The Pac-12 has been a conference dominated by Oregon and Stanford the past few years and it appears that it will remain that way for the 2013 NCAA Football season.
We take a look at the future NCAAF betting odds provided by Bovada
Sportsbook and see that Oregon is the 2nd favorite in the country to
win the BCS Championship at 13/2 and Stanford is listed at a respectable 18/1.
When a team is considered more of a favorite to win it all
than an Ohio State team that was undefeated last year, you know they’re in the
Although not up to the level of Oregon and Stanford, UCLA
and USC are both listed at 50/1 and Oregon State and Washington are your
lottery ticket at 100/1.
Oregon Ducks (12-1,
The Hawaiian Punch
Quarterback Marcus Mariota is the leader for the Ducks and
this young man can do it all. Last season. Mariota threw for 2677 yards with 32
TD and just 6 INT’s. He’s also a threat to run the ball as his 752 yards and 5
touchdowns on the ground can attest to.
The departure of Kenjon Barner isn’t a problem as De’Anthony
Thomas (701 yards, 11 TD) and Byron Marshall (447 yards , 4 TD) assist Mariota
in the backfield and once again Oregon has a strong running game.
Replacing Ryan Clanton, Kyle Long, and Nick Cody up front could
be a concern as this is a team that has a number of options to throw the ball
Inexperience at Key
Positions on Defense
Along with losing their former head coach Chip Kelly, the
Ducks have lost a number of veteran defensive players that provided leadership.
Replacing linebackers Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay (182 tackles combined) will
be difficult, but Oregon will look to fill in the pieces with players like
Derrick Malone, Boseko Lokombo, and Rahim Cassell.
The depth is there, the talent is there, the defense is just
weak in the leadership role due to the loss of players that have moved on.
One major positive for Oregon is their Pac-12 laced weak
schedule. The real test comes on November 7th (Thursday) against
Stanford at home.
Stanford Cardinal (12-2,
Stanford’s schedule is quite similar to that of Oregon. The
only difference is the rivalry that they have going with Notre Dame in which
both teams meet eachother on the last day of the regular season.
While there’s no doubt that Stanford has one of the best
defenses in the nation, they need the offense to get the ball in the endzone.
Center, Sam Schwartzstein will be missed as his eligibility
is up and quarterback Kevin Hogan has a lot of room for improvement. Last
season, Hogan threw for 1096 with 10 TD and 3 INT in 6 full games. Hogan
doesn’t make mistakes and was good enough to beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl,
but his main targets have either left for the NFL or graduated.
Look for Ty Montgomery (26 receptions, 213 yards) to be one
of Hogan’s main targets this season as he’s the only returnee with any
Barry Sanders Jr.
With superstar Stepfan Taylor leaving Stanford, this enables
Sanders an opportunity to show his skills. He redshirted last season , but the
job is up for grabs. Sanders will be competing with Anthony Wilkerson and 3
other backs that got “PT” last season. This could get interesting.
Defense is Stacked
First team All Pac-12 linebacker Trent Murphy and First Team
All Pac-12 safety Ed Reynolds head one of the best defenses in the country. If
you can find a weakness, please let me know.
If Stanford’s offense can improve, they can be a contender
for the BCS Championship with their top notch defense and they throw a real X-Factor into our Sports Picks for the upcoming season.
USC and UCLA
I’ve written a piece about USC and the major step that they
took backwards last season. This season, the quarterback position and the
defense are concerns. Oregon scored 62 on the Trojans last season while USC
gave up a combined 77 points to UCLA and Arizona. The secondary for this year has only 1
The Trojans have the top receiver in the nation returning in
Marquise Lee (1721 yards, 14 TD) and a 1000 yard running back in Silas Redd,
but can Max Wittek get Lee the ball efficiently and often are the question?
Who will Play UCLA in
the Pac-12 Championship?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but with 12 starters
returning from last season and Brett Hundley (3745, 29 TD, 11 INT) returning at
QB, the Bruins are a shoe-in to win the Pac-12 South Division.
The big question for UCLA will be “who will replace running
back Jonathan Franklin and his 1734 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns?” There are
a number of candidates, but Franklin will be sorely missed. UCLA won’t be
competing for the BCS Championship, but this will be a vastly improved team and
should have “the one up” on USC due to the talent of Hundley at QB.
It looks like we’re going to see Oregon vs. UCLA in the
Pac-12 Championship (barring injuries) and Oregon will be a contender for the
BCS Championship. Are they capable of winning it all?
Most likely not, due to teams like Alabama and Ohio State.
Oregon Ducks 13/2 at Bovada