Phil Steele has a lot of interesting things on his college football blog, and his "Stock Market Indicator" included eight Pac-12 teams.
He sees four lined up for a bull market season. And four for a bear market.
The way he arrives at his plus or minus numbers is fairly straight forward. He takes last year's win total and subtracts it from the average win total of the previous two years. If 2012, was a down year for a program compared to the previous two, it would get a positive number (bull!). If 2012 was better than the average of the two previous years, it would get a negative number (bear!).
Last year in my blog, 18 teams that had a +3.5 Stock Market Indicator or more and of those 18 teams, 15 improved their record, just two had a weaker record and one remained the same. That 16 out of 18 success rate translated into 88.9% last year!
Overall, of the teams since 1990 that had a +1.5 Stock Market Indicator or higher; 423 improved their record, 170 had a weaker record and 59 had the same record meaning 73.9% of the time, teams in that category improved or had the same record.
And for the bears:
Bottom line is that a 91% trend of a weaker or same record if teams have a -5 indicator or less, -3 to -4.5 is 78% and -2 to -2.5 74%. Overall, teams that had -2 Stock Market Indicator or lower had the weaker or the same record basically 79% of the time.
So who's got a positive outlook?
I'd say every one of these teams is a good bet to improve its 2012 win total. For one, Colorado and California can't get much worse. USC coach Lane Kiffin needs the Trojans to win more than seven games, particularly with a 13-game schedule. Utah, which went 5-7 last year, seems a decent bet to at least get six wins and become bowl eligible.
How about those who might trend downward?
Oregon State: -5
Arizona State: -2.0
UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State got boosts last season with new coaches. The guys before them were fired for a reason, after all. Oregon State's poor 2010 and 2011 seasons feel more like the anomaly, based on coach Mike Riley's lengthy track record of success. Not sure if any of these teams are headed for a significant downturn, though winning just one fewer game this fall would fit in with Steele's percentages.