The Oregon Ducks face off with the Stanford Cardinal, with the winner heading to the Pac-12 Championship game. Our Pac-12 roundtable experts make their picks for the de facto Pac-12 North title contest.
Stanford and Oregon for the Pac-12 North! What are your thoughts on the matchup?
Avinash Kunnath, Pacific Takes & California Golden Blogs: Stanford's defense will give Oregon a game, but the Cardinal have had decent defenses the last two years and Oregon just shredded them. I don't know how Kevin Hogan will deal with his first true road experience and this O-line just can't impose their will like they use to, which is the only way Stanford can really win.
Ducks and Cardinal play a close first half before Oregon pulls away and gets ready for the Civil War.
Jack Follman, Pacific Takes: I actually like this matchup a lot more after watching the Oregon vs. Cal game. The Ducks are hurting up front, especially on defense and Cal looked like the kind of team that could expose that for two and a half quarters, and Stanford is basically a better version of Cal.
However, I think aided, by more rest, and another week removed from their battle with USC, the Ducks will respond well and will pull away after a brief challenge from Stanford. I think Marcus Mariota has also officially killed the "Make Mariota Beat Us" gameplan, so it will be interesting to see how Stanford approaches the Ducks on defense.
Definitely a matchup to keep an eye on though as I felt like Stanford had better overall teams the last two years, but had some bad breaks that cost them games against Oregon, so they are due for a game where it breaks their way against the Ducks.
Andy Wooldridge, Building The Dam: Bad matchup for Stanford. Oregon has some injuries, especially to the defense, that might make it possible for the Cardinal to make this competitive longer than otherwise, but the Ducks just have too much speed for anyone, much less a relatively slow team like Stanford. And it looks like its going to be cold and wet. There are factors that make it trickier to predict when this one will get out of hand (even Cal was competitive for a time against Oregon), but sooner or later, it will.
Adam Butler, Pac Hoops & Pacific Takes: I believe that Oregon will win this game. By a lot. If we subscribe to the belief that Arizona is Oregon-lite, the Wildcats put up 48 on this defense, the Cardinal strong suit. And, particularly at this point, I feel like Oregon can taste it. They know what's at stake - exactly what's at stake - and they're going right after damn whoever gets in their way. That said, what if Kevin Hogan is the real deal? What if Stanford's regained their mojo?