LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stanford coach David Shaw only needed a few words to epitomize why his Cardinal are the Pac-12 football favorites this fall — and also why that distinction doesn't mean much.

He told reporters the team has a chance to be good but is also "in flux"

The West Coast's top league is wide open heading into the fall, with a half-dozen legitimate title contenders and no overwhelming favorite. Every team has major questions at key positions, but nobody seems better prepared to answer them than the ever-resourceful Cardinal.

Stanford is the defending champion of the conference and the Rose Bowl, led by running back Christian McCaffrey.

The Cardinal also must fight through a brutal schedule while fending off challenges from Oregon and Washington, who both could contend with just a few breaks. The Huskies are the popular pick to surge in their third season under Chris Petersen, while the Ducks always have enough talent despite no clear starting quarterback.