Today the Coaches' Poll was revealed and like in many other preseason polls, Oregon checks in at No. 5. Ahead of Oregon in order is LSU, Alabama, USC and Oklahoma.
Oregon is the returning Pac-12 champion and has now won three straight titles. Coming into this season, Oregon has continued to be overlooked because of the talent that resides on the USC roster.
The role of being the underdog is something that Oregon should thrive in. Despite losing Darron Thomas and LaMichael James, the Ducks are flush with talent and depth and will likely continue to roll in Chip Kelly's spread offense.
The preseason ranking has become expected by most Duck fans but shows how this program has truly turned things around from just 10 years ago.
Coming into the 2012 season, Oregon avoids having to start off against a team like LSU and will likely make its way into November at 8-0, staring at a head-to-head matchup with USC.
Regardless of how things go this year, the ranking makes life easy on the Ducks. Should they jump out to the 8-0 that many expect, the Ducks will not have to navigate far to be towards the top of the rankings. On the other hand, if the Ducks falter they will still have the ability to climb back into the race due to their preseason ranking.
One thing is for sure, the wait that college football fans have endured is coming to an end and this first poll is a reminder that the season is right around the corner.