By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
The Pac-12 hasn’t had this type of pre-season hype in a long time. The conference is expected to have at least five teams ranked in the preseason Top-25. It could even be six, depending on whether the pollsters believe in Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins.
The Oregon Ducks are a legitimate Pac-12 contender. But John Canzano wonders if the defense and Bo Nix’s health will hold up throughout next season.
“Due to injury, Oregon pretty much put Bo Nix on a stool in the late part of the season against Utah and the Civil War game against Oregon State,” he said. They were real limited in what they could do. You can’t end up there again if you’re Oregon.”
Aside from keeping Nix healthy?
“That defense has to be better,” Canzano added.
As for Oregon State, also coming off of a 10-win season, most experts have them in the unofficial preseason rankings. Vegas set OSU’s over/under win total at 8.5.
“Oregon State’s big question begins with the quarterback position.” Canzano said, “Is it Aidan Chiles? Is it DJ Uiagalelei? Probably DJ, but Oregon State has to figure that out.”
Canzano thinks that the Beavers have questions about leadership on defense, specifically after losing a pair of team captains from last year.
“They lost Jack Colletto at linebacker and Jaydon Grant in the secondary,” he said. “How do they replace that valuable leadership?”
Listen to Canzano’s questions for Oregon and Oregon State, as well as his questions for other conference contenders USC, Utah, and Washington, at the end of the segment below. Canzano chats with Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group about the surprising resignation of USC athletic director Mike Bohn, the record financial report for the Pac-12 Conference, and Wilner gives his take on which contenders could slip this season.
Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.