The 2016 college football season had a little bit of everything, to the point where you could fill your bingo card twice over. The greatest opening weekend ever? Definitely. Historic upsets from coast-to-coast? Without a doubt. Shootouts? Check. Seismic shifts as the result of game-changing plays? Double check.
A changing of the guard took place in the Pac-12 in 2016. Oregon and Stanford have dominated the North Division, but Washington emerged as the conference’s top team and earned the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff with a 12-1 regular season record. The Huskies are a team on the rise under coach Chris Petersen, and both sides of the ball thrived this year.
College football’s bowl season kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 17 and continues until the national championship in Tampa, Fla. on Jan. 9. With the bowl lineup set and confidence pools and pick’em contests set to start on Dec. 17, four writers for Athlon Sports share predictions for every bowl.
After setting a record for bowl participants with a remarkable 10 last season, the Pac-12 has just six headed to the 2016 postseason. That's less an indictment on the conference's strength, and rather an indicator of a more top-heavy look in the past campaign.
Breakout players or the emergence of new stars is an annual tradition for all 128 college football teams. However, with the focus shifting to the bowl season, it’s never too early to think about players that could use the postseason as a springboard to an even bigger 2017 campaign.