Ducks favored to meet Trojans for Pac-12 title
In the eyes of many college football analysts, the 2012 Pac-12 Conference race comes down to USC and Oregon.
Athlon Sports is picking the Trojans over the Ducks. In its Pac-12 Football 2012 Predictions, the publication has USC going 9-0 in conference play, with a Pac-12 title-game win over the Ducks. Athlon has Oregon at 8-1, its lone loss in conference play coming on November 3 against the Trojans in Los Angeles.
That one certainly appears likely to be the make-or-break game for either team's season, and it's understandable why many are giving the Trojans the edge at this point, with quarterback Matt Barkley having returned for his senior season and Oregon in the exact opposite boat, having lost Darron Thomas, who decided to skip his senior season for a shot at the NFL. Also gone is LaMichael James, leaving many analysts pointing to USC's starting experience as one of its big edges over Oregon.
According to the Pac-12, the Trojans have a conference-best 19 returning starters for 2012, while the Ducks are tied for sixth-most with 14 returners.