"Initially, a lot of tears," Oregon Coach Mark Helfrich admitted Thursday during a
And that's about as close as Oregon gets to introspection.
The philosophy of short-term memory loss, administered so brilliantly by former coach
"Press reset, flush it, and go," Helfrich said. "We don't sit around and think about the good things, or sit around and think of the bad things. Ever."
The entire Pac-12, coming off its best collective football season in years, is also moving forward. It fell short, again, in establishing it has a team other than
It hurt more that the Big Ten, dismissed as a lesser league for most of 2014, came in and stole the top prize.
The Pac-12 has a chance to be elite again, but things will be different. The league must replace several top-drawer quarterbacks in
Here's a quick blurb on each team, based on last year's order of finish, coming out of spring practice.
Oregon: The Ducks lose Mariota, last year's
Washington: Chris Petersen's first year, 8-6, probably rates as a C-plus. And now he's got to find a new quarterback and retool a defense that loses three NFL-bound stars in Danny Shelton, Shaq Thompson and Hau'oli Kikaha.
California: The Bears became much more competitive last year and have a terrific quarterback in junior Jared Goff. The key is plugging a porous secondary that allowed 367 passing yards per game. Third-year coach Sonny Dykes: "We were bad our first year, became competitive last year and now we have to be a team that takes the next step."
Washington State: Two 3-9 seasons are not what people expected out of
Oregon State: Gary Andersen, formerly of
UCLA: Jim Mora's Bruins are stacked but must find a quarterback, among four candidates, to replace Hundley. "We might go three games in and not know who are starter is," Mora said. "We might give each one a quarter in each game." Note: no one really believes that.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils lose Kelly at quarterback but have a reliable replacement in Mike Bercovici, who rallied his team to last year's miracle win at USC. Arizona State also adds a weapon in receiver Devin Lucien, who is transferring from UCLA. "We're excited to have him," Coach Todd Graham said. "He really liked our system."
USC: The return of post-probation scholarships and quarterback Cody Kessler will likely make the Trojans the division favorites. Coach Steve Sarkisian said he expects to be in the mid-70 range in total scholarships.