Pac-12: 2012 preseason predictions

2012 Pac-12 fearless predictions

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
10:30
AM ET
Not unlike Daredevil, the Pac-12 blog has no fear.

Other than roaches. Roaches are awful, disgusting things that crawl into your shoes and it's perfectly justifiable to scream if that happens.

Not, er, that I've ever done that.

Here are 10 "fearless" predictions in advance of the 2012 season.

1. USC and Oregon will play twice: They meet first on Nov. 3 in the Coliseum. And then they will meet in the Pac-12 title game on Nov. 30. I'd rate the odds at close to 92.4 percent that USC wins the South Division and Oregon wins the North Division. It's strange to feel that certain but I do. I also rate the odds close to zero that we'll see a third game between the two for the national title.

2. A Pac-12 player will be a Heisman Trophy finalist: USC quarterback Matt Barkley is the preseason favorite to win the award, and it would be an upset if he isn't at least a finalist. I wouldn't be shocked, however, if the conference sent two players to New York. If I were guessing today -- and I am -- the second would be Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas. But there are several other dark-horse options.

3. The Pac-12 will go 28-8 in nonconference games: Go and pencil it out yourself. My guess is your number will be fairly close to that record, too. If the actual record includes just five or six losses, it will be a very good year for the conference.

4. California, UCLA or Washington will win eight -- or nine -- games: But only one of the three. The other two will win fewer than eight games.

5. No Pac-12 coach will get fired after the season: After four firings last winter, this is a good thing. The Pac-12 blog won't hide its sentiments hoping this comes true.

6. Four Pac-12 teams will be ranked in the final AP poll: Our first inclination is USC, Oregon, Stanford and Utah. But the fourth also could be the team that emerges in prediction No. 4.

7. The Pac-12 will produce two BCS bowl teams and still fill its contracted bowls: USC will play for the national title. Oregon will go to another Rose Bowl. The conference then would need six more bowl-eligible teams, which it should produce.

8. The NCAA will not hammer Oregon: Despite the ridiculous and utterly uniformed rumor that spread in recent weeks, the NCAA and Oregon are still hashing things out and any "reports" you read about sanctions at this juncture are completely made up. One hundred percent. Further, the Pac-12 blog continues to believe that while Oregon will get hit with sanctions that won't exactly be pleasant, the penalties won't even approach the severity of what happened to USC.

9. At least three Pac-12 defenses will rank in the nation's top 25 in total defense: The candidates: California, Oregon, Stanford, USC and Utah.

10. The Pac-12 blog will, at some point, be wrong about something: No, seriously.

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