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The best Pac-12 teams of the 2010 decade: Which Oregon team tops the list?

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Ranking the Top 25 Pac-12 teams between 2010 and 2019.

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Honorable Mention

2014 Arizona, 2013 Arizona State, 2016 Colorado, 2013 USC, 2014 USC

25. 2019 Utah

24. 2013 UCLA

23. 2015 Utah

22. 2014 Arizona State

21. 2015 Oregon

20. 2016 Stanford

19. 2014 UCLA

18. 2018 Washington State

17. 2019 Oregon

16. 2017 Washington

15. 2018 Washington

14. 2013 Oregon

13. 2013 Stanford

12. 2017 USC

11. 2016 Washington

10. 2011 Stanford - Andrew Luck’s last run in Palo Alto got spoiled by losing in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State when they should have won and by losing to Oregon by 23 at home. Enough negative though. They had a dominate run to start the season and tore through most of the Pac-12. Winning at USC, just as their impressive 2011 team was taking off was the highlight of the season.

9. 2016 USC - These Trojans are one of those teams that were a completely different team at the end of the season that could have been a national title contender if they hadn’t buried themselves earlier on not realizing they needed to start Sam Darnold. They got embarrassed early by Alabama and Stanford before inserting Darnold, barely losing at Utah and then never losing again. They won at Pac-12 Champion Washington by 13 points and dominated everyone else they faced before the Rose Bowl where they beat a really good Penn State team.

8. 2011 USC - The original Trojan team this decade that righted their early-season wrongs and could have had a shot at a national championship at the end of the season had there been a Playoff back then and had they not been on sanctions. This team was all about Matt Barkley getting to throw to Marqise Lee and Robert Woods with Matt Kalil and Khaled Holmes blocking for him. They beat a lights out Oregon team on the road and took Stanford to three overtimes, their only loss after September.

7. 2015 Stanford - Christian McCaffrey took flight after a weird opening loss at Northwestern. The Cardinal looked completely different from their past versions this year with a dynamic offense that was almost impossible to stop as they only lost one game the rest of the way, a heartbreaker to Oregon that came down to the final play. They closed strong, beating a Top 5 Notre Dame team, beating USC by 19 and then eviscerating Top 5 Iowa in the Rose Bowl.

6. 2014 Oregon - Some people might argue with this, but I’ve never loved this Duck team as much as their playing for a national title might suggest one should(still being ranked 6 isn’t the end of the world). The Ducks famously embarrassed the defending champion Seminoles in the Rose Bowl and got a great non-conference win against Michigan State. They cruised through the Pac-12 in breathtaking fashion outside of a stunning home loss by seven to Arizona (who they later crushed in the P12CG). They lost some luster by losing in the championship to Ohio State by 22, but Heisman winner Marcus Mariota and the Ducks accomplished a ton in the final season of their dominant run.

5. 2011 Oregon - I actually had this Ducks team at number two for a while before I changed my mind. This team was more-talented and experienced that the 2010 version and opponents weren’t as used to their scheme as they were in 2012 or 2014. They just happened to play an LSU team that played for the national title and ran into an electric USC team late in the season. Their tight win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl has improved in impression because of Russell Wilson’s NFL career and another 20 plus point win over Stanford was really impressive.

4. 2012 Stanford - I was tempted to rank this Stanford team higher, given their win at Oregon and how good they were down the stretch and how much I like their personnel. They lost a heartbreaker at Washington before they figured out to start Kevin Hogan at quarterback and in overtime at Notre Dame, who went on to play for the national title. They won a really tough Pac-12 and took care of business in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin. They weren’t quite as dominant as some of the teams ahead of them though.

3. 2010 Stanford - The first true breakout Stanford team was their best with Andrew Luck at the helm. They made their way through the Pac-12 other than for a 21-point loss in Eugene against the buzz saw that was Oregon in 2010. They closed by blowing out Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl and left a wake of physical destruction in their past all year outside of that one game.

2. 2010 Oregon - This Ducks team is the one that truly took college football by storm, briefly almost changing the game entirely as they rolled to the last undefeated Pac-12 regular season that we’ve seen. Their blow out of Stanford is one of the most-impressive conference wins in Pac-12 history and they were only really even challenged one time in the regular season. They lost a tough one against Cam Newton and Nick Fairley in the BCS Championship and were probably the most purely scary of any of these Duck teams because of how fast they went and how unprepared defenses were for their scheme.

  1. 2012 Oregon - This team didn’t actually even win their division, but I think they were the best of the bunch. Sparked by the talent of Marcus Mariota stepping in as quarterback and some overall talent upgrades across the board, including De’Anthony Thomas, Chip Kelly’s final team was almost unfairly dominant outside of their loss to an amazing Stanford team, in overtime. They closed the season with a Fiesta Bowl win over Top 5 Kansas State, but it would have been a lot more fun to see what they could have done in the BCS Championship against Notre Dame or Alabama, had things played out differently.