The media has spoken. USC was picked to win the Pac-12 Conference in 2012. With Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee (and now throw in Silas Redd) heading up one of the most potent offenses in the country, it's easy to see why this is considered a safe pick. After defeating their cross-town rivals, in blowout fashion at the end of 2011, USC got to sit back and watch as the 6-6 UCLA Bruins limped into Autzen Stadium to compete against the Oregon Ducks, a team that USC had beaten earlier in the year, for the inaugural Pac-12 Championship.
What does it mean? The Trojans are hungry for redemption.
Oregon, by contrast, is in the middle of a golden age. 3 straight BCS appearances, a victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl and 3 straight conference championships. The Ducks are reloading and might even be getting stronger, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
November 3rd looms large for both teams but the real matchup may come later in the season in the actual Pac-12 Championship game. You have to go all the way back to the Pacific Coast Conference days to find a team that has won more than 3 straight, outright conference tiles and that was Andy Smith's California squad from 1920-23. The deck appears stacked against Oregon for repeating in 2012 which means we are forced to ask this Fact or Fiction question...