College Football Top 25: Oregon or USC, Which Pac-12 Powerhouse Ranks Higher?

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College Football Top 25: Oregon or USC, Which Pac-12 Powerhouse Ranks Higher?
Harry How/Getty Images

The new Pac-12 conference arrives this summer amidst lots of fanfare and ceremony.  New teams arrive and many changes are to occur that will make this conference unlike its 10-team ancestor.

A few things will be the same as ever, though.  The University of Southern California and the University of Oregon will return as the top dogs, the league's late kickoffs will lead to underexposure and UCLA will remain the doormat.  

We could talk at length about all of those topics, but focusing in on the USC-Oregon battle for supremacy is the most significant and compelling.  

Oregon is coming off a run to the BCS Championship game where the Ducks lost their undefeated season to Auburn. They return with a strong contingent of starters, including their most important skill players.  

USC is embroiled in an appeal of their NCAA sanctions that were harshly handed down last summer. They have an elite group of recruits and tons of talent left on the roster, which has been trimmed by the scholarship restrictions.  USC is being squeezed by its lack of depth and desperately needs its penalty to be reduced in order to have a chance at regaining supremacy in 2011.

So which perennial Pac-12 power is better in the conference's inaugural season? Here's how they stack up at each position heading into summer workouts.  

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