Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 Pac-12 Preview

One month to go. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. In today's preview, we examine the Pac-12, a league that hopes to celebrate the return of one of their traditional powers off probation. To see last year's Pac-12 preview, click here.



Ducks or Trojans?
Yes, believe it or not, the Trojans from Southern California have not won a Pac-10/12 championship since 2008. In their stead, the Oregon Ducks have captured three straight league championships while posting a 25-2 conference record over that span. Having an inquisitive mind, I wanted to see how this compared to the most dominant three-year stretch Southern Cal enjoyed last decade. While the Trojans won outright or tied for seven straight Pac-10 titles beginning in 2002, their most dominant three-year stretch was from 2003-2005. During that span, the Trojans went 23-1 in league play, won a shared national title, won an outright national title (later vacated), and played for another national title. While Oregon has won three consecutive Pac-10/12 titles, they have not won a national title, and are just 1-2 in their BCS appearances. On the surface the Trojans appear to be the more dominant team. Before we crown them though, let's look inside the numbers. To calculate how dominant each team was, I looked at how they fared against their conference competition. The results are summarized in the following table.
As you can see, Oregon matches and exceeds Southern Cal in terms of offensive production, averaging an incredible 43.6 points per game against their Pac-10/12 mates. However, the Trojans are untouchable on the defensive side of the ball. While the Ducks have allowed a solid 23 points per game, Southern Cal allowed just 17.8 during their incredible three-year run. Not to take anything away from Oregon, but the Trojans in the middle part of the last decade were a cut above.

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