Think the revamped Arizona Wildcats are the favorite to the win the Pac-12 this season?
Well, think again.
Sports Illustrated’s Max Meyer has pegged the Colorado Buffaloes as his choice to take home the conference title, with Arizona checking in right behind them at No. 2.
“Surprised? You shouldn’t be,” Meyer wrote. “While other schools that are expected to contend atop the conference have lots of incoming talent, the Buffs return every major player from a team that was among the Pac-12’s hottest to end last season.”
Colorado went 10-8 in the Pac-12 last season, winning three straight to cap the regular season. The Buffs and Wildcats, who finished 8-10, split the season series, with the home team winning each game.
However, if the Pac-12 title race does come down to Arizona and Colorado this season, the Wildcats have a built-in advantage because they do not have to play the Buffaloes in Boulder, which has been a tough place to play since CU joined the conference in 2011-12.
ESPN’s Jeff Borzello sees the Pac-12 a little differently, placing the Wildcats at No. 16 in his way-too-early Top 25 while putting Colorado at No. 23, a spot below Washington.
Preseason polls and power rankings are mostly meaningless, but it does at least show that the Pac-12 title race could be a fun one this season. That would certainly be a welcome change after last season when Washington cruised to the finish line and won the conference by three games.
Be sure to check out Meyer’s full piece. It’s a good look at the conference landscape.