Pac-12 Tiers; Year 2

Back by popular demand! (…of the 5 people who read the few posts I put up last year, no one demanded…)


As a reminder…

During "The Grind", a team from a tier up to two below your team's tier could beat you. That would be credited to "The Grind" (CLICK HERE to read more about "The Grind"). So a Tier 1 team might lose to a Tier 3 team…but never to a Tier 4 or 5.

A Tier 3 team might beat anyone or lose to anyone from Tier 1 to Tier 5…creating that "Middle" in the Pac-12 that is so hard to predict. Even a Tier 2, ranked in the top 25, team has the potential to lose to an average team.

…and with rivalry games, all bets are off. That is the nature of a rivalry. (So is Colorado really Utah's rival???)

Tier 0 — Elite team. This team doesn’t lose a game, might have a "scare" from a Tier 2 team at worst…national championship material.

Tier 1 — Great teams. These are the teams who finish with 11 wins, go to a BCS game…finish in the top 10.

Tier 2 — Good teams. These are the teams who finish with 8-10 wins, finish ranked in the top 25 or just outside at worst.

Tier 3 — Above average teams. These are the teams that finish with 6-7 wins. Some will make a bowl game & possibly make it to 8 wins, but won’t be ranked.

Tier 4 — Average teams. These are the teams who will win 3-5 games.

Tier 5 — Below average teams. These are the teams who win 1-2 games. (Keep in mind that if they were in a lower tier conference…these teams would likely finish with 4-7 wins)

Tier 6 -- Poor teams. A team that finishes with 0 wins in the Pac-12...(would finish with around 2-3 wins in a non-AQ ((what do we call them now that we have a playoff???)) conference)

Tier 7 -- Terrible teams. A team who finishes with 0-1 win in a non-AQ conference.

Tier 0

USC – It seems unfair that the Heisman front runner has 2 NFL caliber wideouts to throw to. Who else has 1 WR of the caliber of Lee & Woods? ...and Barkley gets both?!? The only way I see anyone beating USC is if they have 2 lockdown DB’s and a pass rush that forces Barkley into bad decision; and of the games I’ve watched so far, that’s Alabama. So there’s your National Championship game…USC/Alabama.

Tier 1

Oregon – So I’m thinking 2 losses this year…both at the hands of USC. My only question is if Utah finishes 11-1 and Oregon 11-2…who does the Rose Bowl take?

Tier 2

Utah – I see losses to USC, @Washington & a third road game…most likely candidate is @UCLA. @ASU also looks like a trap game; right after BYU…possibility looking forward to USC. I’m going to put on my crimson colored glasses and say Utah somehow finishes 10-2.

Washington – I really like Price, and felt like Sarkisian had them trending up until that late season choke. I feel like UW is a 9 win team with losses to @LSU, @Oregon, USC. First half of the schedule is brutal though (4 currently ranked teams, 3 in the top 5)…could be as bad as 2-4 after the Oct 13 game vs. USC. That could be pretty demoralizing, & might put them into a tailspin…but I’ll project a 9-3 season.

Tier 3

UCLA – Neuheisel really was/is a bad coach. Fortunately for Jim Jr. the schedule looks like diddly poo for the most part. Next week’s home game vs. Nebraska is winnable (but I still think they lose). Only other real challenges are Utah, USC, and Stanford (all home games). I’m on the fence with the game vs. Utah, and also think that @ASU could be a loss. I see an 8-4 finish for UCLA, but they have a lot of upside, especially if they beat Nebraska. Could be a top 20 matchup when Utah comes to town, and I think they may be a fringe Tier 2 team.....

Stanford – Tier 3? Sacrilige! …at least to many Pac-12 faithful for me to think this is an average Stanford team…but this will be proof of how a world class QB can make you elite, and his loss can make you mediocre (…see Boise St.) I see losses to USC, @ UW, @ND, @Oregon, @ UCLA…finishing 7-5.

ASU – Losses to Oregon, @USC, @Arizona. I’m on the fence with Utah & UCLA (see above). ASU could have some nice momentum going into the Utah game if they pick up both Illinois & @ Missouri…but I’m putting down @ Missouri as a loss. Couple that with a loss to Utah/UCLA…looks like a 7-5 finish.

Tier 4

Arizona – Losses to Oklahoma St., @Oregon, @Stanford, UW, USC, @UCLA, @ Utah…welcome to the Pac-12 Rich Rod. Still, hanging on the fringe of bowl eligibility in your first year isn't bad. 5-7 record, with the possibility of a surprise in there that gets them to bowl eligibility.

Tier 5

Cal – Tedford is losing his jerb. It's a tough schedule, and they really needed that win vs. Nevada, as they will likely be staring bowl ineligibility in the face by the time they come to Utah...with Washington & Oregon on deck. Losses to @Ohio St., @USC, @ASU, UCLA, Stanford, @Utah, Washington, Oregon…3-9 record.

Washington St. – Wazzu has to be better than that hot mess I saw last week…but not much better. Losses to Oregon, Cal, @Stanford, @Utah, UCLA, ASU, UW. Finish 4-8.

Colorado – If Colorado can’t beat CSU, who can they beat? (cue Utah joke…) Upside, they could be 3-1 heading into the Sept 29th matchup with UCLA, as their next 3 opponents are ‘beatable’…but I see them losing out after Fresno St. and finishing 2-10.

Tier 6

Oregon St. – I pray that the Beavers have some respect and beat BYU…but probably not going to happen. Losses vs. Wisconsin, @UCLA, @Arizona, Wazzu, @BYU, Utah, @UW, ASU, @Stanford, Cal, Oregon. 1-11.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- there you have's hard to glean a lot from the first week of the season, so I could see this shifting drastically based on the next few weeks.

What are your thoughts?

In This FanPost

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Block U

You must be a member of Block U to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Block U. You should read them.

Join Block U

You must be a member of Block U to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Block U. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.