As non-conference games come to a close, the Pac-12 is getting a lot of love. Teams such as Washington and Arizona State have exceeded expectations, displacing USC and Oregon State as the next best teams in the Pac-12. Oregon and Stanford remain among the top-5 teams in the country; both teams are in the thick of the National Title hunt.
Washington has recruited well under head coach Steve Sarkisian and it is finally beginning to translate into results. After numerous speeches of having a young, talented team, the Huskies appear to be a legitimate Pac-12 championship dark horse.
ASU, aside from their most recent game at Stanford, has drawn roars of praises from analysts on ESPN and throughout the media world. Beating a tough Wisconsin team, albeit due to a bit of a crazy ending, opened a lot of eyes to the talent of the Sun Devils. Coach Graham has managed to focus the Sun Devils and the results are obvious.
But Oregon continues to lead the PAC, despite not winning the conference last year due to a hard-fought loss at home to Stanford. Oregon is currently No.2 in the country and every week gaining votes and momentum. This years edition of the Ducks is more balanced in their offensive approach, unleashing a heretofore unseen passing attack, all the while playing sterling defense. The Ducks have been to four straight BCS bowls – including a National Championship Game appearance – and have two straight bowl victories to their credit.
The Pac-12 is fast overtaking the SEC, but it will take a national title or two, and continuing victories against non-conference foes to truly be called the best conference in the land.