Last year, stats pointed to Michigan State and Oklahoma State as the country's biggest sleepers. This year, the answer's a lot more boring. USC is still thin and breaking in a new coach, but the Trojans are going to be really, really good.
With almost all of last year's defensive difference-makers gone, Arizona State probably won't be a Pac-12 South contender in 2014. But if the Sun Devils hold steady on offense and play well at home, the drop won't be too steep.
If you assume that a Rich Rodriguez is going to produce functional quarterbacks and running backs no matter what, then Arizona could have a spectacular offense in 2014. The defense will hold it back, but Rodriguez's third UA team should be quite fun.
After a pair of bumpy seasons, Mike Riley and Oregon State have reattained a steady level of success and quality in Corvallis. That should remain the story in 2014, though there are questions in the trenches and receiving corps.
Utah improved rather dramatically on paper in 2013, but close losses and a key injury prevented most people from noticing. Can the Utes take another step forward this fall? And will it matter with 10 bowl teams on the schedule?
Washington has only been truly good once in the last decade, but the Huskies return a number of exciting pieces from last year's 9-4 squad. And it doesn't take many ifs to turn Chris Petersen's first UW squad into a conference contender.
UCLA still might have too little depth and too few big play-makers to be a national title contender. But the Bruins have come too far in two years under Jim Mora to write them off just yet, especially with such a home-friendly schedule.
Cal started a true freshman quarterback and couldn't keep 11 defenders healthy at a time in 2013. In the improving Pac-12, this resulted in total disaster. The Bears should improve quite a bit in 2014, but will it matter in the win column?
Colorado may have been the worst team in the country in 2012. So the simple fact that the Buffs were able to win four games and play occasionally competitive ball in 2013 was cause for celebration. What happens in Mike MacIntyre's second season?