As a whole, the Pac-12 conference looks pretty strong when it comes to its core of returning starters for the 2013 season.
In fact, it would be shocking if the Pac-12 only sends one team to a BCS bowl next January. The Big Ten had a horrible 2012 (thanks in part to the NCAA); the ACC finally won in the Orange Bowl but it took an opponent from the MAC (Northern Illinois) to break its three-year futility streak; and the Big East is shrinking before our very eyes.
So yes, the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 look like the top three conferences in prime position to dominate in the BCS bowls. But with spring camps less than a month away, some Pac-12 teams have a tougher path than others right out of the gate. Schedules aside, the road to the Rose Bowl may be slick due to the internal make up of each team's units. Some teams are in better shape than others.
Rebuilding mode translates to the majority of a unit or corps being comprised of non-starters with little to no experience from the previous season.
Reloading mode, on the other hand, is simply patching up a few holes here and there—overall the core is intact, and there are veterans or seasoned players in each unit. Obviously, a Pac-12 team in rebuilding mode has a lower projection of success than a team in reloading mode.
So which Pac-12 teams are in rebuilding mode and which are in reloading mode?