Pac-12 Conference Preview: How the West Was (Or Will Be Won)

Saturday nights in October mean different things to different people. Some enjoy nights out with friends under the stars. Some enjoy the ever so festive Oktoberfest celebrations. For college football fans and degenerate gamblers like myself, it means Pac-12 football until 12:45 in the morning. Nothing completes a perfect day of college football like Arizona/UCLA to close out a late October Saturday. And plus, bonus Mike Leach.

Let’s get ready to dive into the 2018 Pac-12 season.

Team to Watch: UCLA

I was torn between Arizona and UCLA solely based on Khalil Tate’s existence. But one player a team does not make. Chip Kelly’s arrival in the City of Angels might be the most exciting story line heading into the 2018 season. Pair Kelly’s nutterbutter of an offense with what remains of the Jim Mora-era and this could shape up to be an incredibly exciting season for the Bruins.

Game to Watch: Stanford at Washington (11/3)

David Shaw’s Cardinal Team is going to have a significant mountain to climb if it hopes to achieve the success it has had in the PAC-12 North. This early November matchup will go a long way in determining that success depending on where Stanford stands heading into this matchup. Washington will hope to avoid a late season folly and carry a seasons worth of momentum into the later portions of the season.

Potential Contenders

North: Oregon

Oregon has been one of the more interesting teams in the PAC-12 (and not just because of their sweet uniforms). Mario Cristobal is entering his first season as head coach taking over for the departing Willie Taggert. Expect interesting things out of Eugene this season.

South: USC

Replacing Sam Darnold is not going to be an easy task in the least bit. But if you look at the history of the Trojans, that is something they do consistently. Their long line of QB success is something unrivaled in most of College Football. This year they have their most unproven crop of QBs in a while. Freshman JT Daniels and Redshirt Freshman Jack Sears will battle it out to lead the Trojans this under center this season.

Conference Winner: Washington

I don’t see a single world in which Washington doesn’t win this conference. None. The test is going to be not slipping up at all along the way. If they’re at all capable of doing so, I think the Huskies have a very real shot at the CFP.

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