Conference Breakdown: Pac-12

5 things to know about the Pac-12

Biggest game: Stanford at Washington, Sept. 30

Players to always watch: You already know Stanford's guy. Don't forget about Oregon RB Royce Freeman.

Team nobody wants to play: Washington State

Coach who really needs wins: Mike MacIntyre, Colorado

Don't be surprised if ... We would say, "Washington makes the Rose Bowl," but at this point, you're tired of hearing that.

Bill Connelly's Power Rankings

Tier 1

Stanford

This road schedule is brutal, but at least Christian McCaffrey will get plenty of Heisman eyes.

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Oregon

The Ducks might somehow be the country's most overlooked team right now.

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Washington

In our profile below, learn why there's so much Huskies hype all of a sudden.

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USC

Ddn't make a flashy hire, for a change. But anybody can win with this talent, right?

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UCLA

UCLA has the pieces for a Pac-12 title run. Can Josh Rosen make that happen?

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Tier 2

Utah

We only ranked Utah here because Utes fans like being underestimated. ;)

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Washington State

Mike Leach ended Washington State's decade lost at sea. Now what's next?

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Arizona State

Still in good shape, but expect another crazy-turbulent season.

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Arizona

How quickly will Rich Rodriguez's latest major changes pay off?

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California

It's a transition year, but don't sleep. The Golden Bears still have plenty of firepower.

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Tier 3

Colorado

This rebuild has to get back on schedule in a hurry.

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Oregon State

Gary Andersen will need at least another year to turn around OSU.

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Tier 4

Tier 5