Catch up on the CFB Preview Series here:
Part One: Heisman Preview
Part Two: Overall CFB Landscape
Part Three: Sun Belt & C-USA Conference Previews
Part Four: MAC & Mountain West Conference Previews
Part Five: AAC & Independents Conference Previews
Part Six: ACC Preview
Part Seven: Big 12 Preview
The forgotten conference. The Pac-12 made the CFP two of the first three years with Oregon and Washington but have not made it since. That’s five straight playoffs without a Pac-12 team. Notre Dame and the AAC have made the playoff more recently than the Pac-12. Maybe this year that will change… Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams are now at USC, Utah has an awesome team, Oregon scored Bo Nix out of the transfer portal, and Washington is looking to get back to its consistent winning ways.
Win Total Over
Utah, Alabama, and Ohio State all to win 10 games parlay at FD (+236)- This is a great bet. Utah is around +150 to win 10 or more games this season but parlayed with Alabama and Ohio State it bumps up to +236. Ohio State and Alabama would need detrimental injuries to their QBs in order to not win 10 games. I have a lot more to say about Utah later but I like their schedule a lot. They only have 3 games I can envision them losing- Week One @ Florida, at home against USC, and @ Oregon late in the season. I have already bet them to beat Florida week one so I have faith there which gets them to 10 wins even if they lose the other two. I also back them to defend their home field and beat USC so they have a lot of wiggle room to hit this mark.
Washington o7.5 wins (-125)- Washington is back. Chris Peterson had them as one of the most consistent programs in CFB and even made a CFP. Then Jimmy Lake took over before the COVID year where they did go 3-1 but then he was fired for shoving a player in a season they went 4-8. This year they hired Kalen DeBoer who helped turn around the Indiana football program in 2019 as OC and then led Fresno State to be one of the best G5 teams over the last two seasons.
Between coaching at Fresno State and his other head coaching stint at DII Sioux Falls, DeBoer has a head coaching record of 79-9 (89.7%). He just knows how to win and this team returns a lot from last season. They start the season with four games and three they will be big favorites in. They also host Michigan State during that stretch and I will be backing them in that game. They get Oregon State at home which could be a swing game and they avoid USC and Utah out of the South. I’m backing the Huskies.
Win Total Under
USC is a team I will be fading early in the season but I feel like they might get it together late so I want to avoid fading them season-long. Other than that, I think most of these win totals are straight on so I’m leaving it here.
Utah (+250)- UTEEEEEEEES! It seems like every couple of years I am totally invested in this team. I was all in with Tyler Huntley’s team a couple of years ago and I am back in again. I also love Kyle Whittingham. He is really one of the elite coaches in all of college football. Since he became the Utah head coach in 2005, they have the 5th best ATS record in all of FBS football (only including teams that have been in FBS that entire stretch). I already mentioned earlier why I love their schedule and I think getting USC at home will be the game that secures them a spot in the conference championship game.
Other than Caleb Williams, I think Cam Rising is the best QB in the conference. Once Cam Rising took over last year the Utes won 9 of their last 10 games including a 28-point blowout of Oregon in the conference championship game. Go Utes Go.
Caleb Williams (+700)- Caleb Williams is nasty. No doubt about it. But I am very uneasy about this USC team. I’ll give them a few weeks before I consider getting involved.
Bo Nix (70/1)- I actually hope Bo Nix does well at Oregon (until he plays our Utes) but I don’t see value in the number here.
Cam Rising (80/1)- I love Cam Rising and think he will be a beast but I have more faith in the Utes as a team than Cam to put up Heisman numbers. He’s a stud but not capable of putting up Stroud/Young-type numbers.
Utah (80/1)- I’M ALL IN BABY!! If any team makes it out of the Pac-12 I think it will be the Utes. Assuming two playoff spots go to Alabama and Ohio State, I think the other two spots are up for grabs. I’ve made it clear I’m out on Clemson and I think Georgia will lose at least one regular season game as well as the SEC Championship Game to Alabama. A 2-loss Georgia opens up a playoff spot for a Big 12 or Pac-12 team and I think Utah will be the best team between the two conferences. Let’s do it.