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PAC-12 Conference Preview


  • Washington – (10-2)

The reigning champions of the North (no matter what the ducks say) look to return to the top of the North with a strong stable of production returning. Despite some losses in the secondary, the Huskies have proven talent across their defense. The loss of Zion Tupuola-Fetui could hurt this defense early, but their front 7 is still incredibly talented. Their offense should take another step forward with some additional QB experience, a strong stable of running backs, an experienced OL, and Cade Otten, the top TE in the conference.

MVP- Cade Otten

OPOY- Jaxson Kirkland

DPOY- Edefuan Ulofoshio
Break Out- Sav’ell Smalls

Key Addition- Brendan Radley-Hiles


  • Oregon – (8-4)

This Oregon team doesn’t deserve Playoff hype. Starting at the source of the questions for the Ducks, Anthony Brown, their projected starting QB, has shown nearly 3 years of mediocre play as the QB of the BC Eagles and he is coming into a far more difficult scheme in Oregon. While they have good surrounding talent in weapons and line talent, there are still major concerns about how well Brown will do. Defensively, they have a ferocious front 7 but their secondary is highly inexperienced outside of Mykael Wright. With all that they lost from last season, and a lack of transfer portal usage, Oregon will disappoint many this season.

MVP- Kayvon Thibodeaux

OPOY- Travis Dye

DPOY- Mykael Wright
Break Out- Devon Williams

Key Addition- Kingsley Suamataia


  • Washington State – (8-4)

Wazzu is must-watch TV in 2021. With Nick Rolovich’s scheme and the pure talent on offense for this Cougs team expect a high-flying offense in 2021 that will put up 40 points in a game with ease. Jayden De Laura should take a decent step in 2021 and their running back core of Max Borghi and Deon McIntosh have shown they are probably the best core in the conference. In addition, Wazzu returns a solid WR core and one of the better OLs in the conference. However, their defense has some concerns. Their front 7 will be manhandled in 2021 but there are hopes in their secondary. Jaylen Watson and transfer Kaleb Ford-Dement should be one of the top outside corner duos in the Pac-12. This team will either blow out teams or keep running up the score with teams throughout and I have high hopes that they will play spoiler to a couple of other top Pac-12 teams.

MVP- Jayden De Laura

OPOY- Abraham Lucas

DPOY- Kaleb Ford-Dement
Break Out- Renard Bell

Key Addition- CJ Moore


  • Oregon State – (7-5)

It may seem bold for me to put the Beavers with such a high record but if you look at the numbers it really isn’t. Of the 7 games the Beavs played in 2020, 5 of them were one-score games and the other 2 games were very close. In addition, the Beavers return every single starter to an offensive line that is in legitimate contention for the best in the Pac-12. This defense is on the verge of breaking out and should increase turnovers with the coaching staff heavily emphasizing it in spring practice. Across the board at key positions such as WR, DL, RB, and DB, the Beavers have 2020 and 2021 transfers lined up to fill in immediately. In addition, the Beavs have one of the most intriguing QB battles in all of college football with 3 game tested QBs in Tristan Gebbia (one of the top graded returning QBs in the Pac-12 per PFF) Chance Nolan, and Ben Gulbranson (who took over duties after Gebbia’s injury) as well as incoming true freshman Sam Vidlak who is purely electric as a passer.

MVP- Tristan Gebbia

OPOY- Deshaun Fenwick

DPOY- Avery Roberts
Break Out- Joshua Gray

Key Addition- Elijah Jones


  • Stanford – (3-9)

This is going to be a disappointing Stanford team. They are losing their top weapons, starting QB, and several key cogs to their offensive line. The defense was bad last year and unless several players step up there are serious doubts that it gets any better. We have seen nothing from Tanner McKee yet so it is very hard to project what he will do at this point. This Stanford team has a lot to overcome if it wants any hope of getting to a bowl game.

MVP- Austin Jones

OPOY- Tanner McKee

DPOY- Thomas Booker
Break Out- Kyu Blu Kelly

Key Addition- NA (I doubt any of their additions play year 1)


  • Cal – (3-9)

Chase Garbers is not it and neither is Justin Wilcox. The Cal team loses several key pieces on defense as well as on offense and exposed a ton of their holes last season. Garbers had a stretch of promising play in 2019 but since then it has been mediocre. I doubt this team finds much success and it seems as if Wilcox is firmly on the hot seat.

MVP- Christopher Brown

OPOY- Nikko Remigio

DPOY- Cameron Goode
Break Out- Marcel Dancy

Key Addition- Raymond Woodie



  • Utah – (9-3)

Utah got fairly lucky with the 2020 season being as short as it was, they were retooling a lot of their defense and didn’t suffer much of a hit due to a lighter schedule. That being said, the Utes still enter this season with a rather inexperienced secondary, but their scheme helps out their DBs a lot. Their linebacker core is perhaps the strongest in the conference and should give teams fits. On offense, they return a ton of experience and potential at several key positions. At QB, they start former Baylor QB Charlie Brewer who should have a profound impact on this team’s success as a transfer. Despite other talented teams in the PAC-12 South, Utah has shown the most consistency and, in culmination with their talent and coaching, they should easily be near the top of the fray for the south.

MVP- Charlie Brewer

OPOY- Brant Kuithe

DPOY- Devin Lloyd
Break Out- Devaughn Vele

Key Addition- T.J. Pledger


  • USC – (8-4)

UCS has been underperforming for the duration of Clay Helton’s tenure and I doubt it stops here. We have yet to see any form of progression out of Kedon Slovis and that is very concerning for an offense that is as pass-dependent as the Trojans’. They have some very good receivers returning as well as some decent linemen, but their rushing attack leaves a lot to be desired. Their defense has some very talented players across the board, but they have yet to show that as a team. All in all, if players come through and the coaching works out, they could win the south but at this point, it seems somewhat unlikely.

MVP- Kedon Slovis

OPOY- Drake London

DPOY- Drake Jackson
Break Out- Bru McCoy

Key Addition- Korey Foreman


  • Arizona State – (7-5)

The Sun Devils should also be in the fray of the top team in the south. They are returning a highly talented defense as well as an experienced OL and a high potential RB in Rachaad White. Their Quarterback situation is somewhat of a different story. Jayden Daniels is a very fast QB but is lacking otherwise, his accuracy leaves a ton to be desired. Similarly, their receiving core has some questions, but some combination of inexperienced underclassmen and transfer additions should get the job done. This is a good team, but it is going to need some time to reach its potential. I don’t see them as winners of the south, but a bowl game is certainly in their grasp.

MVP- Rachaad White

OPOY- Jayden Daniels

DPOY- Jermayne Lole
Break Out- Tyler Johnson

Key Addition- Bryan Thompson


  • Colorado – (5-7)

Colorado went on somewhat of a lucky run in 2020 that was exposed in a bowl game against Texas. While Jerek Broussard is a great running back, there is almost nothing else above average on that offense. Sam Noyer has shown time and time again that he probably shouldn’t be the starter for this team but there is not necessarily a better option. On defense, the Buffs boast an incredible linebacker core but not much else. They have several potential break-out candidates across the board but they will probably have a slight down season in 2021.

MVP- Jerek Broussard

OPOY- La’Vontae Shenult

DPOY- Nate Landman
Break Out- Mekhi Blackmon

Key Addition- Jack Lamb


  • UCLA – (5-7)

The fact that UCLA’s matchup with LSU was listed as a top non-conference matchup in 2021 by Bleacher Report is a disgrace. This will be a beat down where a top-tier SEC team legitimately asserts its dominance over a mid to low-tier Pac-12 team leaving Chip Kelly embarrassed and firmly planted on the hot seat. Dorian Thompson-Robinson really only adds value as a QB in designed run situations. Greg Dulcich and Kyle Phillips are decent weapons and Brittian Brown should be a great running back for the team. The OL is ok but nothing to truly write home about and the defense is in the same state. With a pancake schedule that includes Cal, Stanford, Arizona, Fresno State, and Hawaii, the sad truth is that this team is an upset away from a bowl game, but they in no way should be.

MVP- Brittain Brown

OPOY- Greg Dulcich

DPOY- Caleb Johnson
Break Out- Charles Njoku

Key Addition- Ale Kaho


  • Arizona – (1-10)

This is not a season to look forward to by any means for Arizona. This program is fairly clearly rebuilding and that is going to be a multi-season process. Is Jedd Fisch the right guy to lead that? Only time will tell there but he is a proven offensive mind who will do his best to get the most out of the players he has. That should all start at the QB position which could be manned by any number of players namely Will Plummer, Jordan McCloud, or Gunner Cruz. All 3 of these QBs bring a different skill set to the table but also a ton of weaknesses. Fisch needs at least 2 more seasons before you should expect any semblance of success for the Wildcats.

MVP- Christian Roland-Wallace

OPOY- Michael Wiley

DPOY- Treshaun Hayward
Break Out- Jalen John

Key Addition- Gunner Cruz



Photo: Joshua Bessex