We have heard grumblings over the past three or four seasons about the PAC12 finally getting on the level of the SEC. This may not be the year, but it should be a strong jump forward as they had several top-end recruiting classes. The PAC12 has been getting better and growing each year. The one downside to the PAC12, is the fact they tear their own conference apart. We see the SEC take a loss or two within their own conference, but the PAC12 seems to lose three or four inside their own conference.
I do like how deep such teams as; UCLA, USC, Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford and Utah are.
Utah was a big surprise last year, losing their Qb and Rb to the draft was not friendly to them. UCLA had maybe one of the best recruiting classes they had in several years.
They did well for the 2016 recruits as nine teams were in the top-50 according to 247sports.com.
Here are the rankings:
USC #8, UCLA #12, Stanford #16, Arizona State #27, Oregon #28, Washington #29, Cal #31, Utah #37, and Arizona #43
Thats a pretty stout recruiting class for the Pac12. Consistently getting in the top-50 for recruiting classes is the way to compete with the SEC. USC and UCLA were leading the way as USC had 2-5*, 12-4*, 6-3* and UCLA had 1-5*, 10-4*, 17-3*. With the seemingly flawless ability for 5* recruits to not live up to the hype, I think UCLA came out on top with 27 recruits being 3 or 4 star level talents.
We should see the best year for this conference next year, this might be a big transition for the PAC12 with several key players leaving the conference. However, we could see two top-10 picks next year in Stanford’s Christan McCaffrey and USC`s JuJu Smith. With the high end level of recruits for 2016 and 2017 for Pac12, next year should finally be the year they are the same type of level of the SEC.
As for how I think the conference as a whole will shake out well here we go:
5. Washington State
6. Oregon State
4. Arizona State
At the end of the season barring massive injuries we would see 5-PAC12 teams in the top 25 rankings in; Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC, and Utah. Oregon has allot to prove this year as they were hit hard by the draft, and I think his is also a true test for USC if they can put it all together.
Biggest Surprise: UCLA
Biggest Fall: Oregon
Player of conference: Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford
Player to watch: Josh Rosen, QB UCLA
Most improved: Washington
Worst team: Oregon State
If they can keep the same level of recruiting up it wont be long before we start seining 5-star players jump from SEC to PAC12. I love the way this division is starting to come together, I think they are still sub-par in some instances on the coaching front. After a solid year this year from teams, we could see higher level coaches look to the PAC12 when there are openings. Arizona, Washington, Arizona State and Oregon State could be places for higher profile coaches to land. I think of any one of the four land at the bottom of their division in the conference after the recruiting classes I would expect them to be fired. Arizona State has the coach on the hottest seat by good margin. Letting top-25 caliber teams the past two seasons slip through his fingers.