How Does the USA Today Preseason Poll Alter Oregon's BCS Path?

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How Does the USA Today Preseason Poll Alter Oregon's BCS Path?
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Oregon Ducks are entering the 2012 season as Pac-12 and Rose Bowl Champions.

After two seasons that saw them come up just short of their BCS dreams, the Ducks have finally reached new heights and ascended into the ranks of college football powerhouses.

While LaMichael James and Darron Thomas as well as a bevy of other talented players have headed past college life, a core group of talented players along with a surplus of incoming talent will look to lead the Oregon charge down the field in 2012 as they campaign for their fourth straight conference title and BCS bowl appearance.

Yet, many Duck fans have higher hopes than just an appearance in any BCS bowl game; they want a shot at the big one again. 

Ranked No. 5 behind LSU, Alabama, USC, and Oklahoma in the first USA Today coaches' poll, it would appear as though the Ducks have a legitimate shot at a BCS National Championship appearance should things go their way this season.

Also appearing in the first poll from the Pac-12 are USC and Stanford, with Washington being on the brink of the top 25. 

Here are five things that Oregon can take out of the first preseason poll of the season.

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