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The Oregon Ducks have rolled through their first three games of conference play. Can USC, Arizona State, or Oregon State pose any realistic threat toward knocking them off?
Avinash Kunnath, Pacific Takes & California Golden Blogs (Cal): We're starting to run out of teams, aren't we? You'd think Arizona State in Tempe would be the big kahuna to consider, but as disciplined as Todd Graham's unit has looked they still have yet to beat an FBS team over .500 (and that won't change this week). Oregon State is a possibility, but Kelly's teams have dominated Banker's defenses the last four years, regardless of how good or bad they've been
So I'd still have to say USC. The Trojans recovered from a sluggish start to dominate Utah over the final three quarters, and if Khaled Holmes stays healthy they have the offense that can keep Oregon's defense honest. Of course, it might depend on USC staying healthy, period.
AndyPanda, Building The Dam (Oregon State): I'm still not going to discount USC in the Coliseum. I've seen too many very good teams that have gone there to lose over the years.
Kevin Zimmerman, Arizona Desert Swarm (Arizona): Oregon State. I think the Beavers are the final hope for dropping the Ducks and I'm really looking forward to the Civil War. Sean Mannion and company have both the offense and the defense to roll against Oregon's stout defense. Of course, they'd need to get some luck going their way, but the rivalry impact and the resume will be there. This might be the only possibility of Chip Kelly's squad losing. The Trojans? I'm not so sure they're of the level the preseason polls said; even without the Stanford loss.
Gekko Mojo, UW Dawg Pound (Washington): Ask a Duck fan and they'll tell you that their team is an impenetrable fortress of perfection. However, the Ducks' schedule is back-loaded and any team on it has the capability of pulling an upset. Particular games I'm interested in seeing are the ASU and OSU matchups. In addition, Stanford, if their offense is closer to the Arizona game than the Washington game, certainly has the kind of physical makeup to impose their will on them. That said, the only team who really has a decent chance of beating Oregon is whatever South team has to play them twice. In this case, I'm still going with USC.
thecassino, UW Dawg Pound (Washington): I don't think anybody will. USC looks too mistake prone still to get the job done, and their defense doesn't look like it will make enough plays. They'll move the ball and put up points, but I think Oregon will beat them by at least two scores. Nobody else will come close at all.
norcalnick, California Golden Blogs (Cal): My general feeling with Oregon is that only teams with really high-end defensive talent can beat Oregon. Teams like Auburn in the championship game, LSU last year, Cal in 2010 (scoff all you want, but that defense had multiple high draft picks). And there are only two teams on the schedule that maaaaybe might fit that mold - Stanford and USC. But Stanford (like Cal in 2010) almost certainly doesn't have the offense to pull the upset, which leaves USC.
I wouldn't favor them, but USC is the only team that, if they beat Oregon, I wouldn't be totally flabbergasted.
Trevor Wong, Conquest Chronicles (USC): I'm picking two teams: USC and Oregon State. Granted, the Trojans haven't looked at all that impressive this season, but they have the talent and athletes to match up with Oregon. The only question is whether everybody will be healthy for that Nov. 3 showdown at the Coliseum. As for the Beavers, not many people are probably giving them a chance. Even with news of quarterback Sean Mannion out indefinitely, I'm picking Oregon State because of the rivalry between the two schools. Anything can happen in rivalry games and with Oregon having to go on the road in Corvallis, I wouldn't count out the Beavers.
Justin Karp, Pacific Takes & Bold Saguaros (ASU): The easy answers are USC (on the road) and Stanford (at home) based on their ability to keep up on the offensive side of the ball. The esoteric (I think it means 'delicious') and correct, answer, though, is themselves. The Ducks are far and away the class of this conference. There's extra motivation to beat USC at the Coliseum as revenge for last year's game, and while Stanford is very good, I have trouble convincing myself they can go on the road to Autzen and put up the 40-45 it would require to beat the Ducks at their home.
Ben Knibbe, UW Dawg Pound (Washington): Let's take a look at their schedule shall we? Arizona State in Tempe? Stranger things have happened, but very unlikely. Colorado? Nope. USC in the Coliseum? As underwhelming as Lane Kiffin's Trojans have been this year, the game is in the SoCal, and there is still a chance that USC can be healthy for the game. A healthy USC can spell disaster for Oregon. The only other team with a real shot at it would be Oregon State, but they have yet to dominate a team like Oregon has in order to show they are on Oregon's level. The jury is still out on that one.
David Piper, Addicted to Quack (Oregon): Arizona State is the game that scares me the most. We know they have athletes, they have looked good on both sides of the football. And they finally appear to be well coached. Plus, that game is in Tempe on a Thursday night and the place will be rocking. Stanford and Oregon State don't match up well with spread offenses defensively. As for USC, they are far too one dimensional. Unless they can give anybody reason to respect their offensive line and their run game, I don't see how you can take them seriously, even with the elite talent at QB and WR.
Jack Follman, Pacific Takes (Washington): Whoa. I think everyone (especially ESPN) needs to take a deep breath and calm down before they declare that Oregon is for sure going to be in the BCS Championship. The 3 Pac-12 teams they have beaten have a combined conference record of 1-7 and they still haven't even played a true road game yet. Yes, Arizona and Washington were ranked when they played them, but I highly doubt either of those teams will be ranked at the end of the season and Autzen has an aura that seems to make teams fall apart the instant one thing goes wrong.
USC is the team I would pick if you made me, and you have to remember that they will probably have to beat USC twice with the conference title game. Remember that it was just a few weeks ago that everyone was declaring that USC was unbeatable and they are pretty much the same team, only a year more experienced, that won in Autzen last year against a more experienced and healthy Duck team.
Scott Allen, Rule of Tree (Stanford): At this point, it's USC or no one. After Matt Scott shredded the Stanford defense, it's terrifying to think how many points the Ducks will hang on the Cardinal in Eugene. If Cal plays like it did against UCLA, maybe the Bears could pull off another shocker, but I still think the Trojans have the best shot at the Coliseum.
, Pacific Takes (Arizona) & Pac Hoops: Does Pete Carrol’s team qualify? That said, his old team, while they haven’t quite wowed us, is still pretty good and, in all likelihood, is going to have two shots to beat the Ducks. So from a talent standpoint, I’d have to say it’s the Trojans. And speaking of talent, the second team with a good shot at knocking off Oregon, just lost their talented quarterback, Sean Mannion. This is a heartbreaker as the kid was playing terrific ball and a big part of why his team could beat Oregon. The biggest reason I might like OSU to top the Ducks, however, is that the Beavers host the Civil War and crazy things happen in rivalry games.
Josh Schilchter, Fish Duck (Oregon) & Pacific Takes: I'd feel a lot more certain about this question after next Thursday. If the Ducks can put away a dangerous ASU team on a Thursday night in a, "black-out," then we can can say that no PAC-12 team will touch Oregon this season. If they struggle (not only first half, but struggle the entire game) I'd say Southern Cal definitely has a shot, as do the Beavers should Mannion return.
Jon Woods, Ralphie Report (Colorado): I honestly am not buying into to Arizona State (of course that means they will beat us by 40 this week) and don't think that will be a test for the Ducks. I don't know that Stanford has the talent to get it done either. Oregon isn't really a team that tends to trip up to lesser teams lately and I think their only possibilities for a regular season loss are the road games against USC and Oregon State in the Civil War.
The team most likely to beat Oregon in the Pac-12 is....
USC (180 votes)
Oregon State (65 votes)
Stanford (4 votes)
Arizona State (77 votes)
Another team (25 votes)
351 total votes