We all know the end of what we know the Pac-12 as is coming to an end. There is so much uncertainty in the league on where teams are heading and if there will be a conference going forward.
The dominoes fell with the announcement back last July that the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans would join the Big Ten. The official join date for both those teams is August 2nd, 2024.
Locally, the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils are both going to go to the Big 12 to form a 16-team conference. That will start during the 2024-2025 school year as well. Colorado is also heading to the Big 12. What that means for the Pac-12 is Washington State, Oregon State, California, and Stanford are apparently the last ones standing.
Recently, it was announced that California and Stanford may be heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Nothing says Atlantic Coast quite like California and Stanford, but anyways – the point is – the Pac-12 is over.
But, before it is over, we get one more College Football season together. And, boy, is it going to be interesting. Interesting in the fact that these long-standing rivalries are going to be heated, knowing the breakup has happened.
The College Football season is ready to rock, and we are here for it. Locally, in the Valley, the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils look to be big-time underdogs. Let’s take a look at the 2023 odds to win the Pac-12.
Arizona Wildcats +7000
The season for the Wildcats will kick off on September 2nd against Northern Arizona.
The Wildcats will need to be ready to go from the shoot, as the Lumberjacks have been waiting for this game for quite some time. The Wildcats avoid Oregon (+120) on their 2023 slate but do have to go to the favorite USC Trojans.
Lincoln Riley’s squad comes into the season as the favorite -160, and his quarterback Caleb Williams is the Heisman front-runner. The Wildcats also will pay a visit to Coach Prime’s Colorado Buffaloes (+8000).
The Wildcats were one of the top-scoring teams under Jedd Fisch a season ago but have been absolutely woeful on the defensive end. Jayden de Laura is back as the signal caller, and he has weapons to throw to. The defense has been near the bottom of all College Football teams the last five years but picked up key transfers from UCLA, Georgia, Oregon, California, and Washington.
This should bolster their ability to improve quickly and hopefully get them at least inside the Top 100 defensively. This team has a chance to be sneaky good and reach a bowl game for the first time since the 2017 season.
Arizona State Sun Devils +8000
From Tuscon to Tempe, the Arizona State Sun Devils will head into 2023 with a new leader of the program. Gone is Herm Edwards, and in is Kenny Dillingham. Arizona State went just 3-9 a season ago. Known as a tremendous recruiter and offensive coordinator, Dillingham looks to bring the Sun Devils’ offense back to life.
The Sun Devils struggled to run the ball last season, with just 135 yards per game, ranking 90th in all of College Football. Gone is Xazavian Valladay, and in comes Cameron Skattebo, who finished 8th in FCS for rushing yards at Sacramento State.
If the Sun Devils can keep the quarterback on his feet enough, this team could find a way to sneak in some wins. They start with five home games in their first six, including visits from USC and Colorado.
A stretch of games at Washington (+130), with Washington State (+4000) at Utah (+600) and at UCLA (+1400) will be quite a test for the first-year head coach The Sun Devils start the season at home on August 31st against Southern Utah, before hosting Oklahoma State on September 9th.
In the end, the two teams from the Valley have their backs to the wall before the season even starts. The Pac-12 has always been a conference where you can expect unexpected things to happen, and both the Wildcats and Sun Devils would love to be the last champion before the death of the conference, and you just never know.
More Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils talk all season right here!