It’s time to get in one last prediction before the FBS season officially kicks off tomorrow. Let’s discuss the north division now. Oregon and Stanford have been the top beasts in the north for the past few seasons. Since the PAC-10 transitioned into the PAC-12 and began having a conference championship game, the Ducks and the Cardinal have claimed not only the division, but the conference crown as well. They both share two wins a piece. It’s shaping up to look like these two will probably be the face of the north once again.
Oregon and Stanford have plenty of fire coming back on offense. The Ducks return Royce Freeman, Byron Marshall, and a deadly receiving corp. Vernon Adams Jr. has taken over the reigns of the offense and he has the tools to lead the Ducks back to the PAC-12 title game. As for the playoffs, even as a Oregon fan, I’ll admit that even that goal will be hard to achieve. Stanford returns tough quarterback Kyle Hogan and deadly Christian McCaffrey, but they’re inexperienced on the defensive side. That doesn’t mean that they won’t be hard to beat as Stanford always comes ready for war.
Is there any possible north team that could challenge these two? It looks like the biggest threats are Cal and Washington. Cal has an explosive offense guided by Jared Goff, but their defense is weak. Can their defense be enough to at least get the program to bowl season? Washington is in rebuilding mode after losing several players to the NFL, but should have enough in the tank to make it to a bowl game. As for Washington State and Oregon State, they look to be the weakest out of the six teams of the north, but I think there’s a possibility that Mike Leach or Gary Anderson could surprise us.
Here is how I think the north will stack up:
- Oregon 2. Stanford 3. Washington 4. Oregon State 5. Cal 6. Washington State
The question that bothers me the most is: will any of the PAC-12 teams make it to the playoffs? I hope so. I can’t wait to see Utah take on Jim Harbaugh and Michigan tomorrow night as the season begins.