This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week Zero
HIGH FIVE: The Pac-12 had 5 schools in the AP Preseason Top 25, matching the SEC & Big Ten for most by conference and 41.7% (5 of 12 schools) are represented, the highest percentage of any conference. The Pac-12 last had 5 teams in the preseason AP poll in 2019.
- #11 OREGON made the preseason Top 25 for the 4th straight year and are ranked in the Top 11 in each of the last 3 years. #15 USC is in the preseason poll for the 60th time, 3rd most of any school. #20 WASHINGTON makes the preseason Top 25 for the 5th time in the last 6 yeras. For the 3rd straight year, #24 UTAH is in the preseason poll while #25 ARIZONA STATE makes it for the first time since 2015. UCLA also received votes.
POWER-FULL SCHEDULES: Including the 9-game conference schedule and all non-conference games, the Pac-12 will play 83% of their total games against Power 5 opponents (including Notre Dame) which is the 2nd highest among the Power 5 conferences.
|Total Games||vs. Power 5 / Notre Dame||%|
- On top of STANFORD & USC’s matchups with Notre Dame, the Pac-12 will play 9 games against Power 5 schools. 4 games against the Big Ten (Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue), 3 against the SEC (LSU, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt) and 2 against the Big 12 (Kansas State, TCU). 5 of the 9 games are on the road with 2 more on neutral fields.
STAR STUDDED OFFENSE: Of the 25 players named 1st or 2nd team All-Pac-12 on offense in 2020, 16 of them return to the conference in 2021.
- COLORADO Running Back Jarek Broussard is the first Pac-12 Offensive Player of the year to return to school since 2017 winner Bryce Love (STANFORD) returned in 2018.
- All 3 quarterbacks who were honored in 2020 are returning this season. 1st team QB Kedon Slovis returns to USC. On the 2nd team, Dorian Thompson-Robinson returns to UCLA while Sam Noyer stayed in the Pac-12 while transferring from COLORADO to OREGON STATE.
DYNAMIC DEFENSES: Of the 22 players named 1st or 2nd team All-Pac-12 on defense in 2002, 15 of them return to the conference in 2021.
- OREGON Defensive End Kayvon Thibodeaux returns to Eugene after being named MVP of the 2020 Pac-12 Championship Game. Thibodeaux has been named 1st team AP preseason All-American for the 2nd straight season.
- All 6 linebackers who were named 1st or 2nd team in 2020 return. 1st team: Nate Landman (COLORADO), Devin Lloyd (UTAH), Avery Roberts (OREGON STATE). 2nd team: Cameron Goode (CALIFORNIA), Drake Jackson (USC), Edefuan Ulofoshio (WASHINGTON)
WELCOME BACK WEST: This offseason, 16 student athletes who attended high school in the Pac-12 footprint transferred from another Power 5 conference (including Notre Dame) to a Pac-12 school.
|Player||HS Town||Previous School||Current School|
|RB Drake Anderson||Chandler, AZ||Northwestern||Arizona|
|DB Gunner Maldonado||Chandler, AZ||Northwestern||Arizona|
|LB Malik Reed||Chandler, AZ||Wisconsin||Arizona|
|DB Isaiah Rutherford||Sacramento, CA||Notre Dame||Arizona|
|DL Matthew Pola Mao||Chandler, AZ||Kansas State||Arizona State|
|LB Jack Lamb||Temecula, CA||Notre Dame||Colorado|
|QB J.T. Shrout||Santa Clarita, CA||Tennessee||Colorado|
|LB Devin Aupiu||Oxnard, CA||Notre Dame*||UCLA|
|RB Zach Charbonnet||Camarillo, CA||Michigan||UCLA|
|LB Jordan Genmark Heath||San Diego, CA||Notre Dame||UCLA|
|LB Ale Kaho||Reno, NV||Alabama||UCLA|
|WR Jake Smith||Scottsdale, AZ||Texas||USC|
|WR Theo Howard||Westlake Village, CA||Oklahoma||Utah|
|WR Giles Jackson||Antioch, CA||Michigan||Washington|
|LB Jeremiah Martin||San Bernardino, CA||Texas A&M||Washington|
|LB Ben Wilson||Lake Tapps, WA||TCU||Washington State|
THE ZERO EFFECT: Saturday’s Hawai’i-UCLA matchup will be the first time a Pac-12 team has hosted a game in Week Zero. The last time a Pac-12 school played in a Week Zero game was 2019 when Arizona visited Hawai’i.