougher up front, or at least it has to be used to dealing with the quicker pace. The defense has to be far, far better against the run, but at least it’s loaded with veterans, getting back eight starters. Now Kelly needs to find the offensive skill guys to run this thing.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

4. Oregon Ducks

This might be a gift of a ranking – it’s not like the Ducks beat a whole lot of great teams last year, and there’s a huge prove-it factor with the returning talent. New head man Mario Cristobal has the quarterback in Justin Herbert working behind a good line with four stars back, but the real gem might be the defense that gets back seven starters.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

3. Stanford Cardinal

Yeah, Bryce Love is back, and he should run for 2,000 yards if he can stay healthy – the O line might turn into the best in the Pac-12 – but the quarterback situation is still a concern and the receiving corps is just okay. Can the Cardinal reload in a hurry on the defensive front? Yeah, but the linebacking corps needs work.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

2. USC Trojans

This is where all that recruiting stuff is supposed to kick in. It’ll take the offseason to secure the Sam Darnold-less quarterback situation, but at least the receivers are in place and and the O line should be great. The key is a defense that gets back LB Porter Gustin and a few other banged up parts to blend back into an already great group.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

1. Washington Huskies

Jake Browning is a special, veteran quarterback, and getting back RB Myles Gaskin was a huge break. There’s enough returning experience to expect the offense to be even more consistent – and get back to being explosive like it was in 2016 – while the defense will rise back up and be a killer. Eight starters are back to what should be the league’s best D.
– Spring Analysis | Schedule Breakdown

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