We get the Utah #Pac12 love; they are our #7 team in the nation. We wish we got them to win the conference at the 20 to 1 numbers from early summer. Congrats to those who got in at those numbers. What we're surprised about is the tepid love on Oregon this year. You'll only go as far as your QB will take you, and people are not valuing Justin Herbert and the Oregon OL enough in our eyes. Together, they are elite. With one of the top recruiting classes and a bunch of California kids ready to produce (Mycah Pittman), we are high on Herbert being more efficient AND explosive in 2019. Going to Stanford in Week 4 is a hell of a test; we rate Oregon higher and you have to think they will have revenge on their mind after that 2018 heart-stopper.
Utah was just edged out for that #2 spot. Enough has been said about them already, especially the defense and the incredible defensive line. However, we actually have the offense slightly RANKED higher. This will be dependent on Moss and Huntley staying healthy, which they've struggled to do.
USC at #3 may be shocking, but we are excited for the Graham Harrell - JT Daniels relationship. Daniels just was announced as the starter -- beating out freshman Kedon Slovis. USC fans were rightfully critical of Daniels in year 1, but one thing that we at @PicksandClicks don't forget is that Daniels was a young freshman in 2018. At times the OL let him down, and the speed and size of the pass rush took time for Daniels to adjust to. In the Air Raid offense, we expect Daniels natural throwing ability to thrive more and USC to put their elite skill guys in better 1v1 matchups, which should help Daniels. The schedule is tough--Stanford Week 2, at BYU Week 3, Utah Week 4, at Washington Week 5, at Notre Dame Week 7. That is about as tough of a first two months as any schedule out there. If they can make it to Week 8 unscathed, their body of work will be the best in the country.