Washington (12-0)- Probably my boldest take this year. The Washington Huskies will go 12-0. I don’t see anyone on their schedule challenging them as they avoid Utah and USC and get Oregon and ASU at home. They bring in the best QB in the class of 2021 in Sam Huard and he has already caused other QB’s in the program to transfer, he is that good. They have the best offensive line in the conference so I expect them to be dominant in the air and on the ground. Look out for tight end Cade Otton to be Huard’s favorite target. He is one of the most underrated players in the country and might be the best tight end in the nation. Terrell Bynum is another playmaker for them, the wide receiver averaged 16.3 YPC and also added 70 yards on the ground. They had the best defense in the conference last year but they lost 2 big pieces this year. Elijah Molden was arguably the best DB in the conference last year, he has moved onto the NFL and Zion Tupuola-Fetui or “ZTF” suffered a torn achilles and will miss much of the season. Molden’s absence will not be missed much as the Huskies have three other DB’s that are more than capable to replace him, my favorite one being Trent Mcduffie who I think is a top ten corner in the nation. This team is legit and I expect them to go undefeated and possibly earn a playoff bid.
Oregon (9-3)- I think Oregon is good, but if anyone has this team in the top 10 they are simply delusional. On offense, they are going to have to rely on CJ Verdell and the offensive line to get it done as quarterback Anthony Brown is not a good enough passer to be reliable. Expect Oregon’s offense to plow through very bad teams, but once they play teams that can match their physicality in the trenches, it will be tough sledding. Their defense will be nasty though as they have one of the most electric linebacking corps in the nation, Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell. Not to mention the best player in the nation, Kayvon Thibedeux. Despite all this defensive talent, their defense is still very young as they were in the middle of the conference in total defense last year. The talent is there for the Ducks but I don’t think they are well enough coached or have strong enough QB play to beat Washington, Ohio State or Utah on the road. Give it a couple years and this team will be in the playoff hunt.
Washington State (6-6)- They bring in Jared Guarantano who is nothing special, but brings SEC experience to an offense that only goes as far as their QB will take them. They return all their starters from 2020 so the only way they can go is up. Their secondary was the worst in the conference and I expect them to be toward the bottom of the conference once again, but their offense will be good enough to win them some games as they have some easy home games and a very easy non-conference schedule. Running back Max Borghi needs to be more involved this season as when he is, he is a top 15 running back in the nation. With him and solid receivers like Renard Bell and Travell Harris, I think Washington State’s offense will be more than solid. 6-6 is a great achievement for Nick Rolovich and the Cougs in his second season.
California (5-7)- Another year of all defense and no offense is brewing for CAL fans. I think it's time for them to get rid of Justin Wilcox as he has shown no signs of improving the offense and with his scheme the best CAL will ever be is 7-5. Great defensive coordinator, awful head coach. There really isn’t much to say about the Bears, their offense will be anemic and won’t score more than 3 TD’s in a game. On defense, Kuony Deng is a guy you will be seeing play on Sunday’s down the road and they have some other great players such as Cameron Goode and Elijah Hicks. With an elite defense, but a terrible offense, I have the Bears hovering around 5-7.