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Home ยป Pac-12 football: Final team grades following 2022 season – 247Sports

Pac-12 football: Final team grades following 2022 season – 247Sports

Pac-12 football is complete for the 2022 season, and the grades are in after Utah and USC losses closed out the conference’s bowl season.
The grading criteria is rather simple. Certain teams earned an A+ if they drastically rose above expectations or reached their “best-case scenario” while other teams were rewarded for improvement. If a team performed similar to preseason expectations, that grade reflects the level of play, For an example, both USC and Stanford performed as expected but both received drastically different marks. 
There are certain teams on the list that had strong campaigns but didn’t receive the highest grade and that’s because the team performed at a high level but failed to reach a best-case scenario.
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Below is how every Pac-12 team graded in 2022.
To further understand our process, CLICK HERE to view our preseason prediction regarding each teams final record and HERE to view our best and worst-case scenarios. 
It was going to be rough for Stanford when looking at how the schedule stacked up, the expected improvement of the Pac-12 and the state of Stanford’s program. A rough season in Palo Alto was concluded with five consecutive losses and a strong lack of improvement on display. The good news for Stanford is that the hiring of Troy Taylor should lead to success on the offensive end, which is a step in the right direction.
Utah won the Pac-12 Championship Game and deserved all the flowers (particularly a rose) and confetti that came with it. But the reason why the Utes did not earn a perfect mark is that expectations ahead of the season were that Utah would be a contender to make the College Football Playoff. Furthermore, Utah had a special outing in the conference title game but its season looked practically finished following an ugly loss to Oregon. The conference’s weird tiebreaker rule left Utah with an invite to Las Vegas to face USC despite Washington having the better record and you know the story from there.
After a strong 2021, Oregon State was even better, logging a three-loss season. The Beavers’ only three losses came against teams that it was expected to lose to, falling to USC, Utah and Washington. It’s worth noting that the Beavers weren’t simply a team that didn’t have any signature victories, dramatically toppling in-state foe Oregon. The Beavers continually moved in the right direction and the 2023 season could provide new heights for a program eager to keep climbing. 
Arizona only doesn’t receive an A+ because it failed to reach a bowl game, which was the best-case scenario for the Wildcats heading into the fall. But still, the Wildcats were an entertaining team to watch after winning just one game in 2021. Whether it was an explosive offense or a thrilling victory over UCLA, Arizona went and showed that head coach Jedd Fisch knows exactly what he’s doing and that could be trouble for the rest of the conference moving forward.
Washington State had mammoth opportunities but squandered them, falling to Oregon after dominating throughout the afternoon and coming up short against USC due to an inability to give Cameron Ward time to throw downfield. The Cougars also watched as Washington marched into Pullman and reclaimed the Apple Cup Trophy. Still, Wazzu was a threat this past season and although the Sun Bowl loss to Fresno State was disappointing, the Cougars have some momentum heading into next season. 
With Deion Sanders taking over the program, Colorado shouldn’t receive any more F’s for the foreseeable future. The Buffaloes struggled mightily as most of their losses came in lopsided fashion. The campaign was nothing short of a nightmare for Colorado but the fight never left, beating California and securing its lone victory of the season. Things changed in Boulder since the arrival of the offseason and Colorado will receive a high mark when we grade which teams made the most significant improvements heading into the new season.
Eventually, California found a rhythm but it wasn’t enough to turn the tides of a rough season in Berkeley. If looking for a game that defined the Golden Bears’ season, look no further than the loss to Colorado, the only team in 2022 to suffer that fate. On the bright side, California toppled Stanford and once again stole the Stanford Axe in the process. Beating your rival is always a boost to your resume, even if that rival saw immense struggle, such as Stanford did. 
There was a chance that things could get ugly for Arizona State, then it did. The Sun Devils saw the termination of Herm Edwards and struggled throughout the early portion of the season, but there was noticeable improvement throughout the remainder, including an upset victory over Washington. The Sun Devils never quit despite a less-than-ideal situation and that mindset is where ASU should see improvement in 2023. 
A leap was expected, but a two-loss season in Seattle was not on our radar. Washington was a brand new team in its first season under Kalen DeBoer’s lead, toppling Oregon and Washington State while going undefeated at Husky Stadium. The Huskies weren’t perfect; look at their defense. But their level of play was significantly better than expected and the return of Michael Penix Jr. and friends sets up for an exciting 2023.
No team in the conference had an easy schedule due to the level of play throughout the west coast, but UCLA had it easier than others and didn’t capitalize off it. The Bruins jumped out to a 6-0 start, but from there, went just 3-4 and are losers of three of their final four games. Not that it was a bad season by any means for the Bruins, as Chip Kelly had his best year yet at the helm of the program while his offense made foes dizzy.
The addition of Dante Moore will be major for UCLA in 2023. Visit BruinReportOnline.com to keep up with all things UCLA as we head into the offseason. 
Oregon came into the season with College Football Playoff aspirations but failed to make the conference championship game while losing to its biggest rivals in the process. The Ducks were dominant against foes not named Georgia, Washington and Oregon State but that could’ve changed if not for second-half collapses against their hated foes from the Pacific Northwest. Despite that struggle, it was another double-digit campaign for the Ducks and it ended in a Holiday Bowl victory over a solid North Carolina team.
Oregon has one of the top recruiting classes in the nation and you can read all about it and more on DuckTerritory.com. 
The best-case scenario for USC heading into the season was an invite to the College Football Playoff, but there were plenty of potential for failure as well. While some expected USC to have success in year one of the Lincoln Riley era, others expected the Trojans to fall flat on their face again. Although ending the season with two losses is not ideal, USC is likely a Caleb Williams injury away from being Pac-12 Champions and in the College Football Playoff, which would have landed it an A+.
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