The pre-season NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Top-10 coaches poll came out and there was one somewhat surprising omission from the list. The Pac-12 doesn’t have any teams listed in the top-10, but could they crash the playoffs?
The Pac-12 is just 4-11 in the past two bowl seasons, so having any team join the playoff will be an extremely tough uphill battle.
Who has the best shot at making the playoffs? Today we will go over our favorite teams in the conference.
Oregon Ducks (2018 record: 9-4)
When Justin Herbert decided to return for his senior season, he instantly made the Ducks the favorite to win the Pac-12. Herbert has the size, speed, and accuracy to make all the throws, and was the consensus No. 1 overall pick had he come out for the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Ducks are ranked No. 13 in the preseason poll, and their showdown against Auburn will be a true test of their chances to get to the playoffs.
Stanford Cardinal (2018 record: 9-4)
David Shaw has done a great job keeping Jim Harbaugh’s momentum going for the Stanford Cardinal. A strong recruiter in his own right, Shaw’s teams always bring out the best in their opponents, and you can expect a tough game in the trenches. The player to watch for the Cardinal is quarterback K.J. Costello.
He threw for 29 touchdowns and over 3,500 yards last season, and could be in the running for Pac-12 offensive player of the year. If Stanford can run the table they will have a good shot at making the College Football Playoff.
They face off against UCF (who could be undefeated heading into bowl season) and finish the regular season off against Notre Dame. If the Cardinal can pull off that upset it may be enough to vault them into the top-4.
Washington State Cougars (2018 record: 11-2)
With Mike Leach at the Helm, the Cougars offense was one of the best in the country last season. His pass-happy offense can put up points quickly, and the Cougars were in line to crash the College Football Playoff party until they met up with the Washington Huskies. The Huskies excellent secondary, led by first-round pick Byron Murphy, shut down the Cougars passing attack in a 28-10 victory.
The Cougars strength of schedule may be their downfall when it comes time for the playoffs. Their toughest out of conference game is against the Houston Cougars.
Washington Huskies (2018 Record: 10-3)
The Huskies will be vastly different compared to its 2018 version. Byron Murphy and Miles Gaskin have both left for the NFL, but we expect the offense to be improved in 2019. The key reason is former No. 1 overall recruit Jacob Eason.
Eason originally committed to the Georgia Bulldogs and saw playing time as a freshman. Unfortunately for him, the Bulldogs have landed the No. 1 QB recruit each of the last two seasons. With the writing on the wall, Eason headed to a Huskies program that has a good shot at running the table.
Who do you think has a shot at the CFP?
Are you expecting one of the teams from Washington to break out and make the playoffs? Don’t be surprised if Arizona St. makes noise in year 2 under head coach Herman Edwards. For more news and notes regarding college football check the main page of our website.