These teams have talent and coaching that could come together and make a serious run at the Pac-12 title in 2016. But the goal is to get to the one team that could win the Pac-12 and possibly, win in the college Football playoff. Who in this conference, could do that?

The top college football teams in the Pac-12:

4) U.S.C. - As usual, among the most talented teams in the conference. But, the coaching staff is new. Too many question marks there for 2016 to consider them a danger in the playoff at this time.

3) Washington -The Huskies are quickly turning into every one's sweet heart of a football team.

Chris Petersen is a great coach as he proved at Boise State, going 92-13 in eight years there.This is Coach Petersen's third year at Washington, allowing him to recruit to his system for three years. Based on how they finished 2015, the Huskies appear ready to break out. They won their last two regular season and a bowl game by a combined 141-48.

2) U.C.L.A. -Very capable coaching staff. They just lost too much talent to the NFL and graduation last year. Also, the offense is transitioning to more of a pro style to better suit Josh Rosen. They will be better later in the season than early on and could make the Pac-12 title game and even win it.

I don't see UCLA as team that could make a move in the playoffs early in the year.

However, if they get it together early enough in the season to get to the Pac-12 Championship Game, this team could be that good by then.The issue I see for the Bruins is in being ranked in the top four even if they win the Pac-12. Their schedule has them at Texas A&M at BYU and home versus Stanford in the first four games.

One or possibly two losses early makes a playoff appearance very unlikely regardless of whether they win the conference championship or not.

Stanford gives the Pac-12 best chance

You would think that a team who only returns 11 starters would be a bit too green for thoughts of making it to the college football playoff.

Normally, I would agree. However, there are three reasons Stanford gives the Pac-12 the best shot to do something in the playoffs.

1) The type of football they play.In general, I would call it SEC grinding, as done by teams like Georgia, Iowa last year andAlabama. It has been proven that type football works best -- so far -- in the college football playoffs.

2)The players they do have returning in 2016.Start with Jr. running back and Heisman contender, Christian McCaffrey. In 2015, he ran for 2,019 yards and averaged 6.0 yards per carry.

Stanford does lose Outland Trophy winner, left guard Joshua Garnett and first team Pac-12 left tackle, Kyle Murphy. Those are heavy losses on that side of the line.

However, they have recruited well on the lines and are extremely well coached there. There will be some fall off but not much and not for long.

3) Defense and special teams play. Last year, the Cardinal averaged giving up 22.6 points per game on defense. That put them in the top third of college football but their worst since 2010. This season, they are more experienced and have more depth up front -- last season's issue -- and should drop back down into the teens on points allowed per game.

In 2015, Stanford ranked number six overall in special teams play. Everyone is back, so expect them to contend for the top spot in that area this season.Stanford has a very difficult schedule layout for 2016 (at UCLA, at Washington, at Notre Dame, at Oregon).

So, they could be out of the mix by mid season. Or, they could be hitting on all cylinders and headed to the Pac-12 title game. If Stanford makes it into the playoffs, they are built -- and coached -- to succeed there.

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