Oregon, USC battling off field, too
October, 31, 2012
By Brandon P. Oliver | ESPN.com
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSPlacer (Auburn, Calif.) defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes were pursued by Oregon and USC before pledging to the Trojans.With Oregon and USC being the only two teams to win outright Pac-10 or Pac-12 conference titles since 1999, it would seem likely the two have enjoyed the most recruiting success over the same period. If recruit class rankings are the way to judge them, USC is clearly the head of the class. If it's success on the field in comparison to a program's recruit class rankings, Oregon is among the best programs in the country at developing talent.
The Trojans will almost assuredly have the most talent on paper every year due to their tradition, success and -- perhaps most important -- their location. USC can usually name who it wants in each recruiting class, especially in Southern California. The Ducks, meanwhile, have little-to-no recruiting base and have built their program on finding so-called diamonds in the rough. Oregon has stepped its game up on the recruiting trail in recent years but still sits behind the Trojans and others in terms of recruiting prowess.
Recruit rankings are not an exact science, and the only thing guaranteed with recruiting is that nothing is guaranteed. While the Ducks have taken on some heavyweights for blue-chip prospects in recent years, there have only been a few cases in which the Ducks actually beat the Trojans for a recruit's signature. The promising thing for Oregon fans is that in each of the past two years, the Ducks have swooped in and nabbed the state of California's top recruit -- each of whom were committed to USC for nearly a year -- right out from under the Trojans.
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