The 2019 College Football Playoff had a party, and the Pac-12 was the only one not invited.
But it’s more than just not getting its conference champion in – even though Oregon would’ve been a more interesting choice than Oklahoma. It’s that the league just can’t quite get over the perception hump, and that’s because the stars just aren’t shining brightly enough.
The Ducks losing to Auburn to start last year had a lot to do with that.
USC being a big bag of ugh isn’t helping the cause, and Kevin Sumlin’s inability to turn Arizona into a thing and Chip Kelly’s inability to summon up the magic in Westwood has been a killer.
Washington being a bit down in a rebuilding year didn’t help, and even though the rest of America didn’t seemed to notice, Stanford having a bad year was a big deal.
Oregon is going to be a top ten team to start the season, and it might just have the right mix to get to not only win the Pac-12 again, but to also go to the CFP.
Washington and Stanford should be stronger, USC is loaded with veterans, Arizona State is looking like something interesting, and Cal could potential be a thing if the offense can match the defensive production.
However, eight of the teams will be going into the year with a new starting quarterback, and there isn’t a sure-thing rock star of a No. 2 team to get that fired up about.
On the plus side, there doesn’t appear to be a Rutgers or Vanderbilt – there isn’t a total free space game. All 12 teams have something to like.
The Pac-12 needs USC to be great again. It needs Washington and Stanford to be back to form, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Utah could replace and rebuild in a hiccup.
And that’s sort of the issue. Once again, there should be enough good teams to make it an entertaining year, and there should be enough good teams to keep anyone – including Oregon – from going 12-1 to get into the CFP.