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Friday, July 6, 2012
Poll: Oregon versus the North

By Kevin Gemmell

Yesterday we looked at a pair of impact games in each of the Pac-12's divisions. We went with USC at Utah in the South and Stanford at Washington in the North.

As I mentioned in the North post, picking the impact game for that division was a tough call because there are really three teams chasing Oregon -- maybe four depending on how quickly things come together at Washington State. The Cougars are still probably a notch below Washington, Cal and Stanford, but there is potential there for them to climb the power rankings quickly.

While I still think Stanford at Washington is the impact game in the North, it got me wondering which of Oregon's games within the division is the most intriguing. And therein lies today's poll question. You don't have to answer right away. Sleep on it. Take the weekend to mull it over. Have a Friday afternoon beverage and really, really think about it. All sarcasm aside, I think each matchup presents its own interesting and unique draw.

Here are your options:

Oregon at Washington State on Sept. 29: This one could get interesting. This is Mike Leach's first divisional game and he's probably not going to tip too much of his hand in the first four games. Washington State's greatest asset (other than Jeff Tuel and Marquess Wilson) is the power of the unknown which makes this game intriguing.

Washington at Oregon on Oct. 6: Teams that try to play methodical, slow-down ball against the Ducks usually fail. Washington has shown that it has the potential to be explosive. We know about the recent history of the rivalry (I'll leave it to you to drum it up in the comments section), but do the Huskies have enough to keep up this year?

Oregon at Cal on Nov. 10: If this game were at Autzen, it probably wouldn't even make the poll. The Ducks have crushed Cal the last two times they've hosted them. But because it's at Memorial Stadium, there's just enough recent film to question if the Bears and their tough defense can pull off the upset.

Stanford at Oregon on Nov. 17: The Cardinal couldn't get it done at home last year with Andrew Luck running the show. They were under the spotlight and they turned the ball over, had drops and missed tackles. Henry Heimlich couldn't have saved them. Now they go on the road with a first-year starter. Does this game even come close to matching last year's hype?

Oregon at Oregon State on Nov. 24: Regardless of the records, does this one still carry more weight than every other game?

Have a great weekend.