2016 Pac-12 Most Anticipated Conference Matches
The 2016 PAC-12 Conference schedule is absolutely brutal, especially for the top teams like Stanford, USC and Oregon, given the high level of competition in the conference over the past couple of years. Can any of the Pac-12 teams finish the season unbeaten or at least with a strong one-loss season to challenge for the 2016-17 College Football Playoffs? And with some of the nation’s best running backs residing in this conference, who will shine the most? Too many questions to answer with certainty right now, but all of us can at least agree that the Pacific Conference will serve us with some of the best college football games in 2016. With that being said, let’s whet our NCAA Football betting lines appetite for 2016 with the following most anticipated Pac-12 conference games for the upcoming season.
Here’s a Closer Look At The 2016 Pac-12 Most Anticipated Conference Matches
USC at Stanford, Sept. 17
The Trojans and the Stanford Cardinal are two traditional football powerhouses and two of the teams favored to win the 2016 Pac-12 title, so meeting as early as September should be a real treat to football enthusiasts across the nation. Stanford lost some key talents in the offseaon, but are returning with the 2015-16 Heisman Trophy runner-up in star running back and sometimes receiver Christian McCaffrey, along with some decent player recruits. That should be able to keep the team strong enough and well-ready for this clash. For the Trojans, their success in 2016 will largely depend on their new coaching personnel and how badly the team wants to end Stanford’s dominance over them. Whatever the case, both teams should be able to give a good account of themselves in a well-balanced back-and-forth affair.
Stanford at Washington, Sept. 30
Here’s a possible Pac-12 North divisional decider. Both teams are loaded with talent on each side of the football and are coming off solid 2015 campaigns, setting up a mouthwatering clash. Stanford is arguably the better team, but after seeing how the Huskies improved last season (especially in defense), I would be careful about predicting a Stanford win in this game.
Washington at Oregon, Oct. 8
The Ducks broke into a new quarterback last season without too many problems and I expect a similar trend this year. Having a new coordinator in the defense should additionally help the Duck. Even so, the Huskies (as mentioned earlier) are talented enough to hang with anyone, so Oregon shouldn’t be an exception. But then again, with the Ducks bringing with them a flawless 14-0 winning streak over the Huskies into this game, you should know better than to test fate by betting against Oregon in this very friendly home game for the Ducks nation.
Utah at UCLA, Oct. 22
The Utes are an overlooked bunch in most Pac-12 talks, yet history has proven their ability to play tough against the best in the conference. That underestimated value of Utah should see the team play with an extra impetus to prove the pundits wrong, so the Bruins (and even USC) should carefully watch their backs in the Pac-12 South division.
Oregon at USC, Nov. 5
Playing vs. Washington, at Cal and vs. Arizona State prior to this game at USC means the Ducks will visit the Trojans physically drained. Meanwhile, USC will have a few extra days before this game, coming off a game against Cal the previous Thursday, so there should be a bit of some edge for the home-playing Trojans here. It, however, remains to be seen if USC will be able to take advantage of that edge, considering the Trojans will be breaking into a new quarterback this season (just like the Ducks).
Stanford at Oregon, Nov. 12
Stanford’s oh-so-close 38-36 loss to Oregon in 2015 was the chiefly reason the Cardinal missed out on a playoff spot last year and revenge will be on their minds when they go against the Ducks this season. The costly 2015 win marked the second year in a row that Oregon beat Stanford, though history indicates that Stanford is 46-32-1 in this all-time series. Can the Ducks make it three in a row, or will the Cardinal get back on top of things? Personally, I am leaning on Oregon, but that’s mainly because I am Ducks fan, so feel free to go with whichever side that appeals to you most.
USC at UCLA, Nov. 19
The annual Los Angeles rivalry a.k.a the Victory Bell series doesn’t need an introduction as arguably the biggest rivalry in the conference, besides the Apple Cup rivalry between Washington and Washington State. USC leads the all-time series 45-31-7, including a 40-21 win in 2015, but the Bruins won the three previous meetings before that, so they shouldn’t be written off from bouncing back in 2016. Interestingly, the winning team in this series has won by double-digits since 2007, which often means covering the spread in the game. So be sure to remember that when picking your winner for the 2016 edition of the Victory Bell series.