ESPN.com Insider Travis Haney has picked a handful of teams he sees on the rise and on the fall this offseason, and he's picked two in the Pac-12.
In different categories.
He sees Stanford rising. And Oregon falling.
No, go on, Ducks. I'll wait. Let it all out.
Haney's basis for Oregon being at a questionable juncture is sound: The departure of coach Chip Kelly to the Philadelphia Eagles, which he notes "feels larger than a simple job switch."
Oregon was very close to joining college football's elite class of perennial title contenders, if it wasn't there already, and Kelly leaving makes you wonder what the future will look like. That's the case even if, with offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich's promotion, the infrastructure and philosophies will remain similar, if not the same.
As for Stanford, he sees the Cardinal as capable to fill the void left by the falling Ducks. He writes, "Stanford, playing a different style entirely, is closing quickly as the class of Pac-12 North."
Both teams are national title contenders in 2013. While Stanford won at Oregon last year, it was Oregon that finished ranked No. 2 in the country behind Alabama after a dominant performance against Big 12 champion Kansas State.
Just more reason to be excited about Nov. 7, potentially the greatest Thursday night matchup in the history of Thursday night matchups.