For the second year in a row, the Utah Utes were picked to win the Conference of Champions. Oregon Football was a second, but with a new head coach and new faces, the Ducks have something to prove.
It makes sense for Utah to be at the top as they won the conference last year. They garnered a lot of attention picking up 26 of the 33 first-place votes. USC and UCLA, teams exiting the Pac-12 in the near future were picked third and fourth with perhaps a surprise, and the Oregon State Beavers were picked fifth.
Oregon State has a challenging start to the 2022 season, but could possibly start the season 3-0 in their non-conference slate, which will go a long way in determining their success. They host Boise State, visit Fresno State and host Montana State before opening Pac-12 play by hosting the USC Trojans in Corvallis.
Oregon Football has some questions to answer which should be hashed out in fall camp. It is clear to me that the Ducks have a starting quarterback in Bo Nix. He has the experience and did enough in the spring game to lead the team onto the field against Georgia. He also has the experience and the x-factor in Kenny Dillingham the Ducks’ offensive coordinator. The two have worked together before and know each other’s tendencies well.
Oregon football still facing some uncertainty
The biggest question for the Oregon offense is at running back. The team will be without CJ Verdell and Travis Dye who have both moved on. There is a lot of new talent in the fold for the Ducks’ ground game including Byron Cardwell, Sean Dollars, and Noah Whittington. All three have game experience and I expect that a healthy Sean Dollars to have a solid season for Oregon Football.
This year, the Pac-12 also has removed divisions meaning the only way to get that additional game at the end of the season is to be a first or second-place finisher in the conference. These teams will play for the Pac-12 Championship in December.
Oregon Football begins Fall Cam this week as they prepare for the season opener against Georgia on Saturday, September 3rd. The kickoff is set for 12:30 pm Pacific Time on ABC.