Spring practices are over. The long offseason has begun. That's yucky.
But here are five bold -- bold, we say! -- predictions to consider, ridicule or celebrate heading into the summer months.
1. Jeff Lockie will start against Eastern Washington, though Vernon Adams will play: When the rumors started swirling that Vernon Adams was going to transfer to Oregon from Eastern Washington, the popular and reasonable response was Ducks coaches didn't have confidence in the returning QBs on their roster. And, by the way, that might have been true. Perhaps even probably true. Yet Lockie, by all accounts, turned in his best work this spring, which he capped by completing all nine of his passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns in the spring game. Spring practices validated Lockie's candidacy, and his familiarity with his teammates and the offense is a big advantage in the competition. Now it will be up to Adams to quickly digest the Ducks' offense and get in sync with perhaps the nation's best array of skill players. While the season opener against Eastern Washington is interesting because it could match Adams against his old team -- talk about serendipitous scheduling for sportswriters! -- the game that truly should be circled in red is Week 2 at Michigan State, a matchup of teams certain to be ranked in the preseason top 10. Whom will the Ducks' coaches want behind center in a road game with HUGE College Football Playoff implications?
2. Josh Rosen will be UCLA's starting quarterback: There was little question heading into spring practices that true freshman Josh Rosen was the Bruins' most talented quarterback. Many rated him the top prep quarterback in the nation last year, and in terms of measurables and looking the part, he has no peer on the UCLA roster. The only issue was how quickly he'd adjust to the speed of the Pac-12 game, how quickly he'd learn the UCLA offense and how well he'd mix with his teammates. He appears to have achieved at least a passing grade in all three areas, which makes it difficult to not acknowledge his talent, particularly on a team that could be a Pac-12 and national contender.
3. Rosen will be one of three freshman starters behind center: Rosen will start at UCLA, and fellow true freshman Seth Collins will win the job at Oregon State. While we don't have as strong a feel for who might win the starting job at Washington, two of the three options are true freshman Jake Browning and redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels. It seems like a reasonable bet that one or the other will eclipse junior Jeff Lindquist, if not in Week 1, then at some point in the season. Moreover, while sophomore Luke Falk asserted himself in the spring game at Washington State, he has not closed the deal in his competition with redshirt freshman Peyton Bender.
4. Utah running back Devontae Booker should be the Pac-12's top Heisman candidate: While USC quarterback Cody Kessler likely will begin the season topping most Pac-12 Heisman Trophy lists, Kessler is but one piece of a pretty nice collection of skill players for the Trojans. Moreover, he's a few clicks behind a small handful of quarterbacks in the national pecking order, starting with TCU's Trevone Boykin and, you know, whoever wins the job at Ohio State. Booker will be the unquestioned centerpiece of the Utes' offense. No one at Utah even pretends to dispute that. In fact, coach Kyle Whittingham volunteers it. Booker is a physical, violent runner who also can catch the ball out of the backfield, so he doesn't need to come off the field. When he rolls up 200 yards rushing in a win over Michigan on Thursday, Sept. 3 in front of a national audience, he will become a national figure.
5. Smart California fans will start formulating their plan to eat at Franklin Barbecue in June: Cal visits Texas in Week 3 on Sept. 18. In preparation for a thrilling upset victory and a 3-0 start, Bears fans should arrive early on Friday -- maybe even Thursday -- and join the line at Franklin Barbecue. They should buy a most excellent lunch, and then send me a same-day package of as much brisket as Franklin will sell them. Why? Because I will be impatiently waiting by the Magic Karma Box, which controls every Pac-12 team's season, and Cal fans already know what havoc I can wreak upon their hopes and dreams.