It All Comes Down to This

At the beginning of the season there was one game everyone involved with college football circled for the Pac-12. The conference added a post-season game to determine a champion, but it's fair to say the Pac-12 champion will be decided on November 12th Stanford. This game matches two football programs that are complete polar opposites all the way from university prestige to style of play.

This game is an absolute monster of a matchup! Where can you find a team with 18 consecutive conference wins and a current ranking of #7 in the BCS as an underdog in November? This game has record setting streaks, award winning players, and over the top statistics leading up to what will actually be "The Game of the Century" making everyone forget about the field goal snooze-fest that went on last week against #1 LSU and #2 Alabama.

While the Ducks conference win streak is extremely impressive the Stanford Cardinal have an amazing one of their own, having won 17 consecutive games dating back from last season. Both teams are coming off of 12-1 seasons. Stanford took home an Orange Bowl trophy for their 2010 success and the Ducks framed their ninth conference championship trophy. The Cardinal's only loss last season was in Eugene to the Ducks. The game looked like it would be an easy win for Stanford early but the depth and speed of the Ducks wore out the Cardinal giving Oregon a 52-31 advantage. Oregon's last conference loss was two seasons ago in Palo Alto to an Andrew Luck lead Stanford team. These two program are the class of the Pac-12 and the winner of this game has to be a "shoe in" for the first ever Pac-12 Championship Game. You could go as far as to say the winner will be the Pac-12 Champion. Neither ASU nor UCLA have the caliber of team to beat either Oregon or Stanford in such a big game.

As far as offense goes this game should have some fireworks early and often. The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year will be in this game and it will either be the Stanford quarter back Andrew Luck or the Oregon running back LaMichael James. Both players are the best at their position in the conference and are absolutely electric with the football in their hands. Both players were invited to New York last season to watch Cam Newton receive a Heisman. LaMichael James likely won't get a return invite as he was held to well below his average to start the season against #1 LSU and missed a few games due to injury. Luck on the other hand is the favorite for the coveted Heisman Trophy in almost every mock poll. One thing is for sure; this game will have a higher score than 9-6 when the final whistle blows!

Ducks/Cardinal by the Numbers (National Rank)

Scoring Offense:

Oregon – 46ppg / 5th
Stanford – 48.2ppg / 3rd

Scoring Defense:
Oregon – 20.8ppg / 26th
Stanford – 16.6ppg / 11th

Oregon has the speed and depth advantage and Stanford has the size and muscle. College football is so much about quarterback play and location. The Cardinal has a clear edge at the QB spot and they will have the home crowd. There are injuries on both sides which is a part of life in November. The erratic play of Darron Thomas against the Washington schools and the weak leg of Alejandro Maldonado cause me to lean towards the Cardinal.

Stanford 38, Ducks 24

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