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Reviewing Early Pac-12 Game Predictions

What will the final season of the Pac-12 look like? Here are some predictions for each of the teams.

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2023 Pac-12 Football Media Day Photo by Louis Grasse/Getty Images

While many people are still wrapped up in the conference realignments, there will be a 2023 football season starting for the last season of the Pac-12 in a matter of days. It’s time to take a look at the predictions for the teams this season.

Several media sources have gone through and done predictions for the Pac-12; some have even done a game-by-game predictions for every Pac-12 team. Why watch the games if we know the outcomes already? This article will provide a link to some of those predictions and what they say about each of the teams.

Pac-12 Reviews

We start with some reviews of the whole conference. There are many pundits out there talking about the various teams and conferences as well as their top 25 teams. The ones listed here are ones that go through and predict each game for each team, or at least the number of wins for each team. I will note that I am not vouching for the accuracy of any of these sources, but they can be informative about what people are thinking about the teams in the conference.

There are some other sites that have individual previews and game-by-game predictions for each of the Pac-12 teams. Some of them don’t cover every team in the Pac-12; those usually cover only the top teams (some because they hadn’t made to the rest of the teams by the time this was written). If you don’t want to watch each of the previews, the links above should give you a good idea about what some pundits think about each of the teams in the Pac-12. But if you have nothing better to do, there is plenty to listen to for each team.

For each of the teams below, there is the schedule with predictions for each of their games. There are between 5 and 7 predictions for each game and the percentage of those that are predicting a win is listed by each. In () I’ve included the most likely outcome. The predictions are from the following sources:


The Wildcats improved from 1-11 in 2021 to 5-7 in 2022. They could be improved even more in 2023. But, with the number of good teams that they will be facing this season, it could be hard to improve their record much. Making it to a bowl game seems like a possibility, but it won’t be easy. Fortunately they get 4 of their toughest games at home: Washington, Oregon State, UCLA, and Utah.

Arizona State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Here is their schedule with the percentage of predictions that have them winning the game.

  • Northern Arizona: 100% (W)
  • @ Mississippi State: 0% (L)
  • UTEP: 100% (W)
  • @ Stanford: 100% (W)
  • UW: 0% (L)
  • @ USC: 0% (L)
  • @ WSU: 57% (W)
  • Oregon State: 14% (L)
  • UCLA: 71% (W)
  • @ Colorado: 57% (W)
  • Utah: 0% (L)
  • @ Arizona State: 71% (W)

That is 7 wins, although none of the individual predictions actually have them winning more than 6 games. (There is disagreement over which games they will win.) The projections for beating UCLA seem optimistic.

Here are a few videos with the predictions for Arizona:

Arizona State

It doesn’t appear that much is expected for Arizona State in Kenny Dillingham’s first year. After going 3-9 last year, it doesn’t appear that the projections are for much better this season, although some places have them winning as many as 5 games.

2023 Pac-12 Football Media Day Photo by Louis Grasse/Getty Images

Here is their schedule with the percentage of predictions that have them winning the game.

  • Southern Utah: 100% (W)
  • Oklahoma State: 14% (L)
  • Fresno State: 86% (W)
  • USC: 0% (L)
  • @ California: 0% (L)
  • Colorado: 71% (W)
  • @ UW: 0% (L)
  • WSU: 57% (W)
  • @ Utah: 0% (L)
  • @ UCLA: 0% (L)
  • Oregon: 14% (L)
  • Arizona: 29% (L)

One interesting note on Arizona State’s schedule is that they have 8 home games this season. That seems to help since they are projected to lose all of their road games and have at least a chance in most of their home games.

Here are a few videos with predictions for Arizona State:


Justin Wilcox appears to be on the hot seat going into the 2023 season after two straight years of missing a bowl game. Is a bowl game possible this season? The pundits appear skeptical. It doesn’t help that they have one of the toughest schedules in college football, facing UW, Oregon State, Utah, USC, Oregon, and UCLA, all teams which should be ranked in the top-25 when the season starts; plus they face Auburn.

2023 Pac-12 Football Media Day Photo by Louis Grasse/Getty Images

Here is Cal’s schedule and predictions:

  • @ North Texas: 100% (W)
  • Auburn: 0% (L)
  • Idaho: 100% (W)
  • @ UW: 0% (L)
  • Arizona State: 100% (W)
  • Oregon State: 33% (L)
  • @ Utah: 0% (L)
  • USC: 0% (L)
  • @ Oregon: 0% (L)
  • WSU: 33% (L)
  • @ Stanford: 80% (W)
  • @ UCLA: 0% (L)

Most of the sites have Cal winning between 4 and 5 games. Getting to 6 games is possible, but will require an upset or two.

Here are a couple of videos with the predictions for California:


There may be no more intriguing team in all of college football this year than Colorado. After winning just one game last year and completely overhauling their coaching staff and roster, it is fair to say that this will be a completely different team this year, and one that is going to be noticeably better. But how much better will they be? There have been some that are predicting that Colorado will be a top-25 team. That seems like a stretch. But we’ll get a good idea after their first 5 games. They are likely going to be heavy underdogs against TCU, Oregon, and USC, and possibly Nebraska.

Colorado Football Spring Game Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Here is Colorado’s schedule and predictions:

  • @ TCU: 0% (L)
  • Nebraska: 14% (L)
  • Colorado State: 100% (W)
  • @ Oregon: 0% (L)
  • USC: 0% (L)
  • @ Arizona State: 29% (L)
  • Stanford: 86% (W)
  • @ UCLA: 0% (L)
  • Oregon State: 14% (L)
  • Arizona: 57% (W)
  • @ WSU: 14% (L)
  • @ Utah: 0% (L)

Despite some early hype about Colorado being a possible contender in the Pac-12 this year, most of these sources have them winning just 3 games.

Here are some of the videos with the predictions for Colorado:


The Ducks are one of several Pac-12 teams that are considered playoff contenders this year with the talent across their roster and their returning QB and RB combination. Like a couple of the other Pac-12 title contenders, Oregon’s defense needs to be improved this year before they can be considered a playoff contender.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here is Oregon’s schedule and predictions:

  • Portland State: 100% (W)
  • @ Texas Tech: 71% (W)
  • Hawaii: 100% (W)
  • Colorado: 100% (W)
  • @ Stanford: 100% (W)
  • @ Washington: 14% (L)
  • WSU: 100% (W)
  • @ Utah: 0% (L)
  • California: 100% (W)
  • USC: 100% (W)
  • @ Arizona State: 86% (W)
  • Oregon State: 86% (W)

Most have them winning either 9 or 10 games. The surprise for many could be that early road game against Texas Tech; it could decide whether they are a playoff contender or not.

Here are some of the videos with the predictions for Oregon:

Oregon State

Oregon State has been on an upward trajectory since Jonathan Smith took over, achieving their first 10-win season in decades last year. Most think that they will be very good, and their schedule is favorable-getting Utah, UW, and UCLA at home and avoiding USC. Despite that, there are plenty of questions about whether they can sustain that level of success this year.

The issue for them last season that most point to is their QB play, and now they have a former 5-star QB on their roster. Will that be the missing piece?

The defense was able to keep them in games last year. Unfortunately, they lost several of their best defensive players. How well will they be able to reload?

Oregon State Spring Football Game Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images

Here is Oregon State’s schedule and predictions:

  • @ San Jose State: 100% (W)
  • UC Davis: 100% (W)
  • San Diego State: 100% (W)
  • @ WSU: 43% (L)
  • Utah: 43% (L)
  • @ California: 71% (W)
  • UCLA: 100% (W)
  • @ Arizona: 86% (W)
  • @ Colorado: 86% (W)
  • Stanford: 100% (W)
  • UW: 57% (W)
  • @ Oregon: 14% (L)

The Beavers are projected to win between 8 and 10 games; generally the games at WSU and against Utah and UW being the deciding factors. Clearly the projections are that Oregon State will have some problems in conference road games.

Here are videos with predictions for Oregon State:


Stanford is another team with a new head coach. Not much is expected from the Cardinal this season after just 3 wins last year. Could Troy Taylor get them more competitive in year one? It doesn’t seem like they have the talent to pull off more wins-especially since they were not able to bring in much talent through the Transfer Portal.

BYU v Stanford Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

Here is Stanford’s schedule and predictions:

  • @ Hawaii: 80% (W)
  • @ USC: 0% (L)
  • Sacramento State: 100% (W)
  • Arizona: 0% (L)
  • Oregon: 0% (L)
  • @ Colorado: 14% (L)
  • UCLA: 0% (L)
  • UW: 0% (L)
  • @ WSU: 0% (L)
  • @ Oregon State: 0% (L)
  • California: 20% (L)
  • Notre Dame: 0% (L)

It is pretty bad when you don’t get 100% prediction against a team that finished as one of the worst in FBS last year (Hawaii), and only 14% against another of the worst teams last year (Colorado-although that team will be quite different this season). CBS is predicting 4 wins, but most of the sites have Stanford with 2 wins.

Here are a couple of videos with predictions for Stanford:


The Bruins improved a lot last year under Chip Kelly, but they lost their 4-year starter at QB and their NFL-caliber RB. And while UCLA’s offense has been good recently, their defense has not (although most defenses in the Pac-12 weren’t good last year). How will UCLA do with essentially a new offense? And can Chip finally get their defense into the top half of the conference?

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl - Pittsburgh v UCLA Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Here is the schedule and the predictions for UCLA:

  • Coastal Carolina: 100% (W)
  • @ San Diego State: 86% (W)
  • NC Central: 100% (W)
  • @ Utah: 0% (L)
  • WSU: 100% (W)
  • @ Oregon State: 0% (L)
  • @ Stanford: 100% (W)
  • Colorado: 100% (W)
  • @ Arizona: 29% (L)
  • Arizona State: 100% (W)
  • @ USC: 0% (L)
  • California: 100% (W)

UCLA benefits from a relatively easy schedule; they don’t play a Power-5 team in their non-conference schedule and miss both Oregon and Washington in conference play. As a result, the predictions are fairly consistent with them winning either 8 or 9 games. As mentioned above, having only 29% of the predictions having them beat Arizona seems a bit odd for a team that could start the season as a fringe top-25 team.

Here are some videos with predictions for UCLA:


The Pac-12 media picked USC to win the conference, and other sources are projecting similar success from them this season. They should be a top-10 team in the preseason polls as well. With the returning Heisman winner, a head coach that has put teams into the playoffs in the past, and a roster with a lot of talent, what’s not to like? The obvious answer to that is their defense. If their defense can improve, they should have the talent to compete for a CFP berth. If not, they could still be in the running by just simply outscoring their opponents. But, their schedule is going to be tougher this year, especially the second half when they’ll face 5 teams that should be ranked in the top-25 in the preseason polls. Fortunately, 3 of those games are at home.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 15 USC Spring Game Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here is the schedule and predictions for USC:

  • San Jose State: 100% (W)
  • Nevada: 100% (W)
  • Stanford: 100% (W)
  • @ Arizona State: 100% (W)
  • @ Colorado: 100% (W)
  • Arizona: 100% (W)
  • @ Notre Dame: 71% (W)
  • Utah: 86% (W)
  • @ California: 100% (W)
  • UW: 100% (W)
  • @ Oregon: 0% (L)
  • UCLA: 100% (W)

All of the predictions have USC winning either 10 or 11 games. All of them have them losing to Oregon. That probably has as much to do with these sources wanting to predict at least one loss and since the game against Oregon is on the road against one of the stronger teams in the conference probably makes it the most likely loss (at this point).

Here are some of the videos with predictions for USC:


The Utes have been typically a bit overlooked coming into each season they’ve been in the Pac-12. And that includes this year, which is strange since they won the Pac-12 title the last 2 years. Do they deserve to be disrespected again? Probably not, but the health/status of Cam Rising is certainly a concern, especially since they have a difficult schedule to begin the season. And they play USC, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, and UW, so their conference schedule is tough.

Pac-12 Championship - Utah v USC

Here is the schedule and predictions for Utah:

  • Florida: 100% (W)
  • @ Baylor: 86% (W)
  • Weber State: 100% (W)
  • UCLA: 100% (W)
  • @ Oregon State: 57% (W)
  • California: 100% (W)
  • @ USC: 14% (L)
  • Oregon: 100% (W)
  • Arizona State: 100% (W)
  • @ UW: 0% (L)
  • @ Arizona: 100% (W)
  • Colorado: 100% (W)

Utah is projected to win between 8 and 10 games, although most have them at 10 wins. Despite beating USC twice last year, most are still skeptical about them winning 4 in a row against the Trojans (they won at USC in 2021 and beat them twice last year).

Here are some of the videos with predictions for Utah:


There’s probably enough written about expectations for the Huskies this season that more doesn’t need to be included here.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 22 Washington Spring Game Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here is the schedule and predictions for UW:

  • Boise State: 100% (W)
  • Tulsa: 100% (W)
  • @ Michigan State: 86% (W)
  • California: 100% (W)
  • @ Arizona: 100% (W)
  • Oregon: 86% (W)
  • Arizona State: 100% (W)
  • @ Stanford: 100% (W)
  • @ USC: 0% (L)
  • Utah: 100% (W)
  • @ Oregon State: 43% (L)
  • WSU: 100% (W)

UW is projected by these sources as winning between 9 and 11 games, and there shouldn’t be anything too surprising.

Here are some of the videos with predictions for UW:

Washington State

After being 7-6 last season in Jake Dickert’s first full season as the head coach at WSU, what is the expectation for year two? The reviews are mixed. They do return Cam Ward who has shown the ability to get things done on offense. If he can continue to improve, he could keep WSU in many games. But WSU did lose some players off of last year’s team-both on offense and defense-and Dickert had to replace both his offensive and defensive coordinators.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 26 Washington at Washington State Photo by Oliver McKenna/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here is the schedule and predictions for WSU:

  • @ Colorado State: 100% (W)
  • Wisconsin: 17% (L)
  • Northern Colorado: 100% (W)
  • Oregon State: 50% (W)
  • @ UCLA: 0% (L)
  • Arizona: 43% (L)
  • @ Oregon: 0% (L)
  • @ Arizona State: 43% (L)
  • Stanford: 100% (W)
  • @ California: 67% (W)
  • Colorado: 86% (W)
  • @ UW: 0% (L)

There is a surprising amount of disagreement as to what to expect-more than any other team in the Pac-12. One source has them winning just 4 games (CBS) and another has them winning 9 games (Lucas Ross Sports). All of the others all have them winning 6, but they are not consistent on which games they will win.

Here are some of the videos with predictions for WSU:


There is a clear distinction between the top and bottom halves of the conference. Almost every source has USC, Utah, UW, Oregon, Oregon State, and UCLA as the top 6 teams. That shouldn’t be a huge surprise given that those teams all finished ranked in the final AP top-25 last season. Depending on the source, however, there is some disagreement on the order of those 6 teams. Similarly there is disagreement as to the order for the bottom 6 teams. Part of that likely comes from the fact that 3 of those 6 teams have new head coaches, and one in particular has had a huge roster overhaul. That leads to a lot of uncertainty with those teams, especially when they play each other. WSU and Arizona tend to be at the top of the bottom 6 teams, at least partially because they return their starting QB’s from last year (along with their head coaches).

Here’s a look at the maximum and minimum projected wins for each Pac-12 team from the sources mentioned above along with the win totals from Draft Kings and ESPN’s FPI expected wins.

Projected Pac-12 Win Totals

Team Min Wins Max Wins Draft Kings Win Total ESPN FPI Wins
Team Min Wins Max Wins Draft Kings Win Total ESPN FPI Wins
Arizona 5 6 5 5.5
Arizona State 1 6 5 4.8
California 4 5 4.5 5.6
Colorado 3 4 3 2.6
Oregon 9 10 9.5 9.1
Oregon State 8 10 8 8.7
Stanford 1 4 2.5 4.2
UCLA 8 9 8.5 7.6
USC 10 11 9.5 10.3
Utah 8 10 8.5 8.7
UW 9 11 9 7.8
WSU 4 9 6.5 5.5

Most of the projections are similar for each of the teams, varying by just one or two wins. The exceptions are Arizona State, Stanford, and WSU. (I’m a bit surprised that there isn’t more variability with Colorado.)

The race for the Pac-12 championship should be tight again this year and the teams in the championship game will likely not be decided until the final games of the season. At least, that is based on what many people are thinking now. We’ll see what actually happens once games get played.


Which team is most likely to win more games (in the regular season) than the maximum expected?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Arizona (more than 6)
    (34 votes)
  • 1%
    Arizona State (more than 6)
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    California (more than 5)
    (10 votes)
  • 25%
    Colorado (more than 4)
    (51 votes)
  • 4%
    Oregon (more than 10)
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    Oregon State (more than 10)
    (5 votes)
  • 10%
    Stanford (more than 4)
    (20 votes)
  • 2%
    UCLA (more than 9)
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    USC (more than 11)
    (2 votes)
  • 4%
    Utah (more than 10)
    (9 votes)
  • 24%
    Washington (more than 11)
    (48 votes)
  • 2%
    WSU (more than 9)
    (4 votes)
198 votes total Vote Now