Football is a team sport—there is no denying that.
Each and every player must rely on the men next to him to make the team perform at an efficient and competitive pace. Without cohesiveness, a football team cannot succeed on the football field, no matter how good their statistics look on paper.
While team cohesion is a necessity, there is no doubting that there may be a few players on every football team who perform at a higher level game-in and game-out. These players elevate their own play and help their teams immensely in vanquishing their opponents.
The Oregon Ducks are heading into the 2012 season ranked No. 5 in the first USA Today Coaches Poll. They will be seeking to win their fourth straight Pac-10/12 Championship and have their eyes set on yet another BCS National Championship Game.
In order to accomplish this tall order, the Ducks will need to navigate a gauntlet of opponents that will be gunning for them in the Pac-12.
Though every team should be taken in the same light as all the others, there is no doubting the fact that there are always a few teams on the schedule that make fans and players "amped up" for what is to come.
The rivals that the Ducks will face this year are the Washington Huskies, the USC Trojans, the California Golden Bears, the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon State Beavers.
Here is the key player for every rivalry game the Ducks will play in.