The Ducks are getting an insane amount of national attention, something we have come to expect in the last 5 years. They have risen to No. 2 in the AP poll and according to ESPN's power rankings, they are the number one team in the land. They are 3-0, all three victories at home against non-conference opponents, and have defeated South Dakota, No. 11 Michigan State, and Wyoming, all by double-digit margins. So let's take a look at how good they really are. What have their strengths been and what has been their achilles heel, how do they compare to the other elite teams in the Pac-12, and how do they compare to the other College Football Playoff contenders. So without further ado, here is your statistical analysis. The schedule strength numbers (SOS) are from the USA Today Sagarin Ratings, and the number is their ranking from 1-252, which includes FCS teams. Offense and Defense ranks are total yards per game, per NCAA.com. The top 25 games left on schedule includes a conference championship game.
Team AP Rank Record SOS Win Margin Off Rank Def Rank vs. top 10 vs. top 25 top 25 gms left
Florida State 1 2-0 106 6.0 41 42 (21) 1-0 3
Oregon 2 3-0 87 26.5 10 91 (14) 1-0 1-0 3
Alabama 3 3-0 141 30.3 12 10 (12) 5
Oklahoma 4 3-0 86 33.7 39 19 (10) 2
Auburn 5 2-0 72 35.0 18 31 (9) 8
Notre Dame 9 3-0 94 26.0 70 25 (17) 5
Florida St plays Notre Dame at home.
Oklahoma's toughest test comes against Baylor, at home.
Alabama plays Auburn at home.
Oregon plays at UCLA, and vs. Stanford.
We included Notre Dame because of the toughness of their schedule and the fact that the Big Ten doesn't look to have a strong candidate for the time being. Looking at the playoff contenders, it's easy to see how inevitably the SEC will get a team in, and possibly 2. Auburn's schedule tells it all, with 8 of their next 11 being against teams currently ranked in the top 25. Thus far, Auburn and Oklahoma look stastically the strongest, with Alabama and Oregon being third and fourth. The road is easiest for Oklahoma and Florida State without a doubt.
Pac 12 Contenders
Team AP Rank Record SOS Win Margin OFF Rank Def Rank top 25 gms left
Oregon 2 3-0 87 26.5 10 91 2
UCLA 12 3-0 31 6.0 52 69 4
Stanford 16 2-1 150 16 65 1 4
USC 17 2-1 26 12 55 84 3
Arizona St 15 3-0 173 24.5 19 75 4
The numbers seem to tell the exact same story as the AP voters as far as the pecking order here. Obviously Stanford's defense it still terrifying, but the offense will have to continue to progress to be a real contender. Looking at things as they are now, I would predict Oregon to win the Pac 12 North and its still a toss up right now for the South. Oregon would like to tighten the defense and doing so would certainly assure them of being considered the top dog out west.