EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 19: Holder Jackson Rice #49 of the Oregon Ducks looks up into the night air as teammate kicker Alejandro Maldonado #41 runs off the field after missing the game-tying field goal against the USC Trojans at Autzen Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. USC won the game 38-35. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
That being said, the subsequent consensus on who would win the conference was baffling. USC 102, Oregon 18.
So. Let me get this straight. You believe that Oregon, a team that has proven they can beat the Trojans by three to four touchdowns if they get cooking, a team that is 3-2 against USC in the Chip Kelly era, is now five to six times less likely to win the conference than a team that squeaked out a field goal victory in Autzen last season. You must also believe that they can not only beat Oregon in their epic clash in the Coliseum, but can win the likely rematch in the 2012 Pac-12 Championship. You are expecting quite a bit from a USC team that has only occasionally played great football.
If both of them play up to expectations, I'm sure USC will be the favorite in their first matchup. But it's hard to believe they're ranked this high over them. Oregon and USC are matches in almost every respect and it'll be tough to see the Trojans blowing the Ducks out unless they really get clicking. Oregon's offense will have one of the best running backs in the conference and the most electric playmaker out there, and you could debate whether their defense will be just as good (if not better) than the talent USC has amassed on their roster. They also have a dynamic special teams unit that is one of the best in the country. Suddenly USC is going to roll over all that because they're USC?
I don't buy this poll. Do you?
USC is ___________.
big favorites to win the Pac-12. (73 votes)
favorites to win the Pac-12. (65 votes)
neck-and-neck with Oregon to win the Pac-12. (87 votes)
trailing Oregon to win the Pac-12. (34 votes)
other. (10 votes)
269 total votes