NCAA Football Preseason Rankings: #1 Oregon Ducks

NCAA Football Preseason Rankings: #1 Oregon DucksCollege Football 2011-2012 Preview: #1 Oregon Ducks

 

College football action is only about six weeks away. It appears the race for the BCS National Championship is wide open in 2011. I’ve been counting down my top five teams in the country. Now it’s time to take a look at my number one team heading into the 2011-2012 season. My number #1 team is the Oregon Ducks.

Oregon Ducks 2011-2012 College Football Preview and Predictions

Coach: Chip Kelly

2010 Record: 12-1 (Lost to Auburn in BCS Championship Game)

Oregon Odds from 5Dimes

Oregon to win the BCS Championship: +1,400

Oregon to win Pac 12 North: +130

Oregon to win Pac 12 Conference Championship Game: +230

The Oregon Ducks fell just short a year ago in the BCS Championship Game. The Ducks clearly had their chances to win that one, but they couldn’t quite close the deal. Still, a 12-1 season and a loss to an unbeaten Auburn team in the title game has to be seen as a great year for Oregon. Chip Kelly has given this team a whole new attitude. Most people don’t seem to think Oregon deserves to be mentioned among the top title contenders this year, but I think this team has a very good shot of getting back to the BCS Championship Game.

Team Strengths:

Is there a better backfield in all of college football? LaMichael James is a serious Heisman Trophy contender, and Kenjon Barner is a great change of pace back. Lache Seastrunk was one of the top recruits in the country last year, and I fully expect him to get on the field quite a bit this year. Oregon is absolutely loaded at the tailback position.

The Oregon secondary is extremely talented. Cliff Harris is suspended right now, but I expect him to be back for the majority of the season. Dior Mathis and John Boyett should help this secondary be one of the best in the nation. Oregon also signed freshman D’Anthony Thomas, who was the top ranked cornerback according to most recruiting services.

Team Weakness:

The defensive line graduated three starters who were pivotal to the team’s success last season. In addition, Casey Matthews and Spencer Paysinger are gone from the linebacker unit. The Ducks have a lot of talent to plug in this front seven, but it is certainly concerning that this group will be so young.

Oregon 2011 Football Schedule:

The Ducks start the season with a huge matchup against LSU in Dallas. The first PAC 12 game for Oregon will be a trip to Arizona, and that one could be a very tricky game. After the trip to Arizona the Ducks have an easy schedule until the last three weeks of the year when they play Stanford, USC, and rival Oregon State.

2011-2012 Oregon Football Predictions: 13-1 (Winner of BCS Championship Game)

I think the PAC 12 is weaker than most people think. Oregon’s youngsters will need to mature quickly so they can beat teams like LSU and Arizona early in the season. I look for Darron Thomas to have a big year at the quarterback spot, and the running game should be unstoppable. If Oregon makes it back to the title game, I expect last year’s experience to help them get over the hump this time around.

Kyle Hunter

is full-timesports writer and sports handicapper. You simply won’t find someone who loves sports more than Kyle. Kyle considers college football and college basketball his two favorite sports. Kyle has earned many accolades for his highly successful handicapping, and he writes full-time for many top sports websites. Keep an eye out for high quality free sports analysis from Kyle!