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Oregon Football

Reviewing the Pac-12 South

November 26, 2018
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There is only one game left in the conference and that is a Friday night tilt between Utah and Washington for the conference title. 

The Pac-12 championship game should be a good one but in my mind will do very little towards changing my view of the conference overall. In the end, both teams were widely projected to finish atop their respective conference divisions. And while Washington likely wins (prediction) it won’t really change my view of them being a slightly above average team, like many in the Pac-12.

It also doesn’t change my view that Washington State is the better team but snow is not their friend.

In either event, I decided to look at the conference and offer some thoughts on each program.

I’ll start with the South and touch on them in order of final standings. (As of Monday) We’ll hit the North tomorrow.

Utah (9-3/6-3) - 1st Place

2017 Record: 7-6/3-6

Best Win: Stanford

Worst Loss: ASU

Curernt Recruiting Class Rank: 78

A strong season for Whittingham turning things around from a mediocre 2017 and some chatter about replacing him. Not a lot, but a little. What really stands out to me is Utah only beat one Pac-12 North team which lends merit to the fact it was definitely the stronger division. Even with some key injuries to its quarterback and running back, Utah managed to 7 of its last 8 games after losing to the two Washington schools in back to back weeks.

Arizona State (7-5/5-4) - 2nd Place

2017 Record: 7-6/6-3

Best Win: Utah

Worst Loss: San Diego State

Current Recruiting Class Rank: 49

Herm Edwards came in and had an absolute up and down season. Which is expected of a first year head coach. It seems like we lowered our expectations enough that a 7-5 season was viewed as an upgrade over 2017, when in fact it wasn’t. ASU essentially finishes second by default in what turned out to be a very weak year for the P-12 South Conference.

Arizona: (5-7/4-5) - 3rd Place

2017 Record: 7-6/5-4

Best Win: Oregon

Worst Loss: ASU

Current Recruiting Class Rank: 55

Another first-year head coach that didn’t improve records in his first year. Which is not necessarily an indictment on Kevin Sumlin’s ability. Zona was a real Jekyll & Hyde team this season. They kill Oregon, beat Cal but lose to UCLA and USC. Both winnable games. I did list ASU as the worst loss because of the collapse that led to the loss, it was bad. But they really had several bad losses including getting boat-raced by Wazzu.

USC: (5-7/4-5) 4th Place

2017 Record: 11-3/8-1

Best Win: Washington State

Worst Loss: UCLA

Current Recruiting Class Rank: 29

They kept him. I don’t really care but I suppose that is one heckuva voice of support from Lynn Swann. Everyone and their mom was calling for a change and Swann didn’t flinch. Looking back, USC should have absolutely rolled through this schedule with the talent alone. Sure they played a solid OOC schedule with Texas and Notre Dame, those are tough. They also caught Stanford, Cal and Wazzu from the North division. But really you lost 7 games and that probably should have been somewhere between 3-5 games. 

UCLA: (3-9/3-6) - 5th place

2017 Record: 6-7/4-5

Best Win: USC

Worst Loss: Oregon

Current Recruiting Class Rank: 77

Chip Kelly might have led the most improved squad from start of season to end. A huge win over cross-town rival USC might be a catalyst moving forward. But still, they only won 3 games this season and currently have a 77-ranked recruiting class. I know there’s a lot of youth on the team but Chip is going to need to up his recruiting game. I listed the Oregon loss as UCLA only lost by 7 or more points from October on twice and that was to Oregon and Utah.

Colorado: (5-7/2-7) - 6th Place

2017 Record: 5-7/2-7

Best Win: Arizona State

Worst Loss: Oregon State

Current Recruiting Class Rank: 39

I had to look twice at the 2017 and 2018 records to make sure I had not messed it up. I didn’t. I would imagine 4 conference wins in the past 2 seasons was enough cause to fire Mike McIntyre. Somehow he led a win over ASU but they also lost to OSU. Now we wait to see who Colorado hires and if they can get them back into what should be a ‘winnable’ South division.

 

Tags: Football, Oregon
 
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