The following is the predicted order of finish and team preview for 2016 in College Football's Pac-12 South:

  • 1) UCLA
  • 2) USC
  • 3) Utah
  • 4) Arizona
  • 5) Arizona State
  • 6) Colorado


Superior coaching and excellent recruiting have the Bruins at or near the top of the Pac-12 South leader board every year. The chink in the armor comes when -- like last year -- a number of the most talented players opt-out early for the NFL. UCLA was second-most to Ohio State with six players -- four on offense -- leaving early for the draft. These losses are in addition to yearly graduation.

The 2016 Bruins will open with talented Sophomore quarterback, Josh Rosen and the left side of his offensive line returning.

Rosen doesn't have the wheels of Brett Hundley, so the Bruins are transitioning to more of a pro-style offense. As a Freshman, Rosen threw for 3,669 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and earned Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the year.The tough early schedule doesn't help, but this team will come together in time to be in the mix.

2) Southern Cal

Southern Cal is among the great programs of all time in college football. However, in recent years -- with the exception of the Pete Carroll era -- it has been a history of championship opportunities wasted.The amazing numbers of highly rated recruits who commit to the university assures the program of a never ending pool of talent.They have the facilities, financialresources and weather so good it must be experienced to describe.

In short, they have everything the right coach needs to create a dynasty -- check the record from 2001 through 2009.

USC is the Alabama football program of the west! When the right coach gets their hands on it, look out!Clay Helton is calling the shots now. Hopefully, for the millions of USC fans, he will be that coach.

If Helton is the guy, its going to show up pretty quickly. If not, that will show quickly as well.

3) Utah

The Utes lost only three games in 2015. Unfortunately, they were all to conference foes, which resulted in watching the conference title game instead of helping decide it. Still, a 10-3 record is not a bad thing and Utah has their sites set on making it back next year.Winning a division title may be a stretch for this team in 2016.

The Utes can often surprise --- as their records clearly show -- but this year will likely be a rebuilding time in Salt Lake.

4) Arizona

The Wildcats junior quarterback, Anu Solomon has missed game time twice due to separate concussions. As a Freshman, he passed for 3,793 yards but dropped off to 2,667 as a Sophomore.The significant drop in production has Rich Rodriguez looking to the bench for help in keeping his offense on the field. There is talent -- Sophomore Brandon Dawkings and Freshman Khalil Tate -- but neither has emerged to take over yet.Some similar issues exist at tailback but not to the same extent. Rodriguez will get it figured out because that's what he does.Rodriguez fired his defensive staff and hired former Boise State coordinator Marcel Yates to get it straightened out.

Don't expect to see the 3-3-5 alignment at Arizona and expect better overall performance on defense in 2016.

5) Arizona State

The Sun Devils finished 2015 at 6-7, losing the last two games by three points total. The two years previous, they finished with double digit win seasons. That had not happened in Tempe in over 40 years.Don't expect a 10 win season this year, either. Making it to a bowl is a much more practical goal for the Sun Devils for 2016.

6) Colorado

2005 under Gary Barnett was the last time Colorado finished a football season with a winning record, (7-6). Current coach, Mike MacIntyre, hired JimLeavitt-- South Florida, head coach 13 years -- as his defensive coordinator last year.Nine defensive starters return from the 2015 team.

Expect this, along with Leavitt's defense being in it's second year to have a real impact on that side of the ball. The Buffalo's may be good enough to get out of the basement if all goes well.

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