Today we conclude the second annual picking of the BTD Preseason Football Poll.
So far, the BTD Poll looks like this:
3. Oregon State
6. Washington State
Below you will find my prediction, along with the two remaining Pac-12 South teams. Your job is simple, just pick the team that you think will win the South Division this season.
My Prediction: Arizona State
I think the Pac-12 South is going to be a battle of two teams this season, Arizona State and USC. Sorry Utah, but I just don't think you have the offense to compete for a Pac-12 Championship.
The battle between the Sun Devils and Trojans should be a fun one to watch all season long, as I have both teams finishing 7-2 in Pac-12 play.
However, unlike the Stanford-Oregon game in November that could very well decide the North division, these two teams face each other on September 24th in Tempe. Both the Trojans and Devils are pretty much dead-even on paper, but I've got ASU winning this one because of the home-field advantage.
The race to win the division will not be over though, beacuse three weeks later Arizona State travels to Eugene to face Oregon. The Sun Devils played Oregon better than most teams last season, only losing by 11 on a hot night in Tempe, but I don't think they have the same luck this time around. I think the Ducks run around and through a mediocre Sun Devil defense, handing ASU their first Pac-12 loss.
A few weeks later, Arizona State has to travel to the Rose Bowl to face UCLA. I'm predicting the upset of the conference season in Los Angeles, as UCLA squeaks by the Sun Devils on a last-second Field Goal. The loss puts USC back in first place, and it will come down to another USC-Oregon showdown on November 12th to decide who takes home the South championship.
This one should be a shootout, with both offenses flying and both defenses sucking air all night long. I do think USC jumps out to a 14-0 lead, but two LaMichael James touchdowns in three minutes quickly even the score. From there, both teams keep matching touchdowns, until a Matt Barkley pass sails high and is intercepted for a touchdown by cornerback Cliff Harris. The pick-6 gives Oregon a 42-28 lead with just two minutes remaining, giving the Ducks the Pac-12 North crown, and at the same time giving Arizona State the Pac-12 South.