The Pac-12 has been known the past couple of years for producing good quarterbacks. For example, Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley. The conference also produces high scores and impressive offensive numbers.
However, what the Pac-12 has not produced is a winning postseason bowl record, going 4-7 over the past two years.
This year though, the Pac-12 bowl record will be a winning one. Here are your early predictions for the conference's bowl placement.
6. California Golden Bears: Returning six starters on each side of the ball, the Golden Bears will be improved and will fight through a tough season, traveling to Ohio State and Southern Cal in back to back weeks, then going to face a solid Utah team in Week 9.
Projected 2012-2013 record: 6-6
Bowl: Gildan New Mexico Bowl vs. Mountain West Conference #4 or 5
5. Utah Utes: With an impressive nine starters returning on offense and seven on defense, the Utes return for their second season as a Pac-12 conference team.
After a decent record of 8 wins and 4 losses, I believe that although this Utah team has improved; they will have the same record as their 2011-2012 campaign and will return to a bowl game.
Projected 2012-2013 record: 8-4
Bowl: MAACO Bowl Las Vegas vs Mountain West Conference Champion
4.UCLA Bruins: The Bruins, returning majority of their starters on both sides of the ball, will be vastly improved under new head coach Jim Mora. Although i believe they are improved from their 2011-2012 season, they will continue to be their crosstown rival's younger brother, falling to USC yet again on November 17th.
Projected 2012-2013 record: 8-4
Bowl: Hyundai Sun Bowl vs Atlantic Coast Conference #4
3. Stanford Cardinal: With two time Heisman Trophy Finalist quarterback Andrew Luck now taking snaps for the Indianapolis Colts, the Cardinal have a question at quarterback.
Returning six starters on offense and seven on defense, Stanford will not have the same quality season it had in 2011, but will still be impressive.
Two games jump off the schedule to me that are road trips for the Cardinal: their October 13th contest against an improved and experienced Notre Dame team, and a game in Eugene, where they will face a strong and fast Oregon Duck team that will have its sights set on back-to-back Pac-12 Championships.
Projected 2012-2013 record: 9-3
Bowl: Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl vs Big 12 #5
2. Oregon Ducks: Although the 2012-2013 Ducks will only be returning five starters on offense and seven on defense, they will still be the high-flying, high-octane offense that we are used to seeing on Saturdays.
I do believe there is only one team who will beat this year's Ducks, and they will do it twice, once on November 3rd and again in the Pac-12 championship game. Despite both of these losses, I still believe the Ducks will make an appearance in Rose Bowl for the second year in a row.
Projected 2012-2013 record: 11-2 ( one loss coming in Pac-12 Championship Game)
Bowl: 98th Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio vs. Big 10 Championships
1. Southern California Trojans: After two years of sanctions and non-bowl play, the men of Troy are back.
Returning a strong eight players on defense and an incredible nine on offense, most importantly being quarterback Matt Barkley, receiver Robert Woods, and center Khaled Holmes, the Trojans will be better then ever on offense.
The defense will play with a chip on its shoulder to show the college football world what it has been missing. Even with the tests they will face throughout the year, such as their September 15th road trip to Palo Alto to face a tough Stanford team, as well as playing host to BCS contender Oregon on November 3rd, Southern Cal will conquer the rankings and be triumphant at season's end.
Projected 2012-2013 record: 13-0 ( one win coming in Pac-12 Championship Game)
Bowl: Discover BCS National Championship Game between BCS #1 vs BCS #2