There is no doubt that the Oregon Ducks are the favorites to win the Pac-12 in 2011. They took the Pac-10 down in 2010, and return most of their weapons on offense.
The Ducks return Heisman Trophy hopefuls Darron Thomas and LaMichael James, and anything short of a national title would be seen as a failure for the Ducks.
James finished last season with 1,731 yards on the ground and 21 TDs. He also added 17 receptions for 208 yards, three for touchdowns.
Thomas threw for 2,881 yards, 30 TDs and only nine INTs. Thomas also rushed for 486 yards and five touchdowns.
The Bears actually were the closest team in the Pac-10 to defeating the Ducks. In week 10, the Bears nearly beat the Ducks, 15-13, while at home.
With the Bears having four easier games to start off 2011, they could have a golden opportunity to make a mark on the Pac-12 in 2011.