Oregon Ducks Football: Power Ranking Toughest Games Remaining on Schedule

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2012

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 08:  Kenjon Barner #24 of University of Oregon Ducks runs the ball for a touchdown in second half action against Fresno State Bulldogs at Autzen Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Kevin Casey/Getty Images)
Kevin Casey/Getty Images

It does not matter which players are on the field, Oregon has remained one of the top programs in the nation over the past few years. Still, there are a few tough games that could prevent the Ducks from having a perfect season.

Through two games, the Ducks look as good as ever. They have scored 99 points, and the rushing duo of Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas could be one of the best in the nation.

This high-powered offense should help them cruise through most contests this season. However, the following games could cause some trouble on the path to a BCS title game.


5. Home vs. Arizona, September 22

This will be the first real test of the 2012 season. Arizona surprised many by dominating Oklahoma State last weekend, showing it can score with anyone in the country in a 59-38 win. However, this will be the first road game for the Wildcats of the season and they could struggle in Eugene.

The team is still learning the system of head coach Rich Rodriguez and will likely be better towards the end of the season and next year. Oregon is fortunate to be able to get them early.


4. Home vs. Stanford, November 17

Stanford is a ranked team at this point in the year, but is in the midst of a rebuilding project after losing Heisman finalist Andrew Luck and others. The Ducks have also been very comfortable playing at Autzen Stadium over the years, and the squad should be able to take care of business.


3. At Arizona State, October 18

The first road game of the year is against Washington State, but this will be a much tougher atmosphere for freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota. It is a Thursday night game on national television, which always gets the student section riled up.

This game will give the coaching staff a chance to truly see what they have in their quarterback of the future and whether he can compose himself in a hostile environment.


2. At Oregon State, November 24

The Ducks have got the better of their rivals in the past few years, but the Civil War game is always intense. Oregon State also proved with this week's win over Wisconsin that it can beat any team in Corvallis. 

You better be certain that if Oregon is still undefeated by the last week of the regular season, the Beavers will do anything in their power to knock the Ducks out of the BCS picture.


1. At USC, November 3

This is the game that was probably circled by every player on the roster when the schedule came out. USC was the preseason No. 1 team in the country because of future NFL players like Matt Barkley and Marqise Lee, but Oregon's offense can be just as good.

The Ducks would also love to avenge last season's 38-35 home loss to USC that removed them from national title contention. Even if Oregon loses games earlier in the year, this matchup will still be the highlight of the season.

Including the Pac-12 Championship Game, this group  of players will likely have to defeat USC twice to be eligible for the BCS title. Having said that, they have the talent to be up for the task. The only question is if they can stay consistent and get it done.