The Associated Press accidentally sent a dummy story through the wire reporting that UCLA beat Oregon last Saturday, Aug 25th in the opening week of college football, as reported by Deadspin (h/t Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports).
Not only did that never happen, but the football season had not even started yet!
The erroneous AP release reported that UCLA quarterback "Bob Jones threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner with 10 seconds left, as UCLA stunned Oregon 21-20 on Saturday night."
But is this mistake actually a foreboding of a change of power in the Pac-12?
The recent recruiting results for the last two years would say yes. But why?
One possible reason for Oregon losing their grip on Pac-12 recruiting is that the threat of sanctions against the Ducks is still looming.
Most Duck fans will tell you that Oregon has not received a Notice of Allegations yet, so any penalty talk is premature. Funny, that is what USC Trojan fans said before their sanctions came.
Another possible reason for the Ducks going south in recruiting is that Chip Kelly may jump to the NFL. He did consider the possibility last year, although both sides downplayed the whole affair.
Pete Carroll may have done the same (flirting with an NFL job), before actually jumping a year later. Once NFL rumors go out, there usually is the eventual jump—it just might take a year or two.
Perhaps there are other reasons Oregon may surrender their top spot in the Pac-12 to UCLA, such as a relatively isolated campus, lack of tradition (compared to the Bruins), not much to do in all of Oregon as compared to the small city of Westwood, smaller (relatively) post-graduate network, and best of all (or worst of all for the Ducks), the weather.
The bottom line is that UCLA will have a higher-ranked recruiting class than Oregon for the second year in a row according to Scout.com.
Most coaches will tell you that to be powerful in college football you have to have the top recruits.
Right now, UCLA is out-recruiting Oregon by a very large margin. UCLA seems to be Mora better.
Oregon has as many recruits as they did last year at this point, however, this year recruits committed a lot earlier (perhaps due to USC's sanctions).
There are only a dozen or so top prospects left in the west for all twelve teams to compete for, and most of those DO NOT have Oregon at the top of the list - but many DO have UCLA.
That will only increase UCLA's lead over Oregon an may lead to a shift in Pac-12 power.
Goodbye Oregon. Hello UCLA.
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