Oregon Football: With USC Back, Is Ducks' Window for Success Closing?

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IJune 10, 2012

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 19: Defensive end Nick Perry #8 and linebacker Lamar Dawson #55 of the USC Trojans close in on quarterback Darron Thomas #5 of the Oregon Ducksin the third quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. USC won the game 38-35. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

If you have been stuck under a rock, or in a cave, or simply do not pick up any sports publications or watch ESPN, then maybe you may not know but USC is back. If you have been watching ESPN or reading reports online, then you are more than aware of this fact.

With their sanctions now gone, USC is eligible to play in the postseason, which means that they are going to start to eye the conference title that has resided in Eugene for the past three years. 
In the past three years, coach Chip Kelly has taken over and brought a break-neck speed to the Oregon offense, which has helped them run right past teams over these past few years. 

Now, with USC being eligible for the postseason, the Ducks will have to put their rise to the top to the test. 

Last year, USC came to Oregon and defeated the Ducks in a thriller, but the nation was deprived of a rematch in the Pac-12 title game because of the sanctions that USC was still facing. Now that the hurdle of sanctions is gone, the Ducks know that the Trojans are coming, and a meeting in the Pac-12 title game is extremely likely.

Many expect that now that the Trojans are back that they will take back over a conference that they dominated for years. With the amount of talent that comes to Southern California, the Trojans are going to be the favorites in a lot of games, but the Ducks may have an equalizer—Kelly.

Kelly has been a masterful coach who has found different ways to be his talent into space and give them a chance to use their speed to their advantage. The speed and skill that Kelly has put on the field has been more than USC can handle at times, but this year will speak volumes to Kelly''s ability.

Entering the 2012 season, Oregon is now without LaMichael James and Darron Thomas and are transitioning to Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas at running back with a quarterback to be named later. Combine that with a loaded USC team, and the Ducks will face their biggest challenge in years.

As the 2012 season comes closer and closer, fans will begin to get more excited. Fans around the nation are looking forward to the matchup between Oregon and USC in November, and many expect to see that game repeated in December. Those two games could help shape the future of the conference.