Hi everyone. I’m back and no I have not taken the entire summer off, I was at a very long camp at Culver Academy in Culver, Indiana. I am now back in business and this blog is going to be a preview of the Pac 12 conference. I will be previewing each of the other power conferences in other blogs so stay tuned.
Dark Horse: USC
USC is my dark horse pick to win the Pac 12. They have a great new coach. Cody Kessler is finally their stable quarterback, and their defense is nasty. The only hole they need to fill is the explosive play maker but I think Nelson Agholor is the perfect fit. The Trojans are a very dangerous team that has the potential to spoil their rivals UCLA’s season and punch their ticket to maybe a playoff birth.
Defensive Player of the Year: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu,CB,Oregon
Ekpre-Olomu is one of the best cornerbacks in the nation and it seems like he is poised to have a career year. Ekpre-Olomu has the ability to shut down even the elite wide receivers in the country with ease. His most impressive attribute is his eyes. Olomu sees everything on the field, which leads to him picking off many passes. This is one of the reasons Ekpre-Olomu is a projected top 5 pick in this upcoming NFL draft.
Offensive Player of the Year: Marcus Mariota,QB,Oregon
It is a no brainer that the reigning offensive player of the year is my preseason pick to win the award once again. Also what made this decision that much easier is that he is everybody’s preseason Heisman Trophy winner and that he is projected to be the number one overall pick in the next NFL draft. Mariota had a very tough decision to make at the end of last year, to enter the NFL draft and probably be the first quarterback taken off the board or come back to the University and have a chance to win a National TItle and many other prestigious individual awards. Having made the decision to come back to the Ducks made the sun actually shine in Oregon.
Conference Championship: UCLA vs Oregon
It just seems like these two West coast power houses are destined to meet up in the championship. North vs South, Mariota vs Hundely what better story could be written.
Conference Champions: Oregon
It just feels like this is the make or break season for the Fighting Ducks. They have all of the perfect pieces in place. Coach Mark Helfrich has just been given keys to a sports car but now he has to drive them. This season is Playoffs or bust for the Ducks, no it’s more like National Championship or bust, that’s how much pressure will be lying on their shoulders. It’s a good thing they have the best player in the country, who also thrives under pressure with their high powered prolific offense and their shutdown defense. Anything short of a championship would be a disappointment. They have to live up to it, but there’s something in the water that telling me this is finally the year Oregon gets it done. Fast, Hard, FINISH!