The Pac-12 had five players selected to the 40-man preseason Rimington Trophy watch list released Friday morning.

Given annually to college football’s best center, the Rimington Trophy has never been won by a Pac-12 in its 23-year history. The Big Ten claims 10 former Rimington winners while the SEC boasts seven. Maybe one of those two leagues dominates things again in 2022; the Big Ten, SEC, and Big 12 each had six players named to the preseason watch list while the ACC had five, same as the Pac-12.

With selections from two teams that could both factor into the College Football Playoff discussion this upcoming season, maybe the league can secure its first.

The players from the Pac-12 on the watch list:

  • Matthew Cindric, California
  • Alex Forsyth, Oregon
  • Jake Levengood, Oregon State
  • Drake Nugent, Stanford
  • Brett Neilon, USC

With Dan Lanning taking over at Oregon and Lincoln Riley taking over at USC, the narrative could be there for either Forsyth or Neilon.

Lanning figures to have the Ducks playing a physical brand of football, and with the returning sixth-year senior manning the center spot, Oregon projects as one of the best offensive lines in college football.

Riley should bring an exciting and productive offense to Los Angeles. With Neilon returning after grading out as the fourth-best offensive lineman in the conference last season (per PFF), he should get plenty of national attention. The Rimington Trophy committee says it worked with PFF to construct its preseason watch list this time around.

Oregon State’s line also figures to be among the best in the country. Nugent is part of a Stanford offensive line that returns every single snap played a season ago. Cindric was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection a season ago and a preseason third-team all-conference pick from Athlon entering into 2022.

The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be announced live on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards show in December. The formal trophy presentation will take place in January in Lincoln, Nebraska, home to former Husker Dave Rimington, the trophy’s namesake.

The full watch list can be found here.