Does Oregon Have a Challenger In Its Division in 2021?

Joshua Whitted Editorials

It’s not yet poll season in college football, but rest assured, Oregon will land in just about every preseason top-25 ranking. The Ducks, with a boatload of returning starters and a roster full of elite recruits, are likely favorites to win the Pac-12 in 2021, with their only perceived challenger being USC.

But should Oregon worry about its own division first?

Last season, the Ducks weren’t even supposed to represent the Pac-12 North in the Championship Game; that honor went to “that team up north”. Oregon benefited from Washington’s inability to field enough players due to Covid-19, and the rest is history. Has that much changed in just a year for the Ducks to go from understudy to the undisputed star of the show?

The Huskies return a solid roster that always seems to outperform its recruiting pedigree, and like him or not, there’s no denying that Jimmy Lake can make life hard for opposing offenses. Elsewhere, both Oregon State and Cal caught the Ducks sleeping in 2020, and Washington State is always a tricky out. None of them are expected to make a serious push for the division crown, but stranger things have happened.

So, are you confident that the Ducks will waltz away with the North? Or is the outlook a bit more dicey than the experts would have us believe?

Joshua Whitted
Morgantown, West Virginia
Top Photo by Eugene Johnson

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