Pac-12 is the Most Wide Open Conference

There are a lot of conferences in college football, but the one that I am most excited about this season is the Pac-12. This is the one conference that I think we could see a chance of winning for multiple teams. Let’s break down the three with the best chance and a couple of outliers.

Your favorite to win the Pac-12 is USC. I’m on board with them being the favorite, they have the best quarterback in the conference, Caleb Williams. Their team has upgraded quite a bit in the offseason. They have some new receivers, and even running backs that will make this offense one of the best in the nation. The Trojans can probably compete with just about anyone on the offensive side of the ball. That’s only one part of the game, though. Defensively, the Trojans really couldn’t stop anyone. In order to win the championship, they will need to put together strings of stops, or show that they aren’t completely exploitable. I do think they will make it to the championship game, I’ll take a ticket on them at +220 to win it, but I will need to defense to step up so I can feel confident.

Utah is another that has a strong chance to win the game. They took the championship last year, and they didn’t lose so many players that make it unreal to think they can’t repeat. Offensively, I think Utah will probably be just about as good last year. It all falls down to if Cameron Rising can keep the momentum from a superb season last year. If you stuck Utah in a conference like the SEC or Big 10, I’m not sure that they would make that much noise, but in the Pac-12 I think they have the best defense, and that could make all of the difference this season. Utah’s defense against the USC offense will likely decide who wins this conference. I’ll take a ticket on them as well at +240. If they play each other for the championship, I am almost sure we are getting value on the game no matter who is the underdog.

Oregon does have a chance to win the conference too – so now we are up to three teams, but I won’t pull a ticket on them. This game probably comes down to whoever wins when Utah and Oregon play at Oregon in November. The bad news for Utah is that they are playing on the road. But, here is the thing, Oregon starts the season against Georgia. They will lose that, so my guess is that we can find a better ticket after that game. I have to imagine that Utah and USC start at 1-0 and Oregon starts at 0-1 so we have more of an opportunity get better than the +280 value being offered now. It isn’t a certainty, and if you like them, but all means, play it. I just won’t personally do it. I could absolutely see them getting to the Championship game, but I’ll probably already have a ticket on their opponent for the game.

UCLA is a decent enough team to maybe get there, but I think the conference is top-heavy enough that you want to avoid another ticket on any team. Injuries happen, development happens, things click, so UCLA definitely has a chance to make a run. If you could find a ticket on them just getting to the championship, I think that has a much better chance of cashing than one on winning the conference. They have to face all three previously mentioned teams this year, too, so they could lose all three. That would take them out of contention.

Washington could win some games, but I put them in the same boat as UCLA. I just don’t think they can win the championship. The Huskies would need everything to go right for them just to get in the game. I don’t see it happening.

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Written by David Troy

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