Wednesday August 19th, 2015

The SI College Football Podcast is back for its second episode to break down all things Pac-12 football. SI's Pete Thamel joins Zac Ellis to discuss the many contenders in the conference and answer some reader questions. Here some of the topics Zac and Pete discuss:

Is USC back as a conference powerhouse? Can Steve Sarkisian lead the Trojans to their first Pac-12 title since 2008? Is Cody Kessler as good as his numbers indicate?

After losing in the national championship game last year, can Oregon get back to the College Football Playoff? What impact can Vernon Adams have after joining the team late?

• Will Stanford spoil Oregon's chances for a repeat Pac-12 title? As the one clear threat to the Ducks in the Pac-12 North, can the Cardinal bounce back from last year's slight decline and return to the top of the conference?

• Can true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen step in to lead UCLA right away? With so many of the key pieces back from last year's squad, what's the Bruins' ceiling in 2015?

• With much of the attention in the Pac-12 South focused on the Los Angeles schools, are Arizona and Arizona State being undervalued? Can the Wildcats' Anu Solomon or Sun Devils' Mike Bercovici lead their respective teams to the playoff?

After the SEC's disappointing performance in last year's bowl games and the rise of several Pac-12 programs, is the Pac-12 the new No. 1 conference in the country? Who's better from top to bottom, the SEC or the Pac-12?

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL:

• JOHNSON: UCLA's Josh Rosen leads 15 instant impact freshmen

• THAMEL: Has Pac-12 surpassed SEC as nation's top conference?

• BECHT: Utah among six dark horses who could make the playoff

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