UTAH UTES

Pac-12 Football Predictions For 2022 Season Entering Spring

Mar 11, 2022, 4:45 PM
Utah vs. Oregon 2021 Pac-12 Championship...
Quarterback Cameron Rising #7, defensive end Mika Tafua #42 and wide receiver Britain Covey #18 of the Utah Utes celebrate the team's 38-10 victory over the Oregon Ducks to win the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Allegiant Stadium on December 3, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Pac-12 Conference is loaded for a run to try and finally reach the College Football Playoff and end the long drought.

Contenders are re-loading with talent, while others are bringing in new coaches to try and take the Pac-12 football crown in Las Vegas. Some teams are already in spring football practices, while others are ramping up.

With the transfer portal being a big part of college football, we’ll do another one of these after spring and during fall camp, so here is the first Pac-12 football predictions for the 2022 season as spring ball arrives.

Pac-12 Football Predictions For 2022 Season: Spring Edition

Arizona State Sun Devils

2021 record: 8-5, 6-3 (2nd in South)

2022 prediction: 3-9, 1-8

Wins: vs. NAU, vs. Eastern Michigan, vs. UW

Losses: @ OK State, vs. Utah, @ USC, @ Stanford, @ CU, vs. UCLA, @ WSU, vs. OSU, @ Arizona

Quick thought: Arizona State is a disaster. Nearly the entire coaching staff has either left or was fired. Their starting QB just left the program. On top of that, they signed the lowest recruiting class in the Pac-12. It’s going to be a tough year in Tempe and I think it’s the last season under Herm Edwards.

Arizona Wildcats

2021 record: 1-11, 1-8 (last in South)

2022 prediction: 5-7, 4-5

Wins: vs. NDSU, @ Cal, vs. CU, vs. WSU vs. ASU

Losses: @ SDSU, vs. Mississippi State, vs. Oregon, @ UW, vs. USC, @ Utah, @ UCLA

Quick thought: Jedd Fisch has hit the ground running and is bringing talent to Tucson. The Wildcats signed the second-best recruiting class in the Pac-12 and No. 21 in the nation. They also brought in Washington State QB Jayden de Laura from the transfer portal. The rebuild might not take as long as we all thought at Arizona.

California Golden Bears

2021 record: 5-7, 4-5 (4th in North)

2022 prediction: 5-7, 3-6

Wins: vs. UC Davis, vs. UNLV, @ WSU, @ CU, vs. Stanford

Losses: @ Notre Dame, vs. Arizona, vs. Oregon, @ USC, vs. UW, @ OSU, vs. UCLA

Quick thought: It’s hard to figure out what direction Cal is heading. They dealt with COVID issues throughout the 2021 season. Former Ute Xavier Carlton is a big pickup for Justin Wilcox. Their recruiting class in the lower half of the Pac-12. The QB situation is a little dicey despite bringing in Purdue transfer Jack Plummer. Time will tell but I think at this point, Cal is a middle of the pack program with Wilcox’s seat warming up.

Colorado Buffaloes

2021 record: 4-8, 3-6 (5th in South)

2022 prediction: 3-9, 2-7

Wins: @ Air Force, vs. ASU, @ UW

Losses: vs. TCU, @ Minnesota, vs. UCLA, @ Arizona, vs. Cal, @ OSU, vs. Oregon, @ USC, vs. Utah

Quick thought: It’s been a roller coaster ride for Karl Dorrell in his first two seasons as the head coach. They saw players suffer season-ending injuries and others going into the transfer portal. Dorrell went out and signed 24 players in his 2022 recruiting class, which is ranked fifth in the conference and 47th in the country. Former Pac-12 Player of the Year Jarek Broussard is off to Michigan State. Time will tell how well Dorrell has done to fill the gaps on his roster.

Oregon Ducks

2021 record: 10-4, 7-2 (1st in North)

2022 prediction: 10-2, 8-1

Wins: vs. EWU, vs. BYU, @ WSU, vs. Stanford, @ Arizona, vs. UCLA, @ Cal, @ CU, vs. UW, vs. Utah, @ OSU

Losses: vs. Georgia

Quick thought: Dan Lanning has picked up where Mario Cristobal left off when it comes to recruiting. Lanning signed the third-best recruiting class in the Pac-12 and No. 24 in the nation. They also brought in six transfers from power-5 programs. It’s a great situation for a first-year head coach, who just helped Georgia win a National Championship.

Oregon State Beavers

2021 record: 7-6, 5-4 (3rd in North)

2022 prediction: 7-5, 5-4

Wins: vs. BSU, @ Fresno State, vs. Montana State, @ WSU, vs. CU, vs. Cal, @ ASU

Losses: vs. USC, @ Utah, @ Stanford, @ UW, vs. Oregon

Quick thought: Jonathan Smith has his program trending in the right direction after taking the Beavers to a bowl game. The 2022 signing class is in the middle of the pack and top 60 in the nation. There hasn’t been much movement in the portal so player development will be critical if the Beavers want to take the next step.

Stanford Cardinal

2021 record: 3-9, 2-7 (last in North)

2022 prediction: 7-5, 5-4

Wins: vs. Colgate, vs. USC, @ UW, vs. OSU, vs. ASU, vs. WSU, vs. BYU

Losses: @ Oregon, @ Notre Dame, @ UCLA, @ Utah, @ Cal

Quick thought: After a bad season in 2021, Stanford is looking like a team on the rise in 2022 with the best recruiting class in the conference and No. 18 in the country. They also bring back a quarterback with experience. Now, the question is how quick can the recruits transition to the next level.

UCLA Bruins

2021 record: 8-4, 6-3 (3rd in South)

2022 prediction: 9-3, 6-3

Wins: vs. Bowling Green, vs. Alabama State, vs. South Alabama, @ CU, vs. UW, vs. Stanford, @ ASU, vs. Arizona, @ Cal

Losses: vs. Utah, @ Oregon, vs. USC

Quick thought: The Bruins had their best season under Chip Kelly in 2021. With DTR returning at quarterback and a good chunk of their talent, on top of bringing in 10 transfers, the Bruins could be a really good team in the Pac-12 this season.

USC Trojans

2021 record: 4-8, 3-6 (4th in South)

2022 prediction: 9-3, 7-2

Wins: vs. Rice, vs. Fresno State, @ OSU, vs. ASU, vs. WSU, @ Arizona, vs. Cal, vs. CU, @ UCLA

Losses: @ Stanford, @ Utah, vs. Notre Dame

Quick thought: USC made a splash hire by bring Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma. Riley also brought a really good recruiting class with him and some transfers, including Caleb Williams, Travis Dye, Austin Jones, among others. If Riley can piece everything together in fall camp, USC could be a Pac-12 title contender.

Utah Utes

2021 record: 10-4, 8-1 (1st in South, Pac-12 Champs)

2022 prediction: 11-1, 8-1

Wins: @ Florida, vs. SUU, vs. SDSU, @ ASU, vs. OSU, @UCLA, vs. USC, @ WSU, vs. Arizona, vs. Stanford, @ CU

Losses: @ Oregon

Quick thought: After a historic season in 2021, Utah is set up for another historic campaign in 2022 with Cam Rising returning at quarter. The offense is filled with playmakers, including two future NFL tight ends returning. Their defense is stacked with talented young players that have made strides in their development.

Washington Huskies

2021 record: 4-8, 3-6 (5th in North)

2022 prediction: 4-8, 2-7

Wins: vs. Kent State, vs. Portland State, @ Cal, vs. OSU

Losses: vs. Michigan State, vs. Stanford, @ UCLA, @ ASU, vs. Arizona, @ Oregon, vs. CU, @ WSU

Quick thought: A new coaching staff is looking to rebuild the mess at Washington. The 2022 signing class was second-to-last in the Pac-12 but have brought in some intriguing transfers, including Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr., Pitt LB Cam Bright and ASU WR Junior Alexander.

Washington State Cougars

2021 record: 7-6, 6-3 (2nd in North)

2022 prediction: 5-7, 3-6

Wins: vs. Idaho, vs. CSU, vs. Cal, vs. ASU, vs. UW

Losses: @ Wisconsin, vs. Oregon, @ USC, vs. OSU, vs. Utah, @ Stanford, @ Arizona

Quick thought: Washington State is beginning their new era with Jake Dickert without starting QB Jayden de Laura. Also, RB Max Borghi is not returning and they are bringing in 19 signees from the ninth ranked recruiting class in the country. It will take some time to get WSU back to being competitive but Dickert has shown that he can handle adversity.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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Pac-12 Football Predictions For 2022 Season Entering Spring