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Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Schedule analysis: Oregon

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

We'll be reviewing each Pac-12 team's schedule, starting with the North Division.

Up next: Oregon

Breakdown: seven home (five conference games), four road (four conference game) , one neutral (vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium)

Nonconference opponents (with 2010 records)

Sept. 3 LSU (11-2)
Sept. 10 Nevada (13-1)
Sept. 17 Missouri State (5-6)

North Division games

Oct. 6 California
Oct. 29 Washington State
Nov. 5 at Washington
Nov. 12 at Stanford
Nov. 26 Oregon State

Crossover games

Sept. 24 at Arizona
Oct. 15 Arizona State
Oct. 22 at Colorado
Nov. 19 USC

Conference misses

Utah
UCLA

Key stretch: The Ducks visit Washington and Stanford on back-to-back November weekends. The Huskies are bitter rivals and the Cardinal are the Ducks' chief competition -- from our preseason perspective -- for the division championship. The visit to Seattle could set up for a proverbial "looking ahead" game, but the hate Oregon fans have for Washington might prevent that.

Trap game: When you're a national title contender (read: eyeballing a perfect regular season), every game looks like a trap. My first reaction was USC's visit after the Stanford game, but you'd think the Ducks would be pretty goosed for a home night game on ABC after playing three road games over the four previous weeks. So let's go early-season: Sept. 24 at Arizona. Oregon might be ranked No. 1 in the nation when it heads to Tucson -- if it beats LSU to open the season -- so the 'Zona Zoo will be jumping. The last time the Ducks visited, they won a double-overtime thriller 44-41.

Sure thing: Oregon is going to beat Missouri State. You heard that here first.

Analysis: This is a favorable schedule, starting with seven home games, five of them conference games. The LSU matchup is what it is: A major test on a big stage in Cowboys Stadium. It's the sort of game a national title contender wins. It will, however, feel like a road game because Tigers fans are expected to overflow the stadium. Of course, losing wouldn't ruin Oregon's Pac-12 hopes, which is where the home schedule comes in handy. Nevada won't be the same team without quarterback Colin Kaepernick. A bye on Oct. 1 might feel a bit early as the season gets deep into November. The Ducks are on the road for three of four weeks from Oct. 22 to Nov. 12, when they play the conference game of the year at Stanford. The Civil War is in Autzen Stadium.

Other Pac-12 teams schedule analysis.