Unprecedented, sustained success defined Jim Mora’s first four seasons as UCLA’s head coach. Never before had the Bruins won nine or more games three consecutive times, and only once previously had UCLA put together back-to-back years of 10 wins.
Oregon’s unique brand of up-tempo football accomplished more than winning some games over the last half-decade. The Ducks revolutionized the sport, helping to usher in a new era of fast-paced, entertaining offenses.
Offensive linemen are the most underrated players in college football. The players in the trenches never get enough credit for their performance, but the five blockers up front set the stage for the skill players to have success. Recruiting and developing offensive linemen is never easy. However, there’s always a new wave of stars ready to emerge in the trenches.
Washington is a team on the rise and one of the frontrunners to win the Pac-12 in 2016. After an 8-6 debut in Chris Petersen’s first season in Seattle (2014), all signs pointed to a rebuilding year for the Huskies in 2015. Despite returning only eight starters, Washington took a step forward last season. Sure, the Huskies only finished 7-6.
College football’s 2015-16 coaching carousel was one of the most active in recent memory. After 28 jobs changed hands, the 2016-17 version may not be as active at the end of the year. However, several big-time jobs could open, as Les Miles (LSU), Charlie Strong (Texas), Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) and Gus Malzahn (Auburn) enter the 2016 season squarely on the hot seat.
Running back is one of the easiest positions to find a new standout each year, and there always seems to be a wave of stars ready to emerge in offseason workouts. Last season, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey finished second in the Heisman voting in his first year as the starter, while Alabama’s Derrick Henry went from sharing time with T.J.
Everything finally fell into place for Washington State last season. The Cougars finished with nine wins for the first time since 2003. With Luke Falk at quarterback, few defenses could effectively contain Washington State's explosive passing attack.