In what might be the craziest of college football seasons, how good are all of the teams? Here are the CFN Pac-12 Preseason Rankings of every team.
This is NOT a ranking of where the teams are going to end up. This is only based on how good we think the Pac-12 teams are going into whatever the 2020 season is going to be.
12. Arizona Wildcats
Be Excited About … the offense should be more dangerous. As long as Grant Gunnell can be steady at quarterback, the receiving corps will be in place to make the league’s third-best passing game from last year even more effective.
Be Concerned About … the defense still needs a whole lot of work. The transfer of LB Tony Fields stings from a D that finished dead last in the Pa-12 and 120th in the nation in total yards allowed and gave up 36 points per game. The line has to start finding its way into the backfield.
The Season Will Be Successful If … the Cats go bowling. It’s the third year under Kevin Sumlin without a bowl appearance, a winning season, or a win over Arizona State. Coming into the year on a seven-game losing streak, a hot start is a must.
11. Colorado Buffaloes
Be Excited About … the start of the Karl Dorrell era. No, really … he’s going to be better than he’s being given credit for. Okay, so he’s not the Eric Biemiemy hire that so many Buff fans were hoping would happen, but he’ll be a steady hand who should hang around the program for a while. He takes over a defensive front that should turn into something solid at getting into the backfield, but …
Be Concerned About … it’s going to take a big change to start generating more pressure. Former head coach Mel Tucker was a defensive coach, and the Buffs still finished last in the Pac-12 in tackles for loss and gave up too many big pass plays. The ends are there, and now the plays behind the line have to come.
The Season Will Be Successful If … the Buffs finish .500 or better – depending on how the conference slate looks. 5-7, 5-7, 5-7 – that has been Colorado over the last three seasons. Winning half the games or better would be a huge start for the new staff.
10. UCLA Bruins
Be Excited About … the offensive pieces that are supposed to be in place in the third year under Chip Kelly. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson is a veteran now who should know what he’s doing, and Washington transfer Colson Yankoff is an option, too. It’s time for this whole thing to work, but …
Be Concerned About … a defense that desperately needs the secondary to be better. The experience is there, Stephan Blaylock is a terrific safety, and there should be a little bit of a pass rush. After finishing with the second-worst pass defense in college football, there’s almost nowhere to go but up.
The Season Will Be Successful If … UCLA goes to a bowl game. This was supposed to be the year when everything was rocking and rolling, but the Bruins are only 7-17 under Kelly. The Pac-12 South is still mediocre, but the window might be closing to take advantage of it.