OK it’s now time for…what does that card say? Prediction time, oh brother.
Yes, it’s time for me to throw my hat in the ring and look at my predictions for the 2013 college football season. Don’t expect some hugely important analysis or drawn-out comparisons here. I’m not Phil Steele, nor am I some guy named Athlon (or Lindy). But holy shit, if I am more accurate than any of the big college football preview magazines, then they will know it…oh how they will know it. And if not, then we will never speak of these prediction articles again. Promise? Good.
There is no real way to do this so I will do a random draw to see which conference gets to go first. And no David Stern crap here! I won’t freeze the SEC envelope or bend the corner of the Big Ten envelope. Need to be fair (like it matters). And the first conference to look at? The Pac-12! How I have done these predictions is I “play out” every game on the schedule. Basically, all that means is I pick a winner for each game (and also a loser I guess if you are one of those glass-half-empty type of people). Then I put the info together and get, well, what I am about to present you.
- Stanford Cardinal (8-1 Pac-12, 11-1 overall). The game against Oregon on November 7th is easily the most important game of the year in this division. It’s at home so give the Cardinal the edge. I believe there will be a hiccup there, meaning they will lose most likely at USC. Not enough to lose the division title though.
- Oregon Ducks (7-2 Pac-12, 10-2 overall). The aforementioned game at Stanford Stadium probably won’t go the Ducks’ way. I also predict a late-season loss at Arizona. Not that it matters. The Stanford loss will kill any division title hopes.
- Oregon State Beavers (5-4 Pac-12, 8-4 overall). The Beavers still won’t climb into the penthouse portion of the division yet. Good but not good enough. Hey, at least they’re bowl-eligible again.
- Washington Huskies (4-5 Pac-12, 7-5 overall). They’ll start the year off with a win over Boise State, look like world-beaters, and then go an absolutely pedestrian 6-5 the rest of the way. Another seven-win season and the natives are going to get restless.
- California Golden Bears (2-7 Pac-12, 3-9 overall). Sonny Dykes will have a looooooong first season in Berkeley. Maybe next year, Bears fans, maybe next year.
- Washington State Cougars (0-9 Pac-12, 2-10 overall). I think Mike Leach should try shutting his mouth when talking about the depth in any conference. His team definitely does not help the Pac-12 as a whole in that conversation.
- USC Trojans (8-1 Pac-12, 11-2 overall). We’re baaaaaaaack! I am predicting the Fighting Kiffins to win the weaker division of the two here in the Pac-12. Not many experts will be picking the Trojans to go to the Pac-12 Championship so call this an upset pick if you want.
- Arizona State Sun Devils (7-2 Pac-12, 9-3 overall). Party Central University is becoming a factor again. Channeling their inner Jake The Snake (Plummer and Roberts, in this case), a surprise run at the division crown is probably only a USC upset away (and a taking care of business against UCLA away).
- UCLA Bruins (6-3 Pac-12, 8-4 overall). Last year’s run was amazing under Jim Mora, Jr. Brett Hundley will be a special QB for sure but the loss of Johnathan Franklin among others tells me they will finish third in a tough South division.
- Arizona Wildcats (4-5 Pac-12, 7-5 overall). You know, maybe they shouldn’t have an insanely easy out-of-conference schedule this season. There is no way games against Northern Arizona, UNLV, and UTSA can prepare them for a Pac-12 schedule. Oh well, RichRod will have to find out the hard way. Hey, at least they’ll be bowl-eligible…barely.
- Utah Utes (2-7 Pac-12, 4-8 overall). I think Utah (and to a lesser extent, Colorado) got raw deals being put in the South division. I’m thinking more of the travel, not the teams they play. There can’t be anything worse than an hours-long flight home after getting your ass handed to you by USC or ASU or UCLA.
- Colorado Buffaloes (1-8 Pac-12, 2-10 overall). Poor Mike MacIntyre. Resurrects San Jose State football and gets a BCS head gig! Sweet! Unfortunately it’s in Colorado, a school that would have a tough time in the Mountain West, let alone the Pac-12. Good luck, Mike. You will need it. If I were you, my first stop after moving to Boulder would be to travel to the Coors factory. Stock up for the season.
The Pac-12 Championship would pit Stanford against USC for a trip to Pasadena (the first game, not the second one…I’ll get to that in another post). USC will make quite the comeback this year. But putting them in the Rose Bowl as a prediction? That would make me look quite foolish. I see the Cardinal making yet another trip to the Rose Bowl representing the Pac-12.