Results from last week: What is the main cause of the injury bug at the UW? With a overwhelming 42% of the votes, the Dawg Pound faithful believe: "It's just football". The good news is that most of the injured players are returning to the practice field. Having both Colin Tanigawa and Erik Kohler back on the offensive line will pay big dividends on September 1st against SDSU.
This Week's Debate: Who will win the 2012 Pac-12 Championship? I have two main reasons for this weeks debate. Reason #1 - The Pac-12 media seem to have a pretty good track record picking the conference champion at the beginning of the season, so I thought it would be fun to put the Dawg Pound faithful to the test. Reason #2 - I have flown 6155 nautical miles in the past four days, meaning I needed a topic that required minimal research!
The obvious favorites will be Oregon and USC, but that's why we still play the games, the obvious favorite doesn't always get the win. It will be very interesting to see how the four new coaches progress with their new programs, and it could be even more interesting to see how the other eight coaches adapt to the new offenses and new defenses that they will have to deal with. Everybody is talking about Mike Leach's offense, but what about ASU and Arizona running a 3-3-5 defense? I could be wrong, but I don't think the Pac-12 has seen a whole lot of the 3-3-5 style defense.
Below is a quick run down of each school and my thoughts on their odds of winning the conference. That being said, the whole point of the weekend debate is to hear what you think? Are you going to go with the easy favorites? A dark horse? Or a really wild pick like WSU? Let's hear it Dawg fans, who will win the Pac-12 crown?
Washington - Most "experts" think we will end up in the middle of the pack, but if Wilcox can put out a average or better defense to complement Sark's offense . . . . . . a championship isn't outside the realm of possibility.
Washington State - All though I fully expect a very prolific offense in Pullman, I also expect a very "Holt-esque" defense to go with it. Meaning, I expect WSU to win some games, just not enough to be a factor when the season wraps up.
Oregon State - With all due respect to Beaver fans, this won't be your year. Sorry.
Oregon - The odds on favorite to win the North Division, but can they top USC in the championship game? The best chance of slowing down the Ducks will be a weapon of mass destruction courtesy of the Mark Emmert and the NCAA.
California - Jeff Tedford won the Weekend Debate for the coach most likely to be fired in 2012. Not a good omen if you are looking to win a championship. They'll be more focused on a winning record, than on a championship.
Stanford - I don't expect them to fall off the face of the planet, but losing Andrew Luck and a few other current NFL players will make it difficult to keep up with the likes of Oregon.
Colorado - See the above comment about Oregon State.
Utah - I've got great respect for Kyle Whittingham, Utah could be set up for a very good season, but their lack of quality QB that can stay healthy, makes me lack confidence in their ability to keep up with the big boys.
Arizona State - I have high expectations for Todd Graham, even though most fans don't. That being said, I can't see a scenario where ASU makes a run for the title in Graham's first year.
Arizona - Much like ASU, I think Rich Rod could be just the right guy for the Wildcats, but expecting a championship in year one is a big stretch.
UCLA - I love Jim Mora and I think he could be the second coming of Pete Carroll in college football. But, I'm sure you are seeing a trend by now, first year coaches winning championships is typically a long shot.
USC - Lane Kiffin has handled the sanctions well, but the high expectations won't make his life any easier. Can USC, with limited scholarships, keep up with Oregon's lightning fast pace in the fourth quarter? I sure hope so, but I'm not sure I'd bet on it.