Pacific Takes Post-Signing Day Top 25: Oregon and UCLA in Top 10

Jonathan Ferrey

Four Pac-12 teams make our way too early Top 25.

ESPN just released their post-signing day Top 25 so we thought we would give you ours, but with a Pac-12 slant.

Here is our Top 25 with breakdowns on why we think the Pac-12 teams stand where they do.

Top 25

1. Florida State

2. Auburn

3. Alabama

4. Oregon

The return of Marcus Mariota, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Hroniss Grasu combined with the majority of the other top programs in the nation losing a horde of underclassmen means that the Ducks are still right in the hunt for the national championship yet again going into 2013. The Ducks showed some serious flaws toward the end of 2013 and have some major losses and question marks on defense, but return almost all of their starters on offense, including Mariota, who is an early Heisman favorite.

Also, for those that are worried about Oregon's direction under Mark Helfrich, keep in mind that they actually lost fewer games in his first season than they did in Chip Kelly's.

5. Michigan State

6. Oklahoma

7. Georgia

8. Ohio State

9. Baylor

10. UCLA

The return of Brett Hundley means that the Bruins will have as high of expectations as they have going into a season in well more than 10 years. The Bruins are getting a lot of credit for simply having a super talented quarterback, but they also have a ton of young talent coming back, particularly on both lines - especially on the defensive line, where they might have the best unit of anyone out West.

The question mark for the Bruins will be at the skill positions on offense, where they really need senior running back Jordon James to get healthy and a playmaking and go-to receiver to emerge.

11. Stanford

Stanford has lost experience and talent before and bounced right back, but they maybe have never lost as much as they did in one year coming out of 2013, so while they have a proven system and coach, it is very hard to put them in the Top 10 with how many holes they have to fill - especially up front. Even with the losses, this is still a very talented team with a great scheme that should keep them a top the Pac-12.

However, a lot of how well they do in 2014 might have to do with the progression of junior quarterback Kevin Hogan. Hogan really held the Cardinal back at times in 2013, and probably cannot afford to do that in 2014 with how much they are transitioning on the offensive line.

12. LSU

13. South Carolina

14. Wisconsin

15. Clemson

16. Notre Dame

17. Texas A&M

18. Texas

19. UCF

20. Iowa

21. Oklahoma State

22. Washington

I knocked the Huskies down a few steps since their projected starting quarterback sophomore Cyler Miles (and emerging sophomore receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow) are probably gone, but I still rank them because I think their strength and experience up front will make up for their inexperience at skill positions. The Huskies return all five of their starters along the offense line (four of them seniors) and six of the seven in their defensive front seven, including guys in senior DT Danny Shelton and senior DE Hau'oli Kikaha who could both be first team All-Pac-12.

Washington's transition to Chris Peterson will be one of (if not the) most interesting transitions to watch in all of college football as Steve Sarkisian left the cupboards stocked for Peterson, but he is going to bring a completely different style and will be competing in one of the nation's strongest conferences.

23. USC

Speaking of Sarkisian, he takes over a USC team that was decimated by early entrants to the NFL Draft and may need some serious morale boosting after sleepwalking through the Lane Kiffin era and then losing the incredibly-popular Ed Orgeron. The good news for Sarkisian is that he is inheriting a typically talented USC team that is loaded at running back and might have the nation's best defensive lineman in Leonard Williams.

The key for Sarkisian going into 2014 will luckily be one of his fortes, as the Trojans reaching their full potential will likely hinge on the development of junior quarterback Cody Kessler, and Sarkisian has a solid track record of getting quarterbacks to take their game to the next level.

24. Missouri

25. Mississippi

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