Power Ranking The Top 5 Teams Not Playing In 2020

The Big 10 and Pac-12 have postponed their football seasons until the spring, and barring a miraculous change in direction, that means we are missing a few great teams worth watching this coming football season. There are rumors that certain teams from these conferences are still trying to put together a season, so while all hope is not yet lost, here’s the top 5 teams we are at least very unlikely to see play in the coming months.

5. Michigan Wolverines

Michigan faced an uphill battle this season in a loaded Big 10 East with Penn State and Ohio State. However, with Ohio State visiting Penn State, and the Nittany Lions travelling to Ann Arbor, there were hopes at potentially making a run at a 9-win conference season, which would at least keep them in the Playoff conversation. That may have required Jim Harbaugh to win a big game, so it may not have happened, but regardless, one of the best divisions in football is out of action this fall. We also miss some intirguing storylines, including Michigan’s quarterback battle, as they scramble to replace Shea Patterson. The Wolverines also will not get to break out running back Zach Charbonnet, who turned heads during an impressive freshman season. He averaged a touch under five yards per carry and notched 11 touchdowns on the ground. He was largely not Michigan’s feature back, but he figured to get an increased share of the carries in his sophomore season. Charbonnet will certainly miss out on a great chance to boost his draft stock, a common and unfortunate theme for many players in these conferences. It’ll be a weird season without the Maize and Blue roaming the gridiron.

4. Oregon Ducks

Maybe a tad low? That’s alright, I can deal with the protests of Oregon fans. Most college football fans were disappointed last year when Oregon lost a late-season battle with Arizona State, nullifying the Ducks’ chance at the Playoff. They were largely disappointed, simply because the general thought, which proved to be correct, was that Oklahoma could not match up in the Playoff, and the red-hot Ducks figured to be a higher-quality team. However, their late season loss doomed them, and Oregon settled for a Rose Bowl victory. This year, they would have had to replace quarterback Justin Herbert, who was drafted sixth overall after spending four years under center for the Ducks. Oregon figured to be a prime Pac-12 contender and potential darkhorse for the Playoff – however, barring any unlikely circumstances, they won’t be getting that chance in 2020.

3. Penn State Nittany Lions

I was really high on Penn State entering this season. I thought the Nittany Lions were truly one of the best teams in the country. They’re definitely one of the teams I am disappointed I won’t get to see in action. Whether it was defensive force Micah Parsons terrorizing opposing offenses, Journey Brown putting forth a dynamic season in the backfield, or quarterback Sean Clifford becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 10, Penn State had a ton of potential, I thought. Parsons opted out of the season, and Penn State also announced there would be no fans, nullifying their fairly significant homefield advantage at Happy Valley. Particularly affected was their home clash with Ohio State, which they figured to make their annual ‘whiteout’ game, which provides one of the most deafening atmsopheres in sports. That game, and this team as a whole, will be missed by the college football world in 2020.

2. USC Trojans

Entering this season, I was completely sold on Kedon Slovis as the best quarterback in the Pac-12 and one of the best in the nation. I believe USC had the best returning offense in the conference, a defense that could at the very least stack up as a top-5 unit. Slovis ended last season absolutely on fire, and I was ready for him to absolutely torch the Pac-12 this season. I truly could have seen him as a darkhorse Heisman contender, had the Trojans become a legitimate playoff contender. Slovis is an absolute stud, and I think he will elevate his draft stock to be one of the premier quarterbacks available in the 2022 draft, assuming he has a chance to suit up again by that point.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

This was the obvious number one. Whether you were excited to see Justin Fields ball out under center once more, or who in the Ohio States talented wide receiver corps would emerge, or exactly how well Master Teague could fill the shoes of J.K. Dobbins, or how dominant the Buckeyes’ defense could be, there was plenty to be excited for in this Ohio State team. They fell just short in the College Football Playoff Semifinals last season, and you can bet the house that they would have been raring to go out of the gate, ready to avenge that gutwrenching defeat. Ohio State was definitely on the shortlist of national title contenders in 2020, and one of the clear reasons that a national championship earned this coming fall season may have to come with a slight asterick.

Daily Headlines: USC lands 2nd Top-50 Quarterback

USC didn’t waste too much time thinking about the loss of J.T. Daniels, as they reeled in their second quarterback ranked in the ESPN top 40 recruits for the Class of 2021. After landing 19th-ranked Jake Garcia, the Trojans got a commitment from #37 Miller Moss, who picked USC over Alabama, LSU, and UCLA. Moss said throughout his recruitment that staying in or close to Los Angeles, so UCLA was a top competitor for his services, but Moss said he wasn’t shyng away from the competition under center, and USC now have the luxury of picking from two of the top signal-callers of the 2021 class. 

Clemson’s Justyn Ross out for the season, career in danger

Clemson’s title hopes took a bit of a hit on Monday, as it was announced that projected #1 wide receiver Justyn Ross will miss the 2020 season. It might be even more serious than that, as head coach Dabo Swinney said it’s not a certainty Ross can play football again after it was announced he would undergo surgery for a congenital fusion in the neck and spine area. It was a birth defect discovered this past spring, and anyone can only hope that Ross’s career isn’t over. Clemson will hope to replace Ross’s production as they eye another run at the College Football Playoff. 

Clemson gets leading scorer back for another season on the hardwood

Clemson became known for their wacky, upset-crazed basketball team last season, as the Tigers were only in NCAA Tournament bubble discussions due to their various stunning upsets, with three top-6 upsets over Duke, Florida State, and Louisville. Their team got a big boost for their NCAA Tournament hopes next season, as leading scorer Aamir Simms announced he is withdrawing from the NBA Draft and returning to Clemson. He averaged 13 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest last season. 

LSU schedules historic games

LSU’s football program took a historic step on Monday, scheduling their first-ever contests with Southern and Grambling, two Louisiana football teams they have never played. Grambling and Southern are fierce FCS rivals, and Southern is 10 miles from LSU’s campus, yet despite 92 years of shared history, the teams have never met. Both schools are historically black colleges, so it’s a good statement by LSU at the current time of turmoil. LSU will host both games, welcoming Southern on September 10, 2022, and Grambling on September 9, 2023.

Daily Headlines: Notre Dame and Kentucky Schedule 3-game series in Basketball

Notre Dame and Kentucky set up 3-game series

Two of college basketball’s most historic programs set up a three-game series for the next three seasons, as Kentucky, who has the most all-time wins as a program, and Notre Dame, ranked #9 in that same category, will meet on the hardwood in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Kentucky is, as they usually are, a powerhouse, while Notre Dame is a program back on the rise. The Irish suffer the loss of John Mooney this season, but they have a strong sophomore class and some promising upcoming recruits. Next year’s contest at Kentucky sets the Wildcats up as heavy favorites, but the following two years, at a neutral site and then at Notre Dame, promise to be entertaining clashes. Kentucky leads the overall series 43-19, but the two teams have four contests since 2009. Non-conference battles like this are good for college sports, so it’s great to see this rivalry renewed. After all, who else remembers the last time these two teams met? (Also, if ND could bring back these uniforms along with the rivalry, that would be cool)

Notre Dame will get three chances at avenging this painful memory

Oklahoma sweeps the Big 12 Athlete of the Year Awards

The Big 12 announced some postseason honors on Thursday, and Oklahoma swept the Athlete of the Year awards, with quarterback and Heisman finalist Jalen Hurts taking the male award, and gymnast Maggie Nichols taking it home on the female side. 

Hurts was one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country this past season, denied a Heisman by Joe Burrow’s all-world season. He put up over 5,000 yards of all-purpose offense and accounted for 53 touchdowns. He led the Sooners to a Big 12 title and the College Football Playoff, and he was drafted by the Eagles in the 2nd round this past April.
Nichols, meanwhile, earned her second Big 12 athlete of the year award, having claimed the hardware two years ago as well. She’s won back-to-back NCAA all-around titles in 2018 and 2019, adding to her trophy case of 11 NCAA trophies she accumulated over her time with Oklahoma. 

JT Daniels Transfers to Georgia

In a decision that made waves across the sporting world yesterday, former USC quarterback JT Daniels elected to transfer to Georgia. The starting job under center in Athens was presumed to belong to Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman, but now he’ll be competing with Daniels for playing time. Newman is the presumed favorite, but Kirby Smart’s quarterback room just got a lot better, and the competition got a lot tighter. 

Brown drops 11 varsity sports, adds two

Brown dropped eleven varsity sports, lowering their total to 29 D1 teams. However, the move is unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the administration; rather, they say the decision was made to make the Bears more competitive in the Ivy League. From ESPN: “Varsity sports dropping to club status are men’s and women’s fencing, men’s and women’s golf, women’s skiing, men’s and women’s squash, women’s equestrian and men’s indoor and outdoor track and cross country. Coed sailing and women’s sailing will be elevated from club to varsity status.” 

Daily Headlines: NCAA Implements Massive Postseason Ban on 15 Athletic Programs

As referenced by Cal Christoforo in his article on Stephen F. Austin, the NCAA struck with a thundering fist on Tuesday, implementing a postseason ban on fifteen schools that didn’t meet the minimum threshold on their Academic Progress Reports. The report required a four-year score of 930 – which predicts a graduation rate of 50%. Ten schools and fifteen athletic programs did not hit the mark:

  • Alabama A&M men’s basketball, men’s track and women’s soccer
  • Alabama State men’s basketball
  • Coppin State women’s track
  • Delaware State men’s basketball
  • Grambling State men’s track
  • Howard football
  • McNeese State football
  • Prairie View A&M football
  • Southern University men’s cross country and men’s track
  • Stephen F. Austin baseball, football and men’s basketball

The penalty is a postseason ban for the involved programs, but it’s unclear when they have to be served, especially with the ongoing uncertainty regarding the 2021-2022 sports season due the coronavirus pandemic.

USC and Ole Miss schedule first-ever match-up

Power-5 non-conference match-ups are always welcome, and courtesy of USC and Ole Miss, we will get one that we haven’t seen before. The Trojans and Rebels have never met on the gridiron, but they will in 2025 and 2026, as the two programs scheduled a home-and-home. USC will host Ole Miss in the Coliseum in 2025, and in 2026, the Trojans head to the state of Mississippi for the first time in their storied history. Ole Miss will be the 11th of 14 SEC teams that USC has played.

Recruiting News: Zach Evans ends a wild process

With sports still on hold, recruiting updates are as big of news as we get, and when a five-star running back ends a wild recruitment with a surprise announcement, the headlines don’t get much bigger on that front. So here are today’s recruiting updates:

5-Star RB Zach Evans commits to TCU
Class of 2020 running back Zach Evans, a former Georgia commit, finally made his announcement, and it was a huge surprise, as Evans is opting to stay in state and play for the TCU Horned Frogs. After his initial top-four list included Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M, Evans was thought to be a lock to be competing in the SEC. Evans signed a letter of intent with Georgia, but he was released from that letter in January, after deciding not to enroll early. Although the up-and-down, wild recruitment process had hardly revealed a favorite, Evans’ announcement that he had chosen TCU on Monday was shocking, as the Horned Frogs had rarely been associated with Evans. A huge announcement that may help TCU rebound from their massive draft losses, as they look to climb back into the Big 12 conversation. 

4-Star ATH Julien Simon commits to USC
USC thrives on dynamic playmakers to thrive within both their offensive and defensive systems, and by securing Simon, the Trojans bring in an extremely athletic option; they’ve recruited Simon as an inside linebacker, which makes sense given they failed to bring anyone in at the position in their Class of 2020. The Tacoma, Washington product chose Clay Helton’s squad over an in-state offer from Washington, as well as Oregon, Cal, Stanford, Texas, and Michigan. 

Tennessee lands a pair of 4-star recruits
Tennessee’s window to win is fast approaching. They’ve been irrelevant in the SEC for a long time, but the Vols are reeling in top-level recruits at a ridiculous clip. Dual-threat quarterback Kaidon Salter announced he was headed for Tennessee, turning down a bevy of other offers – Salter had visited Baylor, and as a Dallas, Texas product, the in-state program seemed like a likely destination. However, a March visit to Tennessee clearly convinced Salter.

Tennessee also improved their recruiting class on the defensive side of the ball, bringing in linebacker Aaron Willis, a top-5 linebacker on many lists. Earning his commitment over national powerhouses Alabama and Clemson is a major win for the Volunteers, who will continue to try and build towards challenging Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Auburn for SEC supremacy.

ESPN FPI – Overrated and Underrated Teams

ESPN updated their 2020 college football projections yesterday, and it raised some major questions. Certain teams slotted in way too high, and a few teams, based on their projections, seem like they would be a smart bet for this upcoming season. As we continue to wait for any announcements regarding this upcoming football season, here’s one take on who was underrated and overrated by ESPN’s FPI projections.

Overrated – Wisconsin
I’ll start with the team that I think was the most out of place. In my mind, Wisconsin was a borderline Top-10 team. They lost four games last year, and they lost their most dynamic player in Jonathan Taylor. Yes, two of Wisconsin’s losses game against Ohio State, and another one against Oregon, but they haven’t finished in the Top 5 since 1999. I don’t understand this ranking at all. If you go by the projections, Wisconsin will make the College Football Playoff next year. After a light slate to start the year, Wisconsin embarks on a 3-weeks stretch at Michigan, Notre Dame, and versus Minnesota. No chance.

Underrated – Florida

Kyle Trask is a nice little sleeper Heisman pick, and he’s one of the few decent returning starting quarterbacks in the SEC, especially in the SEC East. If they get past Georgia, there’s no reason to think the Gators can’t win the SEC East. With no clear favorite in the conference, Trask could absolutely help lead Florida to an SEC title, which has been nearly synonymous with a College Football Playoff berth. Yet Florida is ranked 13th? Behind Texas and UCF? Absolute joke.

Overrated – Georgia

Nathaniel wrote about Georgia’s massive draft losses yesterday, but he has a little more optimism about the Bulldogs’ chances than I do. They lost fifteen players to the draft, as well as Jake Fromm. Say what you want about Fromm, but he’s been the only quarterback at the helm during Georgia’s relevance. I don’t like the odds of an ACC quarterback coming in and taking over the SEC. Don’t see it, and I don’t agree with the 5th-best odds that ESPN gifted Kirby Smart’s squad.

Underrated – Notre Dame
I mean come on. Notre Dame has been a consistent Top-10 team for a few years now, and they haven’t lost at home in two years. Ian Book returns for his third year as a starter, defensive coordinator Clark Lea always leads an elite-level defense for the Irish, and Brian Kelly’s squad returns his entire starting offensive lineman. Throw in incoming recruit Chris Tyree, new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, and ranking the Irish #15, also behind UCF and Texas, is insane.

Overrated – USC Trojans
At #14, Ranking USC anywhere near this list is horrible. Clay Helton has not proven to be an elite level coach, and USC lost some of their major weapons this year. With some controversy in the quarterback room, and a 13-12 record in the past two seasons, the Trojans have no business coming into the Top 15.

Underrated – Clemson

OK if I’m being honest, Florida and Notre Dame were my biggest complaints about the list, but I figured I’d use the final space to just mention Clemson. This team is going to be an absolute monster. With Justyn Ross, Trevor Lawrence, and Travis Etienne returning, Dabo Swinney still at the helm, and their traditionally dominant defense, along with playing in the ACC, Clemson is primed for another 12-0 regular season. And while obviously LSU came out of nowhere, it took one of the greatest college football teams of all time to take down Lawrence and the Tigers, and I don’t see it happening this year. They are ranked #1 with an 81% chance to make the Playoff. Seems like an understatement to me.

NCAA FOOTBALL TOP MOMENTS – #1: Vince Young becomes a Texas legend, beats USC in epic Rose Bowl

Coming up with a list of the top 7 moments to feature this week in college football was brutally difficult. Some of these are a series of games, others a specific national championship, and others are an unlikely or inspirational run to a national title. For the most part, I refined this list to postseason moments, or games that decided a national championship, simply because with such an overwhelming list of possible options to feature, I decided that the ones with the biggest impact would be the ones that had championship implications. 

If you’ve been on our website, you had to know this was coming. The #1 moment in our NCAA football moments countdown is the 2006 Rose Bowl, an absolute thriller played between the Texas Longhorns and USC Trojans for the national championship –  a game whose defining moment was captured in one of the most iconic football photos ever. From the storylines leading into the game, the star performances and epic duel between two football powerhouses, this was an easy choice for the #1 moment on our countdown. 

The 2005 USC Trojans entered the year looking to repeat, or three-peat if you ask them, as national champions, a feat never accomplished in the AP Poll Era. Their rise to the top of college football had come suddenly, as from 1996-2001, the Trojans compiled a 37-35 record, never finishing with more than 8 wins and never finishing a season ranked. Then in 2002, under second-year head coach Pete Carroll, USC went 11-2 with an Orange Bowl win. They improved on that in each of the following years, finishing ‘03 and ‘04 with 12-1 and 13-0 records, respectively. They won the 2003 AP National Championship, although LSU was named the BCS champion, leading to a split title. They won the sole championship in 2004. They were led into battle in 2005 by 2004 Heisman winner and quarterback Matt Leinart, along with the eventual 2005 Heisman winner, running back Reggie Bush. 

The Trojans were an absolute force in 2005, as not a single team could contain their offense. USC put up 63, 70, and 45 points in their first three games. #14 Arizona State kept them under 40 points, but the Trojans still won 38-28. Their first real test came in a rivalry game at #9 Notre Dame. USC was 5-0 but trailed at halftime, and trailed 31-28 with seven seconds left at the Notre Dame 1-yard line. Rather than attempt the field goal, USC called for a quarterback sneak, and after Leinart’s initial effort was stopped, Bush executed what became known as “The Bush Push”, driving Leinart over the goal line. USC won their final six games with relative ease, with only one opponent coming within 25 points of them. #16 Fresno State led 21-13 at halftime, but USC put up 28 points in the third quarter, and got a last-minute interception to seal a 50-42 win. They punctuated the year with a 66-19 rivalry win over UCLA, sealing another berth in the BCS Championship.

Texas hadn’t exactly been a nobody in the college football world, and they had long been a more consistent program than USC. Under head coach Mack Brown, the Longhorns had finished seven consecutive seasons ranked, including three in the Top 6, and in 2004, they had pulled off a Rose Bowl win to finish the season #5. However, Texas had not won a national championship since 1970, and they were fighting to get back to the top of the mountain. After an easy win in the opener, the Longhorns had an immediate road test against #4 Ohio State. Texas trailed 22-16 in the fourth quarter, but quarterback Vince Young tossed a touchdown pass late, and the Longhorns added a safety to win the highly anticipated battle by three points. After that, it was smooth sailing for Texas, as no other opponent came closer than eleven points. They didn’t score under 40 points, and they dismantled #24 Colorado twice, and crushed #10 Texas Tech en route to an undefeated regular season, setting up a big-time national championship game. 

The Rose Bowl was a clash of the two teams with the longest active winning streaks – USC with 34 and Texas with 19, and it also featured the top two finishers in the Heisman race, with Reggie Bush edging Vince Young out for the award. To start the game, USC did not gain a first down, but Texas fumbled the ensuing punt, giving USC’s lethal offense a short field, which they quickly converted into a touchdown, leading 7-0 into the second quarter. Texas took advantage of a USC turnover, and Young led a 53-yard drive which culminated in a field goal. USC’s next drive ended in the red zone with a Leinart interception, and the Longhorns capitalized once more. Young powered the drive with his arm and with his legs, finishing it off by sprinting ten yards and tossing a lateral to Selvin Young who polished off the final twelve yards for a touchdown for a 9-7 lead after a failed extra point. The Longhorns extended the lead to 16-7, but USC cut it to 16-10 at halftime. 

The offenses exploded to start the second half, as running back LenDale White punched in a score for the Trojans, Young responded with the first of his three rushing touchdowns, and USC fired right back as White converted a 4th and 1 on a 12-yard touchdown run. After the fireworks, the score stood at 24-23, and Texas missed a go-ahead field goal, keeping them down by one entering the final stanza. 

Things looked bleak for Texas, as USC continued to dominate the second half through the first half of the fourth quarter. After Texas’s missed field goal, USC drove 80 yards, with some superb passing from Leinart and a 26-yard touchdown rush by Reggie Bush. Texas was able to get into the red zone on their ensuing drive, but the Trojans stiffened at the last second, holding the Longhorns to a field goal. USC needed very little time to respond as Leinart and fullback David Kirtman connected for 33 yards, and then 15 more were added to the total on a roughing the passer penalty. Leinart executed a toss to receiver Dwayne Jarrett so swept through the defense for a 22-yard touchdown, and USC opened up a commanding 38-26 lead with just 6:42 to play in the game. 

Texas wasn’t down and out yet, as Vince Young threw the Longhorns on his back and personally accounted for 69 yards in just 2:39. He completed five passes for 44 yards and ran for the remaining 25, including 17 yards for a touchdown to bring Texas within five with 3:58 to play. After yielding one first down, Texas needed a stop to leave any kind of time remaining for their offense to work some magic. They got a third-down stop, forcing USC into a 4th and 2 just past midfield with 2:13 to play. Pete Carroll decided to put the game in the hands of his trusty offense rather than punt and rely on a defense that had struggled to stop Vince Young and the Longhorns. He called for a LenDale White run, but Texas stiffened and stuffed him for just a yard, allowing Texas to take over at their own 44-yard line.

Texas still needed a touchdown, and they were forced into a few unsavory positions on their final drive. They lost two yards on their first two plays and were immediately confronted with a 3rd and 12. However a short completion and facemask penalty extended the drive for the Longhorns. Young then rushed for seven yards and found rarely-used receiver Brian Carter twice for 26 yards, pushing Texas to the USC 14-yard line. However, the Longhorns gained just five yards in three plays, and they faced a do-or-die 4th and 5 from the 9-yard line. Young dropped back but couldn’t find an open receiver. He scrambled and found space to his right, bolting for the corner of the end zone. Receiving a critical block from Justin Blalock, Young won a footrace into the corner of the endzone for a 39-38 Texas lead. A successful 2-point conversion gave the Longhorns a 3-point advantage. 

Leinart had just 16 seconds and no timeouts to work his magic for USC, and although he got the Trojans to the Texas 43, there was simply not enough time, and Texas snapped USC’s lengthy winning streak and handed Leinart just the second loss of his collegiate career. 

The Aftermath

Vince Young was named the Rose Bowl MVP for the 2nd consecutive year, and he also received the Manning Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback and the only award based partly on bowl results. In the game, Young put up a Rose-Bowl record 467 all-purpose yards, collecting 200 on the ground and 267 more through the air while running for three touchdowns. Had USC won, Leinart (365 pass yards and a touchdown) or LenDale White (3 touchdowns) would have been prime MVP candidates. 

Bush, Young, Texas’s Michael Huff, and Leinart all were top-10 picks in the 2006 NFL Draft, with Bush and Young being selected second and third overall. USC ended up vacating their 2004 national championship and their 2005 wins, as Reggie Bush was found to be ineligible after accepting thousands of dollars worth of gifts from a few California agents. Bush also voluntarily forfeited his Heisman trophy. Although USC’s winning streak was virtually destroyed by this, and their official 2005 record was 0-1, the Rose Bowl versus Texas still remains one of the most iconic games of all times, with Vince Young’s performance and game-winning touchdown serving as one of the best individual efforts in college football history.

Pac-12 Status Report: Struggles On The Bubble

Last year, the Pac-12 sent just 3 teams to the NCAA tournament, the fewest of any Power-6 conference, and this year looks to be more of the same, unless some of the teams stuck in the mud can get unstuck really fast. As a whole, the conference is struggling, featuring just three ranked teams and just one in the Top 20. Arizona is still the title favorite in my mind, but Oregon and Colorado also seem like viable candidates. Identifying biggest risers and fallers is difficult in a conference where every team seems to be playing with consistent mediocrity, but here is our best shot:

Biggest Risers: USC

  • The Trojans actually lead the Pac-12 with a 4-1 mark in conference play, but that one loss was a 32-point demolition, suffered at the hands of the Washington Huskies. USC responded to that with three straight wins – but two of those were against UCLA and Cal, two of the worst teams in the league. Saturday’s home victory over Stanford showcased USC’s potential, but whether they’re a tournament team is somewhat undecided.

Biggest Fallers: Oregon State

  • I listed the Beavers as a team that, while a title seemed unlikely, could make a decent run in the conference tournament, especially given their 17-point win over Arizona. Oregon State followed this with two straight losses. Although their road loss to a solid Washington team can be excused, I cannot justify their 13-point loss to Washington State – quite possibly the worst team the conference and at the very least in the bottom echelon of teams. In a league with a core top 3 teams and a definitive ‘basement tier’, such a bad loss will quickly move you into the biggest faller category.

Quick Hits

  • Right now, I’m going to predict exactly 3 teams to make the NCAA tournament out of the Pac-12. Outside of Arizona, Oregon, and Colorado, I just don’t feel comfortable picking another of these squads to crack the field.
  • On the bubble, I’m listing 5 teams in order of how I rate their chances: Stanford, USC, Washington, Arizona State, and Oregon State.
  • As for teams that have no chance, I believe there are already four that have played themselves out of contention – Utah, UCLA, Washington State, and Cal.

Biggest Upcoming Games

  • USC @ Oregon State
  • UCLA @ #12 Oregon
  • Stanford @ Cal