Oregon edges USC as Pac-12 favorites in preseason media polls originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest
The reigning Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks will take the field for training camp beginning on Friday, October 9.
It has been over 280 days since Oregon was crowned kings of the Pac-12 and then defeated Wisconsin 28-27 in the 2020 Rose Bowl. Since then, the offseason was full of ups and downs sending college football into chaos with the impending coronavirus pandemic.
Now, after months of uncertainty and speculation, the Pac-12 finally has a season, a schedule, and a plan of action to play football in 2020.
Despite the roster changes and shortened season, the expectations at Oregon remain the same: Take the Pac.
The biggest question heading into 2020… Can the Ducks repeat as conference champs?
The Pac-12 media thinks so.
On Wednesday, the polls came out and Oregon found a familiar spot at the top.
🚨ANNOUNCED🚨 - @oregonfootball tops the preseason media poll as the favorite to win the 2020 #Pac12FCG🏈. The defending champs received 21 votes, edging USC (15).— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) October 7, 2020
FULL STORY ➡️ https://t.co/RqYB0ZBhw2#Pac12FB pic.twitter.com/97fKUI4q5R
Oregon (21) edged South favorite USC (15) in the poll. There are 38 media members who voted in the poll. Here’s how the media predicts each division to finish:
North: Oregon, California, Washington, Stanford, Oregon State, Washington State
South: USC, Arizona State, Utah, UCLA, Colorado, Arizona.
Read more on the voting and results here.
Many believe that Oregon and USC are on a collision course to meet in the Pac-12 title game. This season, the North division will face all the other North schools in addition to one crossover game. The same goes for the South division. Oregon will face UCLA in its crossover game while USC will take on Washington State. There may be a little conspiracy here in the Pac-12’s scheduling to ensure these two top schools meet on Dec. 18 in the conference championship…
If the Ducks are to repeat as Pac-12 champs, they will have to do so without some key personnel who decided to opt out of the upcoming season. Penei Sewell, Jevon Holland, Thomas Graham Jr., and Brady Breeze are out at Oregon as they begin preparations for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Looking at that list, the Ducks’ secondary that was so dominant in 2019 will have some big holes to fill. Deommodore Lenoir decided to opt back in and the Ducks landed Boise State safety transfer Jordan Happle earlier this week.
There is definitely talent and some new faces will need to rise to the same level as last season’s squad in order for Oregon to accomplish another Pac-12 championship. It all starts on November 7.
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