Pac-12 spring football overreactions: USC, Utah destined for clash to end conference’s playoff drought

Spring football has come to an end across the Pac-12, leaving a conference in transition looking forward to the 2022 season. Defending champion Utah is enjoying consistency after winning the league for the first time, but the rest of the Pac-12 has plenty of moving parts. 

The biggest moves came on the coaching front, as USC poached Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to lead the program. In the Pac-12 North, Oregon lost Mario Cristobal to Miami but replaced him with national title-winning defensive coordinator Dan Lanning from Georgia. In all, there are four new coaches in the Pac-12, along with a number of new coordinators. 

Remember, these are overreactions. We have only a limited sample of spring football on which to judge the future of these programs before they finally take the field in the fall. Still, come back at season’s end and judge whether we were on to something with these brief glimpses.

The Wildcats will be college football’s most improved team: One would be hard-pressed to follow an 1-11 debut with a better offseason than what Jedd Fisch has accomplished. The Wildcats recruited the Pac-12’s No. 2 high school class and added a star-studded transfer group which includes quarterback Jayden de Laura (Washington State) and receiver Jacob Cowing (UTEP). Fisch has a vision for the program and it will finally show itself in Year 2. Things certainly can’t get much worse. 

Herm Edwards is a goner: There’s no bigger mess in the Power Five right now than the one at Arizona State. The Sun Devils fired half their coaching staff following an NCAA investigation into allegations that occurred during the pandemic. Then, they promptly lost 17 scholarship players to the transfer portal, including starting quarterback Jayden Daniels and star…

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