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2016 Pac-12 prediction countdown #1 Stanford: Cardinal win the Pac-12 again, duh

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NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The long torture of summer sports is almost over, but we still have a little ways to go. To get things ready, I went over every single game on the Pac-12 schedule in 2016 and predicted records for each team.

I'm going to countdown how I think the teams ultimately stack up in the final regular season standings with snapshots of each team.

#12 was Oregon State

#11 was Colorado

#10 was Cal

#9 was Arizona

#8 was Utah

#7 was Arizona State

#6 was Washington State

#5 was Washington

#4 was UCLA

#3 was Oregon

#2 was USC

#1 is...Stanford

Prediction: 11-2 (8-1) first in North

Bowl: Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State

Wins: Kansas State, USC, at UCLA, at Washington, Washington State, Colorado, at Arizona, Oregon State, at Cal, Rice, USC (Pac-12 Championship Game)

Losses: at Notre Dame, at Oregon

The Cardinal just won’t go away. They have the strongest system in the conference, the best coach and a roster loaded with not just talent, but polished talent hand-picked for their system. I know it is boring to pick them to win the conference again, but I simply don’t see a convincing argument of why not to.

I think they miss the Playoffs again, but I see the Cardinal going back to the Rose Bowl in 2016.

Non-Conference: The Cardinal should get around a nice opening test at home against Kansas State and close out with a home win against Rice. The tricky one is at Notre Dame in October. The Irish are a Top 10 team, play Stanford tough in South Bend and will be hell-bent on revenge. I have to predict a loss there.

In-Conference: The Cardinal get a chance to make Pac-12 statement right out of the gate in the third week against USC and I think they will. Things stay very tough, as they follow that up with road tests at UCLA and Washington and home game against Washington State, but I think they pull out wins in those as well.

The rest of the way, outside of a test at Oregon in November, is pretty light for the Cardinal. Unfortunately for them, I think Oregon upsets them again in the perpetual upset series between the two and knocks them out of the Playoffs.

The Cardinal still win the North though and punch a ticket to the Pac-12 Championship Game where they win a close one against USC and earn a ticket to the Rose Bowl.

How Will This Feel In December?

Business as usual. Another Pac-12 championship. Another trip to the Rose Bowl. Another year just outside of the Playoffs. While I think missing the Playoffs again will sting, I doubt anyone around Stanford can feel bad about another 11-win regular season and a Rose Bowl berth.