It's been a while since the Pac-12 has been to the top of the college football mountain. The conference has made the playoff just twice, not since 2016, and hasn't won the national championship since USC in 2004.
But some major coaching moves and roster additions could help this conference get back into the thick of things for the 2022 football season.
Not least the addition of head coach Lincoln Riley at USC, a bombshell move that could finally tilt the scales back in the Trojans' favor out west and nationally.
That's according to the odds makers at BetOnline.ag, who have released the preseason lines to win the Pac-12 football championship.
Pac-12 football championship odds for the 2022 season
Odds to win Pac-12: 500/1
Arizona's 2021 record: 1-11 (1-8 Pac-12)
What to expect: It's been a rough few years for the Wildcats, but we're starting to see some glimmers of hope for coach Jedd Fisch as he enters Year 2. Especially looking at the dynamite recruiting and transfer classes he signed this offseason, including 5-star receiver Tetairoa McMillan and transfer quarterback Jacob de Laura.
This defense, which was the worst in turnover margin in college football last fall, also looks more aggressive after spring practice and should improve in most categories.
Odds to win Pac-12: 200/1
Colorado's 2021 record: 4-8 (3-6 Pac-12)
What to expect: The Buffs bring some needed experience to this transfer-impacted offense with the return of quarterback Brendon Lewis this season. That helps, but Lewis needs to beef up his numbers after a 1,540 yard, 10 TD outing last fall. He was solid when it came to ball security, throwing just three picks, but overall this offense mustered just under 19 points per game.
Odds to win Pac-12: 80/1
Stanford's 2021 record: 3-9 (2-7 Pac-12)
What to expect: It's been quite the fall from grace for the Cardinal since the days when Andrew Luck and Christian McCaffrey were on The Farm, last season winning just twice in conference and losing its last seven straight games. This can still be a physical team — one that beat No. 3 Stanford a year ago — but needs better offensive output. Tanner McKee returns at quarterback after throwing 15 TDs last season, and Stanford went 3-2 in games he didn't have a turnover.
Odds to win Pac-12: 66/1
Cal's 2021 record: 5-7 (4-5 Pac-12)
What to expect: Cal has played some decent defense over the last several years, ranking fourth overall in the conference, third in scoring, and tops in yards per play allowed. But the Golden Bears went a paltry 1-5 on the road last fall behind an inconsistent offensive attack.
Watch how this team replenishes at quarterback — where Purdue transfer Jack Plummer steps in — and receiver. Make the right moves there, and Cal can emerge as a surprise bowl team.
8. Oregon State
Odds to win Pac-12: 40/1
Oregon State's 2021 record: 7-6 (5-4 Pac-12)
What to expect: OSU put a decent product on the field offensively in 2021, ranking fourth in the Pac-12 in total yards and scoring per game (31.2). But the Beavers need to plug in two new blockers and find a swap for NFL-bound rusher B.J. Baylor.
Chance Nolan had mixed results at quarterback, passing for 19 scores, but also 10 interceptions. He passed for over 200 yards in eight games, and while this team lacks for big receiving targets, Silas Bolden looked very good this spring.
7. Washington State
Odds to win Pac-12: 33/1
Washington State's 2021 record: 7-6 (6-3 Pac-12)
What to expect: It's not overstating it to say adding Cam Ward at quarterback is one of the most important roster moves in college football this year. Ward threw 47 touchdowns at Incarnate Word last season and his offensive coordinator, Eric Morris, is coming over to Pullman, too.
But while they're slinging the ball around, the Cougars will also need to come up with a new game plan for stopping the other team from doing that. Wazzu needs a face lift in the secondary, which loses three starters, as well as at linebacker.
Odds to win Pac-12: 11/1
Washington's 2021 record: 4-8 (3-6 Pac-12)
What to expect: The Jimmy Lake experience came to a sudden, awkward end after just 13 games, but the Huskies appear to have landed on their feet finding his replacement. Kalen DeBoer arrives at UW from Fresno State with a reputation for building productive offenses — and playing well against Pac-12 teams, beating a ranked UCLA on the road and playing Oregon to a 7-point loss last season.
DeBoer needs to choose a quarterback from the likes of last season's starter in Dylan Morris, Indiana transfer Michael Penix, and 5-star legacy Sam Huard. There's no clear leader coming out of spring football, but the coach likes where the race is going.
Odds to win Pac-12: 17/2
UCLA's 2021 record: 8-4 (6-3 Pac-12)
What to expect: Two of the Pac-12's top offensive playmakers return for the Bruins in quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and lead back Zach Charbonnet. DTR dished out 21 touchdowns with six INTs a year ago, and Charbonnet scored 13 times off more than 1,100 yards rushing.
UCLA placed 107th nationally in pass defense a year ago and was anemic at getting to the quarterback on a regular basis. New coordinator Bill McGovern has been getting some positive results so far this offseason and might have something going with a pair of twin brothers, Grayson and Gabriel Murphy, coming off the edges.
T-5. Arizona State
Odds to win Pac-12: 17/2
Arizona State's 2021 record: 8-5 (6-3 Pac-12)
What to expect: Vegas is quite high on the Sun Devils in this conference, which comes as a surprise given all the high-profile transfers this team has lost. A pending NCAA investigation could be to blame, with almost 20 players leaving the school in the last two seasons.
Herm Edwards needs something to cling to, and right now it might be two rare incoming transfers: quarterback Emory Jones and wide receiver Cam Johnson, a pair of SEC skill players who can give this offense a bump.
Odds to win Pac-12: 5/1
Utah's 2021 record: 10-4 (8-1 Pac-12)
What to expect: Utah plays a physical brand of football, and returns both its starting quarterback and running back after a 2021 in which it beat three ranked teams (Oregon being two of them) and played Ohio State to a 3-point loss in the Rose Bowl.
Cameron Rising and Tavion Thomas are a very solid 1-2 punch on offense, but the Utes have some surgery to perform on a defense that needs inputs in the secondary and behind the line after losing backer Devin Lloyd. Watch for a Week 1 trip to Florida with Pac-12 honor on the line, and a midseason home tilt with USC.
Odds to win Pac-12: 11/5
Oregon's 2021 record: 10-4 (7-2 Pac-12)
What to expect: There's no time to work out the wrinkles for first-year coach Dan Lanning, who opens the season against defending national champion Georgia, whose defense Lanning coordinated during that title run.
Especially with the Ducks dealing with some injuries on defense during the spring, and while the unit does bring back star linebacker Noah Sewell, Lanning needs to plug in some holes in the secondary. Bo Nix steps in at quarterback with a mixed record, but with some solid speed at receiver. Pac-12 honor is on the line in Week 1, and while a loss doesn't ruin Oregon's season, it doesn't help it, either.
Odds to win Pac-12: 2/1
USC's 2021 record: 4-8 (3-6 Pac-12)
What to expect: Lincoln Riley going out west was the bombshell move of the college football offseason, and while he signed on a pile of blue-chip transfer players, it might take a year before USC finally lives up to its new potential.
Caleb Williams steps in at quarterback, Mario Williams at receiver, and Travis Dye at running back, among other key additions. USC should move the ball with some pace, especially with rumors swirling that Pitt wideout Jordan Addison is on the way.
But the Trojans still have some major surgery to perform on its defensive unit, a group that ranked No. 89 nationally last season and needs to get much more physical at the line of scrimmage.