Picking the Pac-12, and the Pac-10 & 8 before that, has long been a perilous proposition, as evidenced by the fact that the assembled opinion of those of us in the media that cover the conference has only gotten the Champion right twice in the last decade, and only around half the time in over a half century.
Last year was even worse than usual, as almost no one correctly picked the winner of either division, making picking the conference champion impossible by implication.
My predictions were as bad as anyones, getting only 3 of 12 spots right. Even picking the North to win the Conference Championship game loses some gloss when one considers that since its inception, the North division winner has claimed every Pac-12 title.
Colorado’s historic last to first turnaround to take the South had a lot to do with the miscalculations for everyone, though I did correctly have USC & Utah in 2nd & 3rd.
And everyone expected Washington to make a big surge, but the Huskies were ahead of schedule in winning both the North and the Conference on their way to the National Championship playoffs. Which has supplanted the Rose Bowl as the ultimate objective of everyone in the conference.
Coupled with Oregon’s epic collapse, it really scrambled the North. If you could have guaranteed a year ago that only 1 of 6 of my picks in the North would be correct, I suspect neither you nor I would have named Cal as the one that matched expectations most closely!
I do take some redemption in noting that last year would be more about unanswered questions than things we knew, and surprises were not in short supply at any time during the season.