Sep 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) walks off the field following his teams 42-29 victory over the Syracuse Orange at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

Ducks Roundtable: Are Oregon and USC still the class of the Pac-12?

On Saturday, Stanford was able to pull of the 21-14 upset over USC, shutting out the Trojans in the second half. In the coaches poll, USC dropped down to 12th while Stanford jumped all the way to 11th (and even ninth on the AP poll).

In our local Fansided Top 25 poll, results were similar to the coaches with USC also at 12th and Stanford up a little higher at 10th. Oregon finds themselves in third place in all three of these polls.

Since Stanford is a quality opponent, and USC didn’t lose that badly, are the Trojans still ranked up there with Oregon? Or do you believe that Stanford has broken into that higher status? Our staff weighs in.

Ricky: Yes, Oregon and USC are still the top two teams in the Pac-12. For the past four years, the Trojans have never been able to beat the Cardinals. USC will still win their division and will play Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship.

Mike: No, Stanford is improving each and every week so I believe that it’s a three-team race and the Cardinal will be in Eugene later this season. While USC has a lot of talent I’m curious to see how UCLA, Arizona, and even Arizona State challenges the Trojans in the South division.

Joe: Yeah, I actually do. Stanford is a great team at third, but I’m always going to refer to John Canzano’s excellent point about how it’s all about matchups. USC was dealing with some key injuries in that game as well, and I think USC’s talent and explosiveness on offense gives them the slight edge over Stanford. I used to cover baseball from a sabermetrical (geeky) standpoint, so I’ve been taught not to overreact and to wait things out. USC is still one of the top two teams in the conference, but you have to put Oregon at the top at this point with Stanford at a close third with their defense, running game, and offensive line play.

Raymond: Stanford should be the top team in the Pac-12 right now followed by Oregon and USC.

The Autzen Zoo staff includes lead editor Brian Spaen along with staff writers Joe Soriano, Mike Vamosi, Raymond Mencke, Jr., and Ricky Widmer.

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