Football.com's Pac-12 Power Rankings
Each week, Pac-12 writers John Baker, Colin Huber, Alex McKenna, Alex Schultz and editor Christopher Wuensch will cast their vote for the conference's top teams and weekly Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week.
Our Preseason Picks:
The staunch Cardinal defense and a potential Heisman candidate at QB convinced our writers to edge out Oregon by one vote for the conference’s top spot.
2.OREGON (-1 votes behind No. 1 Stanford)
A first-year coach might be the only reason why the loaded Ducks sit behind Stanford. Both are considered national frontrunners.
Brett Hundley has enough talent to overcome the loss of several playmakers on offense.
4.SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (-17)
Despite a QB situation by committee, the Trojans land at No. 4 based in large part on reputation — and the fact that Marqise Lee returns.
5.OREGON STATE (-18)
Speaking of reputations, are the Beavers coasting on last season’s reputation or is Mike Riley’s squad a legitimate threat to unseat the Ducks and Cardinal? Some think this could be the season.
6.ARIZONA STATE (-21)
Should compete with UCLA for the South Division crown with a deep offense and a relentless pass rush.
Considered by many Pac-12 writers to be a sleeper pick in head coach Steve Sarkisian’s potential make-or-break year. Having a health O-line in front of QB Keith Price certainly helps.
Deep running game will have to carry the Wildcats, who’ve yet to announce a starting QB.
Expect Utah to play the role of upset specialists a few times this year; or at least watch Kyle Whittingham’s Utes put a good scare into a handful of teams.
Barely eked out Washington State for No. 10. Sonny Dykes will revitalize the Golden Bears, but perhaps not until he can get a few of his own players running his offensive juggernaut in Berkeley.
11.WASHINGTON STATE (-44)
Considered too low on this list to some, the Cougars should benefit in Year 2 of the Mike Leach era.
It’s going to be another long year for the Buffs. An upset of one of the conference’s elite, however, could salvage Mike MacIntyre’s first season in Boulder.
Arizona at No. 8 and Colorado at No. 12 were the only unanimous picks by our writers. Me, personally, I'd like to see Washington State above California. Will be interesting to see how much these rankings change after Week 1, after we get a chance to see everyone (except Stanford) in action. I suspect we'll still have a debate going regarding who should be No. 1 - unless Oregon struggles against Nicholls State (doubtful). Check back each Monday for updated weekly rankings.