Good morning. College football is back! On tape! (We’re currently watching the Florida Gators face the Miami Hurricanes on dvr). A couple weeks ago, we gave a sneak preview of our season totals edition, and took a look back to last season’s results. Well, we’ve already managed to screw up this season’s numbers because, as far as the Pac-12 is concerned, Arizona’s season is underway.
Despite that, let’s dive in to how we see the Pac-12’s season shaping up, along with some other predictions from around the country. These totals are courtesy of FanDuel, since those are the numbers we went with previously. As always, all six of you are encouraged to publish your thoughts.
Before we get there, my word Miami can’t tackle.
Washington State Cougars: 8 (Over/Under -110): Opened at 8.5 and came down a bit, which suggests that lots of money is on the under. That’s where our money is as well, because we’ve gone that way four straight years and it’s always worked. (We also foresee 7-5 as WSU’s most likely result).
Washington Huskies: 9.5 (Over -105, Under -115): Despite Washington’s quarterback question marks, that schedule (as always) is a laugher. Anything under 10 wins should be a monumental disappointment.
Utah Utes: 9.5 (Over +120, Under -140): The under crept up by half-a-game, but that juice on the under tells me that there aren’t many believers out there, aside from lots of reporters who think Utah is gonna be really good this season. I don’t know why, but I don’t see the perennial Vegas Bowl champs winning 10.
Oregon Ducks: 8.5 (Over -120, Under +100): Lots of hype for the Ducks this season, and rightfully so. I mean, anytime you have a returning quarterback who didn’t even garner honorable mention all-conference, you should expect a big season! But seriously, that offensive line is tremendous, and I think the defense will be above average.
Arizona State Sun Devils: 7 (Over +120, Under -140): True freshman starting quarterback plus the loss of the Pac-12’s best receiver doesn’t exactly portend big things, but the schedule isn’t especially daunting. ASU tends to play most of their games within a score (nine such last season), and they aren’t gonna win all of them
Verdict: Under (I actually foresee a push)
USC Trojans: 7 (Over/Under -110): I’m guessing it’s been a long, long time since one could get USC at seven wins for even money. Then again, oh man is that first half of the schedule brutal. When a trip to Provo is your breather...yikes. I don’t know why, but it seems like the Trojans are undervalued. I know, I can’t believe it either!
Arizona Wildcats: 6.5 (Over -120, Under +100): As God is my witness, I have avoided Arizona’s result at Hawaii while writing this. The part that sucks is that I don’t have a good feel for their schedule, and I can’t exactly look it up! Anyway, Kevin Sumlin is usually good for 7-8 wins, and Khalil Tate should be healthier this season. (this is where I find out they couldn’t even beat Hawaii because of course)
EDIT: I knew it!
Stanford Cardinal: 6.5 (Over -140, Under +120): Like USC, it’s probably been a while since you could snag a Stanford total this low. While they almost certainly won’t be as good as they’ve been, do we really think they can’t wring seven wins out of that schedule? Feels like a season where David Shaw can milk “nobody believes in us!” for three straight months.
California Golden Bears: 6 (Over +170, Under -200): Um, that’s an extremely wide gap in the juice. Looking at the schedule, there are three locks, one likely win (Berkeley almost never goes well for the Cougs), a few tossups and a few likely losses. Let’s say they win two 50/50 games. That only gets them to six, and that defense can’t hold up forever, can it?
UCLA Bruins: 5.5 (Over -135, Under +115): Despite the fact that there’s only one Power Five team on there, that non-conference schedule is brutal. Hate to say it, but their game in Pullman is probably the difference between Chuck Kelly’s team going bowling or staying home for the holidays once again. Please Go Cougs.
Colorado Buffaloes: 4.5 (Over +120, Under -140): I listen to a decent amount of college football-centric podcasts, and I’ve heard more than one person tout Steven Montez as one of the Pac-12’s best quarterbacks. But unless I’ve been witnessing a different Buffaloes team, that doesn’t square with reality. Looking at that schedule, the road to five wins appears pretty daunting.
Oregon State Beavers: 2 (Over -200, Under +170): Welp, looks like we have another Cal-like spread on the juice. To give you an idea of how far the Beavers have fallen, their win total is a full game below the Kansas Jayhawks. Like UCLA (and many others), this will probably hinge on one game. In OSU’s case, that game is in Honolulu.
Verdict: Under (feels like another push but CAN WE PLEASE STOP IT WITH THE NON .5 TOTALS FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE)
Other quick hitters from around the country:
Ohio State Buckeyes: 10.5 (Over +110, Under -130): There’s a reason the under juice is a lot higher, and I don’t think Justin Fields is very good.
Nebraska Cornhuskers: 8.5 (Over -120, Under +100): Nebraska will be good, but nine wins good? With that defense?
Penn State Nittany Lions: 8.5 (Over -115, Under -105): The guess here is Penn State will get better as the season goes along.
Purdue Boilermakers: 7 (Over/Under -110): Suddenly realizing that this has become the Big Ten segment of the program. Either way, they’re not getting to eight.
Oklahoma State Cowboys: 7 (Over -145, Under +125): Feels like a season where Gundy’s team is very underrated.
Buffalo Bulls: 6 (Over -125, Under +105): The Bulls lost a really good quarterback. I’ll be surprised if they get to seven.
By the way, my dvr stopped recording the Miami-Florida game at three hours and 30 minutes, and there were still five minutes remaining. As much as I love the sport, something has to be done to shorten these games.
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