Pac-12 Soccer: Can Lincoln Riley and Dan Lanning make an instant impact?

Via RJ Young
FOX Sports College Football Writer

Here are the top five storylines for Pac-12 into the 2022 college football season.

1 is Utah going to make the first trip to the College Soccer Round?

From my pre-season top 25 was published last weekend: “Kyle Whittingham’s Utes team returns 14 of their 22 starters from last year’s Pac-12 championship team and adds at least one well-deserved star transfer in Mohamoud Diabatea linebacker is expected to fill the gap due to Devin Lloyd. Utes can make his mark with victory at Florida on a path that could put them on the path to the program’s first invitation to CFP. Let me see the waiter, Utah. “

I ranked Utah as the fifth best team in the country. The AP ranks Utes at 7th place. There’s reason for optimism in Salt Lake City, and Utah could capitalize on that with a win over Florida.

Pac-12 Plot: Is Utah A CFP Candidate?

Is Utah going to make the first trip to the College Football Qualifiers? Will Lincoln Riley win 12 games? RJ Young discusses his top Pac-12 storylines.

2. Will Lincoln Riley win 12 games, the convention title, make Heisman win QB and become CFP in Year 1 at USC like he did for a year Oklahoma?

My Top 25: “We know Lincoln Riley can put together an offense, and he’ll definitely have enough strength to appear brilliant with the quarterback Caleb Williamsrun again Travis Dye and wide receiver Jordan Addison.

“What remains to be seen is whether coordinator Alex Grinch and his defense staff can turn a Troy defense against Pac-12 and push the Trojans to history’s first CFP bid. or not. Flip that F-18 upside down, draw on aim, climb that mountain, take the 9Gs face-to-face and prepare for a dogfight all the way home. Let’s fight.”

Besides, Utes can feel in a way about all the love USC has received from the people inside and outside the Pac-12 just because they changed head coach again. Like many others, I’m interested in how the Trojans hold up in Pac-12, let alone against a fat guy. State of Fresno Returning lineup The group of five best midfielders in the country and one Notre Dame The team is growing in popularity and passion from raising Marcus Freeman to head coach.

Is Utah or USC the best bet to get the CFP out of the Pac-12?

RJ Young believes only one team out of the Pac-12 has an actual shot to make it to the CFP this year, and that team will be the winner of the conference championship game.

3. Can Dan Lanning come back? Oregon to a climax it hasn’t seen since Chip Kelly roamed the sidelines in Eugene?

My Top 25: “Year 1 Dan Lanning at Eugene had a run that didn’t involve gloves. If UO showed up in that game that started the season 3-0, we’d know the Ducks. willing to do more of Disney Iceland’s Youth Hockey in a made-for-TV series.”

Defense and Defense Coordinator Tosh Lupoi can use a whole season Justin FloweOne of the most talented players in the sport.

Flowe has only played for 15 quarters, but he is a consensus five-star player and the second highest ranked player the Ducks have ever signed. He scored 14 tackles against Fresno State in their opening game of the 2021 season, and is the first Oregon player since 2007 to score 14 tackles and catch a faint in the same game.

The Ducks, on the other hand, have three death games on their non-conference schedule including a 10-win FCS team (East Washington), a 10-winning FBS show (BYU), and the defending CFP national champion (Georgia).

Why Oregon Won’t Succeed in Dan Lanning’s First Season

RJ Young explains why he thinks Washington State will come out on top with an expected win total of 5.5, then shares why he thinks Oregon won’t be able to win much more than 8.5.

4. Maybe By UCLA Zach Charbonnet Best back in the league?

UCLA wanted nothing better than to build on its 8-4 record last year (6-3 in the Pac-12) and give itself a chance to play in the collegiate championship for the first time in the Chip era. Kelly.

With the decision to remove the league split, the Bruins could do so with games against AP top 25 rivals Utah and USC at home and a road game against Oregon.

But, to get there, the Bruins needed Charbonnet to be the best full-back in the league. After dashing more than 1,100 yards last season and scoring 13 TDs, he, along with the midfielder Dorian Thompson-Robinsonmust be formidable in 2022.

5. Can the Pac-12 Prove It’s a Power Conference 5 is more than just a name?

Now would be a standout moment for the Pac-12 to remind us all how good West Coast football is. Over the past five years, it has suffered a series of embarrassing losses and missed out on CFP selection, and now it’s been hit by the bad Big Ten for its two biggest brand shows.

This season, the Pac-12 needs to get lucky – just like it used to beat Oregon Ohio State on the road last season – and it needs to avoid cannibalism – unlike when Stanford beat Oregon. Never mind that Utah beat Oregon twice in 13 days and got that same Ohio State in the Rose Bowl game.

The fate and future of the Pac-12 Conference in 2022 could very well rest on the shoulders of the Utes.

Bonus: Is BYU a CFP candidate?

Apparently, BYU is not in the Pac-12. But since the Independent Cougars beat the Pac-12 team 5-0 last season and played against Oregon and Stanford this season, they might as well.

My Top 25 Wins: “The Coogs have racked up at least 10 wins in each of the past two seasons, and Kalani Sitake is poised to hit that 30 in three years with the return of Hall of Jaren – 23 TD down to only 5 INT – if he can find another support vehicle as talented as Tyler Allgeier for 2022. But it’s a big thing if with Notre Dame, ArkansasOregon and Baylor on the schedule. But it’s also the sort of schedule that proves Cougars is a legitimate CFP candidate. “

If the Coogs can run the table – and that’s a big if – there’s no reason to believe they can’t earn a CFP invite on their way to establishing themselves to join the changing Big 12 in the coming years. less than a year. Would it benefit the Big 12 to have the two newest members with experience in the CFP not named Oklahoma?

RJ Young is FOX Sports national college football writer and analyst and podcast host.No.1 ranked show with RJ Young. “Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Youngand subscribe”The RJ Young Show“on YouTube. He’s not on StepMill.

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