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2016 best/worst case scenario for Oregon: Could the Ducks win back the North?

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What's the best and worst that could happen to the Ducks in 2016?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Best case scenario: 11-1 (8-1)

People are writing off the Ducks going into 2016 in a similar manner to many wrote Stanford off going into 2015. There are a ton of questions surrounding the Ducks, but they are still just one season removed from playing for a national championship and found a way to be right in the hunt for the Pac-12 championship until the last week of the season in 2015.

The key for the Ducks is if a couple of moves work out. One, Dakota Prukop comes in and becomes the dynamic playmaker they need at quarterback to have their offense work, especially with his legs, which could be a major upgrade from Vernon Adams at least on the ground. Two, Brady Hoke upgrades the defense from the disaster it was last year under Don Pellum.

If those two things come into place, there is almost no limit to what the Ducks could do in 2016 given their proven system talent at running back and receiver, experience on the offensive line and talent on defense that simply underperformed in 2015. Even if almost everything goes right, the Ducks probably lose at least one in-conference, probably at USC or at home against Stanford in back-to-back weeks, but still put themselves in great position to be in the Pac-12 Championship Game.


Worst case scenario: 6-6 (4-5)

This might seem bad, but keep in mind the Ducks were potentially a 4-5-win team in 2015 if they didn't find a way to get Vernon Adams into school and that was with Bralon Addison, Tyler Johnstone, Matt Hegarty, DeForest Buckner and the rest of their starting front seven. There are many legitimate reasons to think the Ducks elite run of success might be coming to an end and I think they could flirt with winning as few games as they have in 10 years if things don't go well.