Amid Pac-12 parity, another high projection for Washington

The offseason perspective continues with the same storyline for the Pac-12: The conference is deep with good teams, but it doesn't have a significant threat for the College Football Playoff.

Consider Athlon's rankings this week of all FBS college football teams from 1 to 128. Seven Pac-12 teams ranked among the top-32 -- five in the top-23 -- but none rank in the top-10.

The top team in the conference? Following another trend of Pac-12 prognosticating, it's Washington.

From the article:

  • The Huskies are poised for a breakthrough year in Chris Petersen’s third season. Talented sophomores Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin are two of the Pac-12’s top players on offense, while the defense returns eight starters from a unit that allowed only 18.8 points a game last year.

That seems perfectly reasonable. It's also worth nothing that the Huskies have a weak nonconference schedule that pretty much guarantees a 3-0 record before the conference schedule begins.

Here's how Athlon stacks up Pac-12 teams.

11. Washington

12. Stanford

14. UCLA

22. USC

23. Oregon

30. Washington State

32. Utah

44. California

46. Arizona State

50. Arizona

61. Colorado

90. Oregon State

From our humble perspective, Washington State and Utah are underrated. Both are squarely in the race for the North and South divisions, respectively.

As for Oregon State, its ranking 90th means Athlon views it as the third worst Power 5 team, just ahead of No. 95 Purdue and No. 99 Kansas.

Athlon does, however, see the Pac-12 as having plenty of potential "sleeper" teams in the CFP race. In another article, it includes Washington, UCLA, Oregon and Utah as teams that could surprise folks by insinuating themselves into the national picture.