1. Stanford Cardinal
Again, Stanford tops the rankings. The deeper you delve into the Cardinal, the more they look like the Pac-12 favorites. Shane Skov leads an intimidating linebacking corps that should headline the defense. Of course, there’s this fellow named Trent Murphy, too. Simply put, the Cardinal are going to have another dominant defense, and the linebackers are going to be a big part of it.
2. UCLA Bruins
While the Cardinal may have the best overall group of linebackers, the Bruins are not far behind. They also possess the conference’s (and maybe the country’s) best linebacker in Anthony Barr. Lining up next to Barr will be Erik Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt, both of whom put up impressive numbers a year ago.
Really, the only potential weakness for the Sun Devils defense is its secondary. Both the defensive line and linebackers are big strongpoints. Carl Bradford plays a specialty position created by coach Todd Graham, ranging from defensive end, to middle linebacker. He’s a sack machine and will lead the linebacker group that consists of Chris Young, Anthony Johnson, and a couple talented recruits.