The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 23, 2013

2013 Pac-12 Conference Preview

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:59 pm

2013 Pac-12 Conference Preview

 

Get ready for an exciting season of college football on the West Coast.  The 2013 Pac-12 conference should have two heated races in the divisions.

 

This is a year of transition, and there are no true clear-cut favorites.  On paper, Oregon looks like the class of the league, but the Ducks will not have Coach Chip Kelly on the sidelines, as well as Kenjon Barner and his 1,700+ rushing yards, as well as three of the top five defensive stoppers from 2012.

 

Don’t discount the Ducks.  New coach Mark Elfrich has enough talent to take the Quack Attack back to the National Championship Game.  However, to do so, Oregon will have to win at Stanford.  The Cardinal won at Autzen Stadium last year.

 

Speaking of Stanford, this could be an even stronger edition in Palo Alto this season.  Kevin Hogan proved to be a very capable successor to Andrew Luck, and he will enjoy having the top offensive line  in the league.  However, the Cardinal lost all their key receivers and their key running back.  SU will continue to shine and contend for national honors thanks to a top-notch defense that could yield as few as 15 points per game this year.

 

Oregon St. is lying in ambush of the big two in the Pac-12 North Division.  The Beavers have top 10 talent, albeit third best in this division.  OSU could easily start the season at 7-0 before closing with a brutal stretch of games against Stanford, USC, Arizona St., Washington, and Oregon.  It will be hard topping 4-1 in those five games, and 2-3 may be more likely.

 

Washington is just a step below the big three in the North Division.  The Huskies will take a backseat to nobody on the attack side of the ball.  Coach Steve Sarkisian has one of the best receiving corps in the country, and quarterback Keith Price has 3,500 yard potential.  The Husky defense should be slightly improved, but the schedule prohibits it from a high national ranking.

 

Washington St. and California are well back of the top four in the North Division.  Washington St. starts year two of the Mike Leach era.  He must direct a new quarterback and replace the top receiver from last year.  WSU averaged the worst rushing production in modern day times, when the Cougars ran for just 29 yards per game in 2012.  Of course, sacks (57 in all) played a huge part, and if you count the rushing the proper way, like the NFL, the number inflates to 60 yards per game and a 3.7 average per attempt.

 

California becomes the next team to switch to the Air-Raid Offense, as former Louisiana Tech head man Sonny Dykes takes over in Berkeley.  Look for UC to pass the ball about 45-50 times per game, but it will be a long season at Memorial Stadium with a major rebuilding project commencing.

 

The South Division will be more competitive than the North with four teams in contention.  Our preseason ratings show less than two points separating the top four teams, which is less than the home field advantages for each team.  A 7-2 conference mark could be enough to win the division outright, and a 6-3 record could once again be all that is needed (UCLA last year).

 

This could be a do or die year for Lane Kiffin as coach of the USC Trojans.  The men of Troy failed to live up to expectations last year, finishing just 5-4 in league play and failing to show up against Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.  Max Wittek and Cody Kessler are battling to replace Matt Barkley at quarterback, and star receiver Marqise Lee has given statements to the media that the lack of naming a starter could be causing a stir within the team.  We cannot name the Trojans as the team to beat in the South, as possible dissension and lack of leadership could cause the demise of Kiffin in Los Angeles.

 

The team that we believe has the best chance of winning the division is Arizona St.  The Sun Devils are strong but not spectacular at every position on the field, and there is quality depth for second year head man Todd Graham.  Graham has produced winners everywhere he has coached, but his problem has been stating put.  He is the Larry Brown of football.  Should he decide to stick around Tempe for a lengthy stay, he could restore this program to the lofty status it enjoyed under Frank Kush in the 1970’s.  We look for a Kush-like year at Sun Devil Stadium; ASU should top 200 yards rushing, 200 yards passing, and 40 points per game.

 

UCLA faces a minor rebuilding project on the defensive side of the ball, but the Bruins have enough talent back to contend for the South Division title.  Brett Hundley is the best pure drop back passer in the league, and he could approach 4,000 passing yards.

 

Arizona should be vastly improved on the defensive side of the ball, and when a Rich Rodriguez team plays decent defense, you have to consider his team a legitimate contender for a league title.  The Spread offense will always produce points and access yardage, so the Wildcats are right there with the other three contenders this year.

 

Utah is starting to fall well back of the contenders in this division.  The Utes fell to 3-6 in league play last year, and we do not believe they can match that mark this year.  There isn’t enough talent in Salt Lake City.  The Utes had to fight off a scrappy Colorado team last year, and Cal drops off the schedule with a trip to Oregon as the replacement.  Throw in the regular non-conference games against BYU and Utah St., and it looks like a long year for Coach Kyle Whittingham’s crew.

 

Colorado edged Washington St. by one point last year to avoid an 0-12 season.  A loss to Sacramento St. basically brought about the end of the Jon Embree era in Boulder.  Enter former San Jose St. coach Mike MacIntyre.  In year one, the Buffaloes better be ready to play their best in week two against Central Arkansas, or CU could be looking at 0-12.  Give MacIntyre time, and he will turn things around at Folsom Field.

 

New Teams: None

 

Departures: None

 

Pre-season PiRate Ratings

Pacific 12 Conference

North Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Oregon

0-0

0-0

127.9

119.7

128.8

Stanford

0-0

0-0

127.1

115.9

126.8

Oregon St.

0-0

0-0

121.3

108.6

120.0

Washington

0-0

0-0

117.5

112.6

118.0

Washington St.

0-0

0-0

100.3

96.1

99.9

California

0-0

0-0

97.8

91.9

95.5

     

 

 

 

South Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

U S C

0-0

0-0

116.9

111.4

116.8

Arizona

0-0

0-0

116.2

108.8

115.1

Arizona St.

0-0

0-0

115.5

113.1

115.9

U C L A

0-0

0-0

115.2

103.0

114.1

Utah

0-0

0-0

99.7

96.7

98.5

Colorado

0-0

0-0

89.8

85.9

87.6

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

112.1

105.3

111.4

 

 

Official Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll

 

Pos

Team

Points

1st Place

NORTH DIVISION

1

Oregon

145

15

2

Stanford

139

11

3

Oregon St.

95

0

4

Washington

84

0

5

California

47

0

6

Washington St.

33

0

       
Pos Team

Points

1st Place

SOUTH DIVISION

1

U C L A

135

12

2

Arizona St.

130

10

3

Southern Cal

117

4

4

Arizona

76

0

5

Utah

60

0

6

Colorado

28

0

       

Pac-12 Title Game Champion

  Oregon

14

 
  Stanford

8

 
  U C L A

3

 

 

The Pac-12 did not release an official preseason all-conference team, so we will list the key players for each team with stats from 2012 in parentheses.

 

North Division

 

California

Brendan Bigelow—RB (431 rush/9.8 avg  Breakaway runner)

Chris Harper—WR (41-544)

Richard Rodgers—WR (20-288)

DeAndre Coleman—DL (48 tackles/3 sacks/8.5 TFL)

Nick Forbes—LB (85 tackles/4 Passes Defended)

Michael Lowe—DB (3 Int.)

 

Oregon

Marcus Mariota—QB (68.5% comp./8.0 ypa/32TD/6 Int./860 Rush [minus sacks])

Josh Huff—WR (32-493/7 TD)

Colt Lyerla—TE (25-392/6 TD)

De’Anthony Thomas—Slot (701 rush/11 rush TD/45-445 rec./5 rec. TD/17.1 PR avg and 1 TD/1 KR TD)

Hroniss Grassu, Jake Fisher, and Tyler Johnstone—OL

Taylor Hart—DL (36 tackles/8 sacks/11 TFL)

Ito Ekpre-Olomu—DB (4 Int./20 Passes Defended)

Terrance Mitchell—DB (8 Passes Defended)

 

Oregon St.

Cody Vaz and Sean Mannion—QB (look for both to see action where they combined for 3,926 passing yards and 26 TD)

Storm Woods—RB (940 Rush/13 TD)

Brandon Cooks—WR (67-1,151/5 TD)

Grant Enger and Michael Philipp—OL

Scott Crichton—DL (9 sacks/17.5 TFL)

Michael Doctor—LB (83 tackles/11 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Rashaad Reynolds—DB (3 Int./16 Passes Defended)

Keith Kostol—P (41.9 avg/38.5 net/41% inside 20)

 

Stanford

Kevin Hogan—QB (71.7% comp.)

Kevin Danser and David Yankey—OL

Henry Anderson—DL (51 tackles/5.5 sacks/13 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Ben Gardner—DL (49 tackles/7.5 sacks/14.5 TFL5 Passes Defended)

Trent Murphy—LB (56 tackles/10 sacks/18 TFL/6 QB hurries/5 Passes Defended)

Jordan Richards—DB (68 tackles/3 Int./15 Passes Defended)

Ed Reynolds—DB (47 tackles/6 Int./11 Passes Defended)

 

Washington

Keith Price—QB (60.9% comp./19 TD/13 Int.)

Bishop Sankey—RB (1,439 rush/5.0 avg/16 TD/33-249 rec.)

Kasen Williams—WR (77-878/6 TD)

Danny Shelton—DL (45 tackles/4 TFL)

John Timu—LB (91 tackles/6 Passes Defended)

Shaq Thompson—LB (74 tackles/8.5 TFL/3 Int./6 Passes Defended)

Sean Parker—DB (77 tackles/6 Passes Defended)

 

Washington St.

Gabe Marks—WR (49-560)

Dominique Williams—WR (34-546)

Elliott Bosch—OL

Cyrus Coen—LB (60 tackles/3 sacks/12 TFL/3 Int./7 Passes Defended)

Deone Bucannon—DB (106 tackles/4 Int./8 Passes Defended)

Andrew Furney—K (Made 60-yard FG last year)

 

South Division

 

Arizona

Ka’Deem Carey—RB (1,929 rush/6.4 avg/23 TD/36-303 rec.)

Jake Fischer—LB (119 tackles/6.5 FL)

Marquise Flowers—LB (100 tackles/5.5 sacks/13 TFL/3 Int./6 Passes Defended)

Jonathan McKnight—DB (51 tackles/3 Int./7 Passes Defended)

Richard Morrison—PR (13-10.2/1 TD)

 

Arizona St.

Taylor Kelly—QB (67.1% comp./8.5 ypa/29 TD/9 Int.)

Marion Grice—RB (679 rush/6.6 avg/11 TD/41-425 rec./8 TD rec.)

Chris Coyle—TE (57-696/5 TD)

Evan Finkenberg—OL

Will Sutton—DL (63 tackles/13 sacks/23.5 TFL)

Carl Bradford—LB (81 tackles/11.5 sacks/20.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Alden Darby—DB (80 tackles/3 Int./7 Passes Defended)

Osahon Irabor—DB (14 Passes Defended)

 

Colorado

Christian Powell—RB (691 rush/4.4 avg./7 TD)

Nelson Spruce—WR (44-446/3 TD)

Paul Richardson—WR (former 1,000+ rec. yards/missed 2012)

Daniel Munyer—OL

Chidera Uzo-Diribe—DL (43 tackles/7 sacks/10.5 TFL)

Derrick Webb—LB (88 tackles/5.5 TFL)

 

Southern Cal

Silas Redd—RB (905 rush/5.4 avg./9 TD)

Marqise Lee—WR (118-1,721/14 TD/8.2 rush avg./28.5 KR/1 KRTD/Should be 1st or 2nd pick in 2014 NFL Draft)

Marcus Martin, John Martinez, and Max Tuerk—OL

Leonard Williams—DL (64 tackles/8 sacks/13.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Morgan Breslin—DL (62 tackles/13 sacks/19.5 TFL)

Hayes Pullard—LB (107 tackles/8 TFL)

Dion Bailey—DB (80 tackles/8 TFL/4 Int./9 Passes Defended)

 

U C L A

Brett Hundley—QB (66.5% comp./29 TD/11 Int.)

Shaquelle Evans—WR (60-877)

Jake Brendel and Xavier Su’A-Filo—OL

Cassius Marsh—DL (50 tackles/8 sacks/10.5 TFL)

Eric Kendricks—LB (150 tackles/6 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Anthony Barr—LB (83 tackles/13.5 sacks/21.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

 

Utah

Travis Wilson—QB (62.7% comp.)

Jeremiah Poutasi—OL

Trevor Reilly—DL (69 tackles/4.5 sacks/6.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

 

 

PiRate Ratings Summary

 

About Grades

93-100         A+

86-92           A

79-85           A-

72-78           B+

65-71           B

58-64           B-

51-57           C+

44-50           C

37-43           C-

30-36           D

0-29             F

 

About Predictions

Predictions are based on the PiRate Ratings with home field advantage factored in.  The PiRate Ratings use different home field advantages for every game, since the opponent factors into the equation.

 

North Division

Team

California Golden Bears

               
Head Coach

Sonny Dykes

               
Colors

Blue and Gold

               
City

Berkeley, CA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

2-7

Overall

3-9

               
Grades              
Run Offense

52

Pass Offense

77

Run Defense

69

Pass Defense

52

               
Ratings              
PiRate

97.8

Mean

91.9

Bias

95.5

               
Rankings              
PiRate

71

Mean

96

Bias

78

               
Prediction              
Conference

2-7

Overall

3-9

 

 

Team

Oregon Ducks

               
Head Coach

Mark Helfrich

               
Colors

Green and Gold

               
City

Eugene, OR

               
2012 Record              
Conference

8-1

Overall

12-1

               
Grades              
Run Offense

100

Pass Offense

91

Run Defense

92

Pass Defense

90

               
Ratings              
PiRate

127.9

Mean

119.7

Bias

128.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

2

Mean

2

Bias

2

               
Prediction              
Conference

8-1

Overall

11-1

 

 

Team

Oregon St. Beavers

               
Head Coach

Mike Riley

               
Colors

Orange and Black

               
City

Corvallis, OR

               
2012 Record              
Conference

6-3

Overall

9-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

67

Pass Offense

94

Run Defense

93

Pass Defense

88

               
Ratings              
PiRate

121.3

Mean

108.6

Bias

120.0

               
Rankings              
PiRate

10

Mean

35

Bias

11

               
Prediction              
Conference

7-2

Overall

10-2

 

 

Team

Stanford Cardinal

               
Head Coach

David Shaw

               
Colors

Cardinal and White

               
City

Palo Alto, CA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

8-1 (won Pac-12 Championship)

Overall

12-2

               
Grades              
Run Offense

84

Pass Offense

92

Run Defense

99

Pass Defense

93

               
Ratings              
PiRate

127.1

Mean

115.9

Bias

126.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

4

Mean

9

Bias

4

               
Prediction              
Conference

9-0 (wins Pac-12 Conf. Championship)

Overall

13-0

 

 

Team

Washington Huskies

               
Head Coach

Steve Sarkisian

               
Colors

Purple and Gold

               
City

Seattle

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-4

Overall

7-6

               
Grades              
Run Offense

83

Pass Offense

87

Run Defense

82

Pass Defense

78

               
Ratings              
PiRate

117.5

Mean

112.6

Bias

118.0

               
Rankings              
PiRate

16

Mean

22

Bias

15

               
Prediction              
Conference

4-5

Overall

7-5

 

 

Team

Washington St. Cougars

               
Head Coach

Mike Leach

               
Colors

Crimson and Gray

               
City

Pullman, WA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-8

Overall

3-9

               
Grades              
Run Offense

25

Pass Offense

93

Run Defense

69

Pass Defense

65

               
Ratings              
PiRate

100.3

Mean

96.1

Bias

99.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

55

Mean

81

Bias

58

               
Prediction              
Conference

1-8

Overall

3-9

 

 

South Division

Team

Arizona Wildcats

               
Head Coach

Rich Rodriguez

               
Colors

Cardinal and Navy

               
City

Tucson, AZ

               
2012 Record              
Conference

4-5

Overall

8-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

93

Pass Offense

88

Run Defense

74

Pass Defense

71

               
Ratings              
PiRate

116.2

Mean

108.8

Bias

115.1

               
Rankings              
PiRate

21

Mean

33

Bias

26

               
Prediction              
Conference

5-4

Overall

8-4

 

 

Team

Arizona St. Sun Devils

               
Head Coach

Todd Graham

               
Colors

Maroon and Gold

               
City

Tempe, AZ

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-4

Overall

8-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

71

Pass Offense

88

Run Defense

86

Pass Defense

76

               
Ratings              
PiRate

115.5

Mean

113.1

Bias

115.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

24

Mean

19

Bias

20

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-3 (lose Pac-12 Champ. Game)

Overall

8-5

 

 

Team

Colorado Buffaloes

               
Head Coach

Mike MacIntyre

               
Colors

Old Gold and Black

               
City

Boulder, CO

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-8

Overall

1-11

               
Grades              
Run Offense

35

Pass Offense

62

Run Defense

62

Pass Defense

57

               
Ratings              
PiRate

89.8

Mean

85.9

Bias

87.6

               
Rankings              
PiRate

92

Mean

113

Bias

98

               
Prediction              
Conference

0-9

Overall

1-11

 

 

Team

Southern Cal Trojans

               
Head Coach

Lane Kiffin

               
Colors

Cardinal and Gold

               
City

Los Angeles

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-4

Overall

7-6

               
Grades              
Run Offense

82

Pass Offense

78

Run Defense

95

Pass Defense

76

               
Ratings              
PiRate

116.9

Mean

111.4

Bias

116.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

17

Mean

27

Bias

17

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-3

Overall

9-4

 

 

Team

U C L A Bruins

               
Head Coach

Jim Mora, Jr.

               
Colors

Deep Sky Blue and Sun Gold

               
City

Los Angeles

               
2012 Record              
Conference

6-3 (lost in Pac-12 Champ. Game)

Overall

9-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

71

Pass Offense

95

Run Defense

78

Pass Defense

74

               
Ratings              
PiRate

115.2

Mean

103.0

Bias

114.1

               
Rankings              
PiRate

26

Mean

47

Bias

29

               
Prediction              
Conference

5-4

Overall

7-5

 

Colorado Buffaloes

Team

Utah Utes

                 
Head Coach

Kyle Whittingham

 
                 
Colors

Crimson and White

 
                 
City

Salt Lake City

 
                 
2012 Record                
Conference

3-6

 
Overall

5-7

 
                 
Grades                
Run Offense

53

 
Pass Offense

71

 
Run Defense

69

 
Pass Defense

64

 
                 
Ratings                
PiRate

99.7

 
Mean

96.7

 
Bias

98.5

 
                 
Rankings                
PiRate

60

 
Mean

75

 
Bias

66

 
                 
Prediction                
Conference

1-8

 
Overall

3-9

 

 

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