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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Stacking up Pac-12 position reviews

By Ted Miller

Our Pac-12 position rankings were completed last week. 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.

And, yes, I cut and pasted that from last year.

So here's our imperfect formula for big picture evaluation. Each team gets three points for "Great shape," two points for "Good shape," and one point for the dreaded "We'll see."

However, we make exceptions for two positions and two position groups: 1. kickers and punters have been reduced in value; 2. elite quarterbacks have been increased; 3. For the first time this year, we're giving extra consideration to the offensive and defensive lines.

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, offensive or defensive line you get four points. Good shape still gets two and "we'll see" one.

Here are the standings:
1. Oregon... 28 (great shape in eight of 11 positions)

2. Stanford... 26 (tie)

2. USC... 26 (tie)

4. Oregon State... 25

5. Arizona State... 23 (tie)

5. Washington... 23 (tie)

7. UCLA... 19 (tie)

7. Washington State... 19 (tie)

9. California... 18

10. Arizona... 16

11. Colorado... 14

12. Utah... 12 (we'll see in eight of 11 positions)

Utah fans panic! Or get mad!

The Utes, who were third in last year's position reviews, have a lot of questions that already have hopeful answers, most notably quarterback, offensive line, defensive line and running back. The Pac-12 blog believes those are perfectly valid "we'll sees." It also believes the odds are promising that what we will be seeing will be good to solid.

Further, the difference between Utah and Colorado is about specialists, as the Buffaloes got three points for kicker/punter while the Utes got zero.

Obviously, returning starters boosts the numbers here. Few would rank Washington State tied with UCLA heading into the season, but the Cougars have 17 starters back and the Bruins have just 12. UCLA got a "we'll see" at running back, tight end, cornerback, safety and punter.

Oregon State didn't have a single "we'll see." If we had broken up defensive line into tackles and ends, as we have in the past, it would have gotten a "great shape" at end and a decided "we'll see" at tackle.

Oregon's only "we'll sees" were linebacker, kicker and punter. Stanford had "we'll sees" at receiver, tight end, kicker and punter. The Cardinal was in "great shape" in all four defensive spots.

USC only had "we'll sees" at cornerback and punter. Arizona State got no points for its specialists and got a "we'll see" at receiver.

Great shape-We'll see per team
Arizona 1-5

Arizona State 4-3

California 0-3

Colorado 1-7

Oregon 8-3

Oregon State 4-0

Stanford 6-4

UCLA 3-5

USC 6-2

Utah 0-8

Washington 4-1

Washington State 2-3

Teams averaged 3.25 "great shapes," matching last year's average, and 3.67 "we'll sees," which is significantly more than last year's average of 2.92. In 2011, it was 2.67 "great shapes" and 3.58 "we'll sees."
Does any of this mean anything?

We'll see.