As you're settling down to watch men dropkicking cows or Mr. Bean inspire a nation with his funny faces (one of those things does happen) as the London opening ceremony, it might be a good time to check out who's expected to win what at the 2012 Olympics, particularly from our Pac-12 schools.
Brian Cazenevue did a lot of the heavy lifting here from Sports Illustrated in making picks, and here were the projections that got tabulated for each of the members of the Conference of Champions.
Stanford, Cal and USC end up with 15 medals in these projections, with the Cardinal projected to win the most golds. Stanford has representatives in men's tennis, women's water polo, women's volleyball, and women's beach volleyball; Cal gets a lot of representing from their swimmers but also their rowers; and USC is going to be the main rep for the big sports of swimming and track. UCLA and Washington have good representation. Nine of the 12 Pac-12 schools are projected to win medals, although there will be competitors among all twelve schools.
According to this predictor, Pac-12 athletes are projected to win 69 medals at this year's Olympics. We're not counting coaches and support staff in these predictions, so we're not sure how many more medals that would eventually add into the mix.
Now, imagine if the Pac-12 decided to count itself as one nation and count all their medals (remember team events only count for one medal). The Pac-12 would be projected to win 13 golds, 12 silvers, and five bronze medals, placing them right between Australia and Japan in 7th place. That'd be an improvement over their eighth place finish from last year's Olympics (as Larry Scott so happily reminds us everytime he gets up to any podium to promote our conference).
Of course, there should be plenty of surprises that upset the nature of all these picks, but given all these consensus favorites, the conference has to feel like they're in good shape to showcase their talent to the world.
After the jump, the list of projected athletes in each sport and which events they're expected to medal.
Men's basketball (4 gold, 1 bronze)
James Harden (ASU), Kevin Love (UCLA), Russell Westbrook (UCLA), Andre Iguodala (Arizona)--gold for USA
Robertas Javtokas (Arizona)--bronze for Lithuania
Beach volleyball (2 bronze)
Jake Gibb (w/ Sean Rosenthal) (Utah) -- bronze for men's
Kerri Walsh (w/ Misty May-Treanor) (Stanford)--bronze for women's
Rowing (3 gold, 7 silver)
Will Crothers (Washington) and Rob Gibson (Washington) -- silver for Canada in men's eights
David Calder (Washington) & Scott Frandsen (Cal) -- silver for Canada in men's pairs without cox
Kara Kohler (Cal), Megan Kalmoe (Washington), Adrienne Martelli (Washington) -- silver for USA in women's quadruple sculls
Erin Cafaro (Cal), Elle Logan (Stanford) & Mary Whipple (Washington) -- gold for uSA in Women's eight
Soccer (10 gold)
Amy LePeilbet (ASU), Alex Morgan (Cal), Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buehler & Kelley O'Hara (Stanford), plus alternate Christen Press (stanford), Lauren Cheney & Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (USC), Hope Solo (Washington)--gold for USWNT
Swimming (13 medals--6 gold, 6 silver, 1 bronze)
Natalie Coughlin (Cal), Amanda Weir (USC), Jessica Hardy (Cal) -- silver for US in women's 4 x 100 meter free relay
Dana Vollmer (Cal) -- gold in women's 100 m butterfly, gold in 4 x 100 IM relay, silver in 4 x 200 free for USA
Rebecca Soni (USC) -- gold in women's 100 m breast, gold in 200 m breast, gold in 4 x 100 m IM relay for USA
Nathan Adrian (Cal) -- bronze for US in men's 4 x 100 m free, gold for US in 4 x 100 m IM relay
Milorad Cavic (Cal) -- silver for men's 100 m fly for Serbia
Vladimir Morozov (USC) -- silver for Russia in men's 4 x 100 m free relay
Tennis (2 golds, 1 silver)
Bob Byran (Stanford)--gold for US in men's doubles
Mark Byran (Stanford)--gold for US in men's doubles
Marcin Matkowski (UCLA) -- silver for US in men's doubles
Track (4 golds, 2 silver, 1 bronze)
Ashton Eaton (Oregon) -- gold for US in men's decathlon
Keshia Baker (Oregon) -- gold for US in women's 4 x 400 m relay
Allyson Felix (USC) -- silver for US in women's 200 m, silver for US in women's 4 x 100 m relay
Jessie Williams (USC) -- bronze for US in men's long jump
Bryshon Nellum (USC) -- gold for US in men's 4 x 400 m relay
Josh Mance (USC) -- gold for US in men's 4 x 400 m relay
Volleyball (5 silvers)
Nicole Davis (USC), Logan Tom (Stanford), Foluke Akrinradewo (Stanford), Tamari Miyashiro (Washington), Courtney Thompson (Washington) -- silver for US women's
Water polo (1 gold, 13 silvers)
Aleksa Saponjic (Cal) -- silver for men of Serbia
Rowie Webster (ASU) -- gold for Australian women
Heather Petri (Cal), Elsie Windes (Cal), Annika Dries (Stanford), Melissa Seidemann (Stanford), Jessica Steffens (Stanford), Maggie Steffens (Stanford), Brenda Villa (Stanford), Courtney Mathewson (UCLA), Kelly Rulon (UCLA), Tumua Anae (USC), Kami Craig (USC), Lauren Wegner (USC) -- silver for women's USA team