Injuries are a big part of any college football season. Just ask the coaching staffs at Maryland, Missouri or USC.The Terrapins lost four quarterbacks to season-ending injuries last year, while the Tigers played 2012 without the services of standout running back Henry Josey. USC lost defensive end Devon Kennard in the preseason, which played a role in the Trojans’ defense finishing seventh in the Pac-12 in yards allowed.
USC and Washington are the early favorites to claim the top spots in the Pac-12 next fall, so it should be no surprise both teams feature a good chunk of the conference’s individual talent. The Trojans take four spots in Athlon’s spring Pac-12 player rankings, while the Huskies have eight.
The countdown to the 2017 college football season is already underway, as spring practices and position battles for spots on the depth chart for all 130 teams across the nation are already in progress in offseason workouts.
Redshirt freshmen make an impact for every college football team during the course of a season, and it’s no surprise a handful of talented players are ready to push for time after sitting out the 2016 campaign.
Ranking the college football and basketball head coaching tandems for the Power 5 conferences is no easy assignment. But that’s what Athlon Sports has set out to do this offseason, as spring practice is just starting around the nation for all 130 teams and tournament time is approaching for teams on the hardwood.
The Pac-12’s depth in the coaching ranks has increased in recent years, as this conference has made stellar hires on the gridiron, including Washington’s Chris Petersen, Oregon’s Willie Taggart and Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre.
Nobody could have scripted a much better turnaround season for Colorado than what unfolded in 2016. The Buffaloes rose from the Pac-12 cellar to claim their first divisional title and also reached a bowl game for the first time in a decade.
College football’s 2016-17 coaching carousel featured 21 changes and several big-time hires. Texas (Tom Herman), Minnesota (P.J. Fleck), Oregon (Willie Taggart) and Purdue (Jeff Brohm) were just a few of the biggest winners from this year’s cycle.
Recruiting is the foundation for winning national championships, competing for CFB Playoff berths or winning at a high level in college football. While recruiting rankings aren’t 100 percent accurate, there is plenty of truth in the rankings and evaluations by the experts. It’s no secret what a program needs in order to win big at this level.