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Oregon Football

Pac-12 North Overview

July 14, 2017

Where are you Ted Miller? We miss you.

I mean that.

Ted was one of the best objectively taking an overview of the Pac-12 conference.

But he's gone for the time being and I will do my best to fill that void for all of you. Since we've been hitting recruiting news especially hard this will be a nice break in the action.

Is Washington the team to beat?

I suppose based on last years performance, they would be the favorite entering this season. I maintain I'm skeptical. They sent some real ballers into the NFL and I don't see them replacing that much talent.

That said, they have an easy road this season. At least to begin. They open up with Rutgers, Montana, Fresno State, Colorado, Oregon State and Cal in the first six weeks. If they aren't 6-0 over that stretch I would be incredibly surprised.

They do close out with Oregon, Stanford, Utah and Washington State. It could be a tale of two seasons for Washington. I just don't see the talent on this team they had last year. Not to mention I think the Pac-12 North is a whole lot better this year overall.

Stanford is another contender for the North. Even with the loss of McCaffrey and all of his offensive prowess, I think they are more balanced this season. However the Furd opens up with a week two matchup against USC then UCLA two weeks later.

We will know early just what we have in Stanford this year. They will be good, the question is, how good?

And your beloved Ducks. We all know by now this team could finish anywhere between 6 and 10 wins. Once Oregon gets past Nebraska and Wyoming, both of which are good tests but winnable games, I think the Ducks are positioned to be in good shape headed into week 6 with Washington State. The Cougars are my dark horse to win the Pac-12 North.

Staying with Oregon for a minute. I'm not going to pen anything you don't already know. This team will depend on offense to win games and need just enough from the defense to help. I think that's the realistic expectation. Getting a late turnover or forcing field goals will be the key.

Week 6-10 is tough sledding for Oregon. Washington State, Stanford, UCLA, Utah and Washington all in a row. If you're hoping to know what this team is made of, you'll know by week 8 or 9.

As I said earlier don't lose track of Wazzu. Those Cougs are going to be a lot like Oregon. Lots of offense and probably light on the defensive side. And Coach Leach has had Oregon's number. He gets his team amped up to play the Ducks every year.

We'll have a good idea what Wazzu is made of by week 6. They play Boise State in week two and play USC in week 5 just before they play the Ducks.

That leaves Cal and Oregon State. Two teams that I do feel will be much improved this season. The new staff at Cal if full of sharp minds that will have them improved. There's still a lack of talent there but they will be a better team. Normally Justin Wilcox has had an answer for the Oregon offense, but he won't be seeing a Chip-Kelly inspired offense this year.

Oregon State will also be improved. I'm a big fan of Gary Andersen and what he's done with a depleted roster. Mike Riley did him no favors when he bolted for Lincoln.

While these teams will be improved, I don't see them challenging to win the Pac-12 North. However I see them playing spoiler to someone along the way and keeping the race incredibly interesting.

Pac-12 North prediction:

1. Oregon
2. Washington
3. Stanford
4. Washington State
5. Cal
6. Oregon State

Fine call me a homer. I made my prediction. Let's see how it plays out. (Oregon and Washington will be tight.)
Tags: Football, Oregon
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