ESPN’s college football guru Bill Connelly recently tiered the sport’s national title contenders.

Who needs only one or two things to break right? Who needs three or four? Who has title odds, but needs several bounces of the proverbial ball to go their way? Oregon, currently +9000 to win the national championship over at DraftKings, falls into the “5 Ifs” category of teams (alongside USC, if you were wondering).

Two of those ifs are on the offensive side of the football. Connelly questions if Bo Nix can turn it up and if the young crop of skill talent on the roster can start living up to their potential. New offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham has plenty to work with in terms of blue-chip talent, but there’s much to still prove after Mario Cristobal’s slow-churn approach put a speed limit on the offense.

The other three ifs are on the defensive side of the football. Connelly asks if the new cornerbacks who will replace Mykael Wright and DJ James—who he called “excellent starters”—can play to the same level as their predecessors. He asks if the tackling can improve. And he asks if the talent in the front seven can add up to the sum of its parts.

Last year’s defensive front was loaded with playmakers (ends Kayvon Thibodeaux and Brandon Dorlus, tackle Popo Aumavae, linebacker Noah Sewell) but ranked a ghastly 90th in rushing success rate allowed and 113th in sack rate. Serious improvement is needed, and without Thibodeaux.

Enter Dan Lanning, who just crafted a national title-winner defense at Georgia. The first-year head coach plucked Tosh Lupoi—a national champion himself at Alabama—from the NFL to help him construct a champion in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon is loaded with talent on defense, and Lanning will look to elevate the bar after the team was run over in its most important games at the end of the season last year.

“We’re not chasing anybody,” Lanning told reporters at Pac-12 Media Day this past weekend. “We’re trying to maximize ourselves. We’re going to be the best team we can possibly be in the year 2022. Our goal is to win every single game. That’s our goal. We have the team and the ability to do it.”