These picks will surprise many in here. Here we go.

1. Arizona. A schedule pick as much as anything else. Talent wise, they have 8 starters on offense returning including a very good QB. Their defense loses two linemen, and returns everyone else. Their crossover away games are at Oregon State and Washington State, my#6 and 5 teams respectively in the North. They host Oregon and Cal. No Washington or Stanford. They also host USC. They do go to Utah. They have the best of the schedules in the South, and that may be enough to get them over the top.

2. USC. The Trojans have a solid offensive line and defensive back 7 returning. The QB situation is still a bit iffy, with Freshman QB Daniels the heir apparent. The schedule is a killer, especially in September, when the rookie QB should be learning the ropes. After opening against UNLV at home, USC goes to Stanford, Texas, comes home for a Friday Night game against Wazzu, and then back out on the road to Arizona. That has 2-3 written all over it. They also play at Utah.

3. Utah. Utah will have a solid offensive line and QB Huntley and RB Moss to operated behind it. The problem is on defense, where they must replace 7 starters including 5 on the front 7. The schedule starts easily enough, but turns very difficult in game 3, when they host Washington. After a week off they go to Washington State and Stanford, then follow that up with home games against Arizona and USC. They also host Oregon. Can Utah stop the Pac 12 offenses?

4. Colorado. The bottom three in the South are very close. Colorado returns QB Montez, but only two others on offense. They do return 6 starters on defense. They host bottom feeders UCLA, Arizona State, Washington State and Oregon State, and those four games, plus the Colorado State civil war and a home game against New Hampshire may be enough to get them into a bowl game.

5. UCLA. Basically the talk in Westwood is "wait until next year", even though this year has yet to begin. That is because people at UCLA are expecting miracles out of new HC Chip Kelly, but know that it will not happen this season. The offense returns just 4 players, and loses QB Rosen, and all of their other key players. The defense goes to a 3-4 and will depend on speed. They return 6 starters, but the question is just how much speed do these players have? Games at Oklahoma, Colorado, Cal, and Oregon (can't wait for that homecoming for Kelly) plus home games against Arizona, Utah, USC and Stanford will keep UCLA out of a Bowl Game this season.

6. Arizona State. It is not often that a new HC is immediately put on the hot seat, but that is exactly where Herm Edwards finds his hind end. He inherits a pretty good offense that includes QB Wilkins, two WR's and 4 other starters. The defense, which allowed 30 or more points in 10 games last season, is not much better this season, with just one LB and two CB's returning, plus a Safety who may not start. It is quite possible that ASU starts the season at 1-3 and probably will not win more than two games the rest of the way.