ESPN gives prediction for Oregon in 2022 — including three Pac-12 losses
ESPN has Oregon losing three conference games in the upcoming season and missing out on the Pac-12 championship game.
The Worldwide Leader published a mega-preview Friday with predictions for every major conference from Mark Schlabach. He has Oregon going 8-4 in coach Dan Lanning’s first year at the helm, including 6-3 in conference play.
It’s unclear what the third conference game is Schlabach has the Ducks losing, but he writes that it’ll rebound from a 2-2 start —with a loss to Washington State in Pullman on Sept. 24 — and then lose to California in late October. Schlabach has that loss as the upset of the year in the Pac-12.
Schlabach has Utah and USC both going 10-2, 7-2 in Pac-12 play, and meeting for the conference title. He has Utah repeating as the league’s champion.
He does like Oregon, though.
Linebacker Noah Sewell is labeled as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. And he writes that Lanning will assert himself as the “best first-year coach.”
Lanning helped Georgia end its 41-year national title drought as its defensive coordinator. He’s a first-time head coach, and the Ducks will have some early hiccups against the Bulldogs in Atlanta on Sept. 3 and at Washington State three weeks later. After a 2-2 start, the Ducks will get it rolling to finish 8-4. Auburn transfer Bo Nix is going to send Oregon fans on another roller-coaster ride, but Oregon’s defense and its veteran and talented offensive line will carry the load.
USC quarterback Caleb Williams is the pick to earn Offensive Player of the Year, while Utah’s Kyle Whittington is the league’s Coach of the Year, Utah linebacker Landen Barton the league’s Freshman of the Year, and USC wideout Jordan Addison the best transfer.
The 11th-ranked Ducks begin the season next Saturday in Atlanta against No. 3 Georgia, with kickoff scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PT on ABC.