Stacking up Pac-12 position reviews

July, 23, 2012
7/23/12
12:00
PM ET
Our Pac-12 position rankings are done. You can review them here.

So, how about going big picture?

Our methodology, as we point out on an annual basis, is suspect. But it's our methodology and if you don't like it, hey, get your own methodology.

Sorry. I'm OK now.

Here's how it goes: Each team gets three points for "Great shape," two points for "Good shape," and one point for the dreaded ... cue "Psycho" music... "We'll see."

However, we make exceptions for two positions: 1. kickers and punters have been reduced in value; 2. elite quarterbacks have been increased.

If you are in "great shape" at kicker or punter, you only get two points, and you get one point for good and zero for "we'll see." If you are in "great shape" at quarterback, you get four points. Good shape still gets two and "we'll see" one.

And, yes, that means Oregon State gets the same points at QB as USC.

Here are the standings:
  1. USC (in "Great shape" in nine of 12 positions): 33
  2. Oregon: 30
  3. Utah: 28
  4. California: 25
  5. Oregon State: 23
  6. Stanford: 23
  7. UCLA: 23
  8. Washington: 22
  9. Washington State: 22
  10. Arizona: 19
  11. Arizona State: 17
  12. Colorado ("We'll see" in nine of 12 positions): 13

Things are certainly defensible at the top and bottom. Just about everyone rates USC and Oregon as preseason top-five teams and favorites in the South and North Divisions. And everyone has Colorado at the bottom.

The big head scratcher is Stanford being equivalent with Oregon State and UCLA, teams it pounded last year. The Beavers get three points on the Cardinal at QB, which is a big difference. And UCLA might be more solid than many believe (the Bruins are in "good shape" in nine positions, with one "we'll see" (kicker) and "great shapes" with cornerback and punter).

Washington is a bit low and California a bit high. Cal gets consistent marks on defense. Washington takes two zeroes for specialists. Last year, it got "great shape" for both.

Last year, the numbers ranged from 25 (Oregon) to 16 (Oregon State). It appears the distance between top and bottom is wider this fall.

Great shape-We'll see" per team
Arizona 1-4

Arizona State 1-6

California 5-2

Colorado 0-9

Oregon 7-0

Oregon State 4-4

Stanford 3-3

UCLA 1-1

USC 9-0

Utah 4-0

Washington 2-3

Washington State 2-3

Teams averaged 3.25 "great shapes" and 2.92 "we'll sees." Last year, it was 2.67 "great shapes" and 3.58 "we'll sees."

So that suggests more "great" and less worrisome unknown.

Colorado is not in great shape anywhere, though you could argue they are pretty close at linebacker and with two returning specialists. Arizona and Arizona State are only in great shape at punter and running back, respectively. You'd have to say the Sun Devils shake out better with that.

Oregon, USC and Utah never ended up with a "we'll see." Do you guys see any positions of obvious weakness for that troika?
  • Positions with the most "Great shapes": running back (6) and cornerback (5).
  • Position with the most "We'll sees": offensive line (5) and punter (5).
  • Every position had at least three great shapes.
  • Every position had at least one "We'll see." Cornerback gets one (Colorado). Running back and defensive end get two.
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