Pac-12 Football: Power Ranking the Most Talented Offenses of 2013
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Defense is trying to make a comeback in the Pac-12 with elite players like Arizona State's Will Sutton and UCLA's Anthony Barr, but the offenses will continue to make the headlines in 2013.
While the top of the list shouldn't surprise Pac-12 fans, there are quite a few teams that could claim a spot among the best offenses in the league.
That said, these rankings only have room for the five best. Click ahead to find out which five teams will have the best offenses in the Pac-12 conference next season.
Note: It might take an essay or two to defend leaving several teams off the list. If you feel your team was slighted, debate is always welcome!
5. Washington Huskies
RB Bishop Sankey
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If it weren't for such a mediocre year by quarterback Keith Price, the Washington Huskies could arguably be even higher on this list.
Consider some of the players that return in 2013. They have an elite wide receiver in Kasen Williams, and one of the best tight ends in the country in Austin Seferian-Jenkins. They have a blossoming star in running back Bishop Sankey, and backup Jesse Callier returns from injury. Along the offensive line, the Huskies lose just one starter.
Don't forget about two of their top recruits either. Wide receivers Damore'ea Stringfellow and Darrell Daniels both stand at 6'3".
All that sounds nice, but it's on Price to make sure everything comes together. If sophomore year Price shows up in the fall, Washington should easily be a Top 25 team. It's easy to forget that he threw for 33 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions that season. But if Price fails to improve from this past season, it won't matter how much talent the Dawgs put on the field.
The slew of elite playmakers is enough to put Washington into the Top 5, but it's on their quarterback to make sure they can remain among the best offensive teams in the Pac-12.
4. USC Trojans
WR Marqise Lee
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Your first question is probably, "Did you see their bowl game?"
I'll be honest, that woeful effort alone was probably enough to to scratch them from the list. But I'm buying into quarterback Max Browne and what he'll bring to the Trojans' struggling offense.
Browne will participate in spring practices and he's got to be licking his chops at the thought of winning the starting job after watching Max Wittek's performance in the Sun Bowl.
But no matter what happens at signal-caller, USC has a bevy of playmakers led by superstar wide receiver Marqise Lee. Running back Silas Redd returns as the feature back after a 900-yard season, and sophomore Nelson Agholor looks ready to make the jump into the realm of elite receivers.
It would also appear that the Trojans play better as an under-the-radar squad, and with last season's flop, they'll be just that.
I understand the skepticism. However, there are just too many playmakers returning and if Browne is anything close to what he's being advertised as, the Trojans will move the ball well in 2013.
3. Arizona State Sun Devils
QB Taylor Kelly
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I'll be the first to admit I was surprised at how well Taylor Kelly performed in his first season as the Sun Devils' starting quarterback.
The soon-to-be junior had over 3,000 yards passing with 29 touchdowns and just 9 picks. Lucky for him, he'll have some home-run hitters with him in the backfield in 2013.
Both Marion Grice and D.J. Foster can take it the distance on any carry, and they're both threats receiving out of the backfield as well.
The only issue is at the wide receiver position, where the Sun Devils lose Rashad Ross and Jamal Miles. Kevin Ozier totaled over 300 yards receiving, and tight end Chris Coyle has quickly become a serious playmaker. Still, someone will need to step up if the passing game is to be dangerous.
But with a year under Taylor Kelly's belt and talented athletes who work well in space, the Sun Devils have an offense to be reckoned with next season.
2. UCLA Bruins
QB Brett Hundley
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UCLA may not have the playmakers on offense like USC or Washington, but they have an effective system led by one of the best young quarterbacks in the game.
Brett Hundley led the Pac-12 last season with over 3,700 yards passing and he added 29 touchdowns as well. But that's just through the air. On the ground, he added another 355 yards and 9 TD's.
He is an elite talent at the helm of a budding offense which heads into its second season under Jim Mora Jr.
The Bruins do lose a couple key weapons in running back Johnathan Franklin and tight end Joseph Fauria. But Shaquelle Evans is a terrific receiver and Stephen Manfro had a great first season that he can build on.
They still need to figure out who their go-to back will be, but the system is in place to put up plenty of points. If Hundley continues to improve, the Bruins will be able to score in bunches on anybody in the country.
1. Oregon Ducks
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If you're surprised with this selection, you probably haven't watched much Pac-12 football lately. Heck, you likely haven't seen any college football at all.
The Ducks, led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, should once again have the conference's best offense in 2013.
Running back Kenjon Barner is off to the NFL, but both De'Anthony Thomas and Byron Marshall should fill the void nicely along with incoming freshman Thomas Tyner.
At receiver, all three starters return, along with promising youngsters Bralon Addison and Dwayne Stanford. Both tackles as well as starting center Hroniss Grasu are back along with the offensive line.
There's not much left to say about the Ducks. They've had arguably the best offense in the country over the past few seasons, and not much is expected to change next year.
They will be very fun to watch and more explosive than ever.