The PAC-12 is one of the mainstays of College Football. We all love the wild late night games between two conference foes out west that help us go to sleep after a full slate in the middle of October, and the PAC-12 is sure to deliver once again.
Several teams will be vying at the top of the conference with Oregon, Washington, USC, Arizona State, and Utah all in the mix for a New Year’s Six bowl heading into the year.
Meanwhile, teams like UCLA, Cal, and Colorado will try to take the next step and compete for a conference title.
Here are two teams we forecast as going over their win total and under their win total ahead of the season.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
After losing in the PAC-12 title game two seasons ago, Utah went into a bit of a rebuild in the shortened 2020, but the circumstances didn't help.
The team had their first game cancelled due to COVID-19 Protocols, lost their first two, but then won their last three.
Now, they return 19 starters and inject Baylor transfer quarterback Charlie Brewer who has been to a Big 12 title game.
Brewer will be joined by Oklahoma transfer TJ Pledger in the backfield that will go behind an offensive line that brings back everyone to what was already an elite unit last season.
Coach Kyle Whittingham always gets the best out of his defense that was towards the top of all major categories last season such as rushing defense, but also had seven interceptions in five games. 12 of 14 players who got significant playing time will be back for a defense that should get back to their 2019 ways.
Looking at the schedule, the Utes have to go to San Diego State and BYU in non conference play, but should be favored in both. They do get a bye week ahead of a road trip to USC in a game that could decide the PAC-12 South, but also get Oregon at home.
Besides that Utah will be considerable favorites in all remaining games, and a championship game contender. I love the over for the Utes.
Colorado was one of the surprise teams of last season under first year head coach Karl Dorrell, going 4-2.
However, I’m banking on Colorado taking a step back in 2021. The Buffs played one team with a winning record last season, how much of their success can be replicated?
The questions start at quarterback. Last year’s starter Sam Noyer transferred to Oregon State and the team is left with the raw Brendon Lewis as well as Tennessee transfer J.T. Shrout who was hit or miss in limited reps.
On defense, there were highs and lows. They graded out as a below average explosive play defense, mainly because they blitzed a ton and were susceptible to getting gashed if they couldn’t get into the back field. They do bring back two key linebackers, but this is a defense that is boom-or-bust.
What’s driving me towards this under is the schedule more than anything. With concerns at QB, a neutral site game against Texas A&M and Minnesota at home will be difficult early in the year.
They also have to go to Arizona State, Oregon, and Utah.
There are winnable games on tap such as Northern Colorado, Arizona and Oregon State all at home, but there seems to be a necessary correction in order for Dorrell and the Buffs.