College Football Odds: Positives & Negatives For Each Pac-12 Team

Matthew Jordan

Friday, May 29, 2015 4:08 PM GMT

Friday, May. 29, 2015 4:08 PM GMT

The Pac-12 hasn't won a national title since USC  in the 2004 season and that one was later vacated due to NCAA sanctions. Will that drought end this season? Here is a positive and negative for each Pac-12 team with odds to win the conference.

Oregon (+225)
Positive:
Other than Stanford, no one in the conference has been able to slow that up-tempo offense. The Ducks also won the "bidding war" for touted FCS transfer quarterback Vernon Adams from Eastern Washington. There's still plenty of skill position talent there in running backs Thomas Tyner and Royce Freeman and receivers Byron Marshall and Devon Allen.

Negative: I would have to say losing one of the greatest quarterbacks in NCAA history (and statistically speaking he is), Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, is a negative. The offensive line lost three starters. Having to visit Stanford also a  negative.

 

Southern Cal (+350 on college football odds)
Positive:
Might have the best returning quarterback in the nation from a pure pocket passer standpoint in Cody Kessler, who completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 3,826 yards, 39 touchdowns and just five interceptions last  season.

Negative: The team's best defensive player, tackle Leonard Williams, is gone. As are Kessler's leading receiver, Nelson Agholor (104 catches, 1,313 yards, 12 TDs), and top running back, Buck Allen (276 carries, 1,489 yards, 11 TDs).

 

UCLA (+450)
Positive:
A Pac-12 leading 18 starters are due back. Running back Paul Perkins returns after recording 1,575 yards and nine scores and also back is star linebacker/occasional running back Myles Jack.

Negative: The loss of quarterback Brett Hundley; either freshman Josh Rosen or Hundley's former backup Jerry  Neuheisel should start. Last year's Butkus Award winner, linebacker Eric Hendricks, is gone. He was the first Bruin to win the award.

 

Stanford (+600)
Positive:
Quarterback Kevin Hogan made a big jump late last season and returns. You know the Cardinal will have an elite defense and nearly unstoppable power running game because they always do.

Negative: All three defensive line starters are gone as are stellar left tackle Andrus Peat and do everything receiver Ty Montgomery.

 

Arizona State (+600)
Positive:
Coach Todd Graham has this program pointed up. The Sun Devils have 20 wins over the last two seasons, which is the best two-year mark for the program since 1996-97. Running back D.J. Foster is back -- but will move to receiver --  as is QB Mike Bercovici, who played really well when starter Taylor Kelly was hurt last year.

Negative: Certainly the loss of superstar receiver Jaelen Strong hurts. Ditto with defensive end Marcus Hardison (team's best pass rusher) and safety Damarious Randall (leading tackler). Bercovici has to stay healthy because there is zero experience behind him. 

Don't forget to check out our college football picks for more updates!

Arizona (+650)
Positive:
This offense should again be among the best in the conference with the returns of quarterback Anu Solomon, running back Nick Wilson (both terrific as freshmen in 2014) and top receiver Cayleb Jones. Also back is maybe the nation's best defensive player in linebacker Scooby Wright. Team should have plenty of confidence off the Pac-12 South title

Negative: Even with Wright, the defense was a problem at times last season. Plus the Wildcats might have been somewhat lucky with so many close wins in 2014 (UTSA, Nevada, Cal, Oregon, Washington, Arizona State all decided by a touchdown or less).

 

Utah (+900)
Positive:
Running back Devontae Booker (1,512 yards, 10 touchdowns) bypassed the NFL draft to return for his senior year. Quarterback Travis Wilson is back and the defense should again be excellent.

Negative: Coach Kyle Whittingham saw his offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach all leave, which led to a reported rift between Whittingham and his athletic director. The schedule is brutal, with a  non-conference opener vs. Michigan in Jim Harbaugh's UM debut and trips to Oregon, USC and Arizona.

 

California (+2500)
Positive:
Offense, offense, offense. Quarterback Jared Goff should put up video-game numbers again in Coach Sonny Dykes' fast-paced offense. Top running back Daniel Lasco and receiving standouts Bryce Treggs and Kenny Lawler are back.

Negative: Defense, defense, defense. The Golden Bears allowed 44.1 points in Pac-12 contests last season. They allowed 367 passing yards per game last season, worst in the league by 70 yards.

 

Washington (+3000)
Positive:
Honestly, with all this team has lost -- just nine returning starters -- there's not much. Certainly Chris Petersen is a great coach. Third in the Pac-12 North would be an achievement.

Negative: Six defensive starters lost, led by linebackers Shaq Thompson and Hau’oli Kikaha and defensive tackle Danny Shelton, all of whom were named All-Pac-12 and All-Americas. QB Cyler Miles has taken a leave of absence from the team and likely won't play this season.

 

Washington State (+4000)
Positive:
Quarterback Luke Falk put up some big numbers last year when starter Connor Halliday got hurt. Mike Leach's team will always be interesting when it has the ball.

Negative: The team’s top two receivers, Vince Mayle and Isiah Myers, are gone. The defense is terrible. New coordinator Alex Grinch inherits a unit that allowed 41.9 points in Pac-12 games. WSU forced an NCAA-worst eight total takeaways overall.

 

Oregon State (+4000)
Positive:
All five starters are back on the offensive line as are running back Storm Woods and receivers Victor Bolden and Jordan Villamin. Program may have gotten stale under Mike Riley so perhaps Gary Andersen is just what OSU needs.

Negative: Quarterback Sean Mannion, the school's all-time leading passer, is gone. Only two starters are back on defense.

 

Colorado (+8000)
Positive:
Really cool campus and nice skiing nearby. Actually, quarterback Sefo Liufau has some serious potential. He threw for 3,200 yards and 28 TDs last season.

Negative: Colorado was 119th nationally in defense last season, allowing 39.0 points per game. Every Pac-12 team scored at least 36 as the Buffs were winless in the conference. 

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