Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Which teams have roadblocks to winning the Pac-12 crown? Actually, all of them do but among the contenders, these stand out the most.
Utah: Hosting Oregon State before playing its Holy War game at BYU is a trap-game. But playing UCLA, Stanford, at Arizona, at USC, Arizona State and at Oregon is also a tall order for the Utes.
Washington: If the Huskies can get through the three-game stretch of at Stanford, Oregon and at Arizona State 3-0, then they could play in the championship game, but Stanford and Oregon back-to-back is tough.
Arizona: Playing three soft teams before conference play can sometimes backfire, but the Wildcats have that very scenario in front of them. Arizona has to play at Washington, take a bye and then play at USC after games with Northern Arizona, UNLV and UTSA.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils have Stanford and USC sandwiched between Wisconsin and Notre Dame. They could be 0-2 in conference play or 1-4 (beating Sacramento State) after five weeks.
USC: The Trojans' first big test comes in week five at Arizona State, but this coming season is going to come down to a Friday night game at Oregon State on November 1—the town of Corvallis hasn't been kind to USC.
UCLA: If the Bruins can split their two back-to-back games at Stanford and at Oregon, then UCLA will most likely be in the driver's seat in the regular season's final two weeks—it has to beat either Arizona State or USC.
Stanford: The Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks look like the North's heavyweights. A sole loss to Oregon could prevent Stanford from repeating as Pac-12 North Champions.
Oregon: The Ducks have two games that should concern them: at Washington and a Thursday night game at Stanford.
Oregon State: The Beavers' last three games could be too much to overcome—at Arizona State, Washington and at Oregon. Washington is a trap game right before the Beavers' annual Civil War game with Oregon.