Commentary

Summer Stock: Oregon

If Ducks can get past LSU in Week 1, they could again be in national title discussion

Originally Published: May 23, 2011
By Jeff Dooley | ESPN Insider
JamesJayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireLaMichael James is back this year at running back for Oregon.

This article is part of our Summer Stock series, a three-week look at the programs generating the most buzz coming out of spring practice.

Oregon Ducks

In 2010, the Oregon Ducks came very close to perfection. A last-second field goal from a team that featured a Heisman winner and future No. 1 overall NFL draft pick at quarterback was all that separated the Ducks from an undefeated season and a BCS championship.

Take a deeper look at Oregon's stat line, however, and you might come away even more impressed. The Ducks led the rankings of our Eliminator model the entire season, and did so with incredible production in nearly all of the statistical categories that correlate strongly to success in college football.

While this is a testament to just how dominant Chip Kelly's team was last season, there is also a sobering truth that comes with it: The departure of many of Oregon's most significant contributors to last season's production will make returning to the BCS title game a challenge for the Ducks.