Stanford could come close to an undefeated season, but with away games at Oregon State and USC along with a home games versus the speedy Oregon Ducks, the Cardinal are bound to get a loss somewhere. Stanford only defeated Oregon State by four points last year and that is the Cardinal's only projected loss below. Expect Oregon at Stanford to be a big late season game to determine the North Division.
Despite the departure of coach Chip Kelly, Oregon should have another stellar season and 11 wins is not farfetched, but it may be a slight reach to project the Ducks to defeat Stanford and win the North Division. There are a few other possible trip ups like tough conference games against Washington and Oregon State in the Civil War Rivalry.
Oregon State will be a contender in the Pac-12, but likely fall up short due to some difficult conference road games. The Beavers are projected to be a part of two big upsets on both sides of the fence. Oregon State is picked to beat Stanford at home, but lose on the road against Washington State. Last season, the Beavers only beat the Cougars 19-6 and just lost to the Cardinal 27-23.
Washington will probably begin the season rolling, but drop off the second half. The Huskies are picked to beat top 25 non-conference opponent, Boise State. Washington has the CFU No. 17 strength of schedule and a brutal road schedule featuring games at Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, and UCLA. The mighty Oregon Ducks are on the home schedule as well.
Arizona State is a favorite to win the South Division, but it won't be easy in the all competitive Pac-12. The Sun Devils are projected to lose at Stanford, vs. Notre Dame, and at UCLA. But USC at Arizona State could be the game to decide the South Division and the game should be a very close match.
Also in the South Division, Southern California will contend in the Pac-12 and be improved, but do not expect them to win the conference or make a run for a BCS Bowl. USC is predicted to lose in away games at Arizona State, Notre Dame, and Oregon State as well as at home against Stanford.
UCLA will still field a talented team, but probably fall a little short of last seasons win tally. The Bruins have a hoard of challenging conference opponents on the road.
Arizona won't have a bad season, but another mediocre year may ahead. The Wildcats should reach seven wins with a manageable regular season schedule, but the conference slate will be too tough of a road.
California has the toughest schedule in the college football according to the CFU ratings and that could make an ugly season for the Bears. That does not mean Cal is not capable of pulling off some upsets, but a bowl game would be a reach under the first season of coach Sonny Dykes. Wins should come against Portland State and Colorado along with Washington State. But the game against the Cougars could go either way.
Under the second season with coach Mike Leach, Washington State will be improved, but at the same time, it will be hard for the Cougars to tally many more wins than a year ago. Wazzu may flirt with bowl eligibility or make it to six wins with a couple more upsets, but that would be a best case scenario and around four wins is most likely.
Utah will have another rough year in the Pac-12 and are the underdog against both in-state rivals, BYU and Utah State. The Utes are picked to upset UCLA at home, but an upset or two looks to be the highlights of another losing season.
Colorado is a football program currently going nowhere. The Buffaloes only projected wins are against FCS schools.
Eight teams are projected to be bowl eligible for the Pac-12.