PAC-12 Odds: 2012 Football Preview
The addition of Colorado and Utah last season set-up the North and South Divisions in the PAC 12 and put it in perfect position to claim a spot as one of the four power conferences in Division 1A college football.
Editors Note: For 2013 conference preview, click here
With two teams ranked in the Top 5 of the preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the PAC 12 is also primed for a serious run at ending the SEC’s string of six consecutive national champions.
The following is a brief preview for a few of the top contenders along with all 12 team’s odds to win the conference as provided by TopBet.
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The UCS Trojans have been sitting on the shelf the past few seasons serving a two-year ban from postseason play, but it may have been well worth the wait with a 2012 squad that is -250 favorites to win the conference and favored by many to win it all this year.
The Trojans return nine starters on offense including one of the top quarterbacks in the country, Matt Barkley. Also back are wide receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee as part of passing offense that was ranked 15th in the nation in total yards-per-game last year.
The defense returns seven starters led by defensive lineman Wes Horton and free safety T.J. McDonald.
Realistically, the only other team in the conference that has a chance to get in the Trojans way is the Oregon Ducks. They have been opened at +200 to win the PAC-12 and should most likely get two shots at derailing USC; once in the regular season and presumably again in the conference title game.
The Ducks will have just six starters back from an offense that averaged 46.1 points a game. Both running back Kenjon Barner and All-Conference wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas return, but look for sophomore Bryan Bennett to take over the reins at quarterback.
The defense remains fairly intact with eight starters returning from last season’s squad including All-Conference defensive end Dion Jordan.
The distant third-favorite to win the conference title this season at TopBet is the Washington Huskies at +800. They ended last season 7-6 overall and 5-4 in PAC-12 play after stumbling down the stretch with five losses in their last seven games.
The Huskies will have a wealth of experience to work with considering that 16 starters return from last year’s team. They still have some sizable holes to fill, especially on a defense that gave-up an average of 35.9 points a game last year. The offense will be led by junior quarterback Keith Price. He threw for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2011 while completing a very respectable 66.9 percent of his passes.
The odds to win the conference for the rest of the teams in the North Division are California at +1200, Stanford at +2000, Washington State at +3500, and Oregon State at +4500. (all courtesy of TopBet )
The odds to win the conference for the rest of the teams in the South Division are UCLA at +3000, Utah at +3500, Arizona State at +4000, Arizona at +5000, and Colorado at +8500.