Good morning and Happy Hump Day, Cougs! In case you've missed it, I've been doing positional rankings of the Pac-12 for what feels like the last several years. If you want to check them out (and don't particularly value your time), feel free to check out my looks at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, defensive line, linebackers and secondary (Editor's note: No, he really didn't rank offensive lines. Huddy knows it's a vital position, but he is admittedly too much of a dolt to actually evaluate them. Also, he maybe just didn't want the Cougs to look bad.) The good news is that I feel exceedingly prepared for this season to start, inasmuch as I can watch random conference games and say things like, "Hey, there's the guy with the funny name that I wrote about once". The other good news is that this whole exercise basically gave me all the information I need to come up with my absolute locks of predictions for the conference this season. Via an intricate scoring system (if you were number 1 on a position ranking you got 12 points, 11 for second and so on...yeah, really intricate), I've devised a way to figure out just who the best and worst teams in the conference are. The future will be unveiled after the jump...
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to unveil The First Ever Maybe Annual Huddy Preseason Power Rankings....
1. USC - 63 Total Points
The Trojans were #1 at quarterback, wide receiver and secondary, and their lowest ranking was #7 at running back. You've heard it here first, folks. USC has a lot of talent going into 2012. If that ends up incorrect, you are entitled to have your subscription fees back.
2. Oregon - 57 Points
I had Oregon's weakest position as wide receiver and that's ultimately what caused them to drop in behind SC. At this point, I'm quite satisfied with my completely unscientific system for pointing out that USC and Oregon are the two best teams in the Pac -12.
3. Cal - 51 Points
This may be where things go off the rails a little bit, but perhaps I've just made an official case that Cal is the third best team in the conference. Brother Sutra, help me out here. I know that you're beating the Cal drum pretty loudly these days. This isn't crazy, right? The primary flaw I could see that could end up making me look like an idiot here is that the rankings were largely based on talent at or near the top of the depth chart. Cal has plenty of that, but are they deep enough overall to warrant such a lofty spot? We'll see.
4. Utah - 48 Points
The Utes piled up a lot of points in the "We have Star Lotuleilei and John White IV and you don't" categories and different suffer from being overly deficient in any one area. Solid with a dash of spectacular here and there? That sounds pretty close to accurate for Utah in 2012.
5. Stanford - 42 Points
Oh thank goodness. Stanford finally showed up on the list. I was starting to feel a bit like an idiot. That said, can we really lock the Cardinal in as the third best team in the conference based on past performance? Anytime a new quarterback is being broken in, it's hard to say what you're going to get. If I were putting actually money on this sort of thing, it's very possible I'd rate Stanford higher, but I'm not totally uncomfortable with them at 5. Realistically, this year looks like two teams in a top tier followed by a whole lot of anything can happen.
6. UCLA - 41 Points
It's no surprise that the "Reigning Pac-12 South Champions"****** would be reflected fairly well when you're just looking at their talent on paper. That has seemed to be the case for virtually the entire last decade. It rarely translated to great performance on the actual football field, but maybe Jim Mora will be the difference in that supposed talent realizing its potential.
7. WSU - 39 Points
OK, so maybe I was a little too homeriffic in my rankings from time-to-time. That said, is it that far off base to say the Cougs are the 7th best team in the conference. I'm sure a certain segment of our state's population would think it's ludicrous, especially when their team finally shows up on the list. The good news is I love antagonizing that particular segment of people so it's all good. I'm talking about Husky fans, by the way. Please take note that I said Husky fans not Huskies, since they're rarely the same.
8. OSU - 35 Points
This is basically indefensible. The Beavs are probably going to be pretty awful, but hey, Sean Mannion! Let's just say that if I had ranked offensive lines, they would have scored negative infinity points and would have been more appropriately accounted for in the power rankings. Cool? Cool.
9. Washington - 35 Points
Somehow, my intricate scoring system managed to factor in strength of schedule when it computed UW's final ranking. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I think it's hilarious. If you're wondering why the Huskies are lower than the Beavs, even though their points total was the same, the tie-breaker was abject hatred. So there you go.
10. ASU - 25 Points
It's hard to know what to expect from the Forks now. It was always comforting to go into a season knowing they would be totally undisciplined, look good early, then fall apart at the end of the year. I miss Dennis Erickson already. At least Todd Graham is really charismatic and interesting. Psych. Yeah, psych. I'm bringing it back.
11. Arizona - 19 Points
I think Matt Scott is poised for a big year, but there was little else when breaking down the Wildcats to get excited about. On the bright side, there are ugly uniforms, a boring stadium and creepy mascots. I didn't realize how much I don't care for 'Zona until I broke things down scientifically. I'm glad I'm here.
12. Colorado - 13 Points
The Buffs checked in the position ranking categories as follows: Last, Last, Last, Last, Fifth, Last. Ouch.
Breaking this down, by division, my official prediction is as follows:
All in all, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. Does it really make sense that the Huskies will finish last in the Pac-12 North? No, probably not, but does it make me LOL and ROFL and LMAO? Yes, Yes it does.