Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2013 Pac-12 Preview

For our fifth installment of the season previews, we head out west where the Pac-10/12 has sent the same two teams to BCS bowl games for three years running. Can anyone (Southern Cal maybe?) break the duopoly that Oregon and Stanford have on the west coast?



All Your Championships Are Belong to Us
As I mentioned in the intro, Oregon and Stanford have dominated this conference for the past three seasons. Oregon won the Pac-10 title on their way to the BCS National Championship Game in 2010 and repeated in the first season of the Pac-12 in 2011. Last season they had to settle for a shared division title, but garnered an at-large BCS bowl bid anyway. Stanford lost just once in 2010, to Oregon, and tied the Ducks atop the divison in 2011. Both seasons, the Cardinal manged at-large BCS bowl bids. Last season, they finally beat the Ducks and won their first Pac-10/12 crown since 1999. That's long enough ago that Tyrone Willingham was considered one of the nation's best coaches. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, the Ducks and Cardinal have gone a combined 49-5 in conference play. Unfortunately for both schools, they have had to face each other each season. The Ducks have beaten the Cardinal in two of the three games. Thus, against all other conference foes, the Ducks and Cardinal have gone an incredible 46-2 the last three seasons! Oregon's lone conference loss besides Stanford in that span was by three points to Southern Cal in 2011. Stanford's lone conference loss besides the pair they dropped to Oregon was by four points at Washington last season. How dominant have these two teams been in that span? I'm glad you asked. The table below summarizes their scoring margins against their other conference mates since 2010.
While the potent offense of Oregon has been more dominant, outscoring their league foes by over 24 points per game versus just under 21 for Stanford, both teams have doubled up their opponents on average the past three seasons. Perhaps more impressive for Oregon, is that among their 23 conference victims other than Stanford, 22 have come by at least double digits. The lone exception was their two-point escape at Cal in 2010. Stanford has played more close games, but 15 of their 23 victories have also come by double digits. Can the ridiculous dominance of the Ducks and Cardinal continue in 2013?

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