Oregon drops out of the top 10 in ESPN's post-spring college football Top 25
Oregon moved down in ESPN’s post-spring update of its way-too-early Top 25. And not just that, but it moved outside of the top 10 entirely.
The Ducks were sitting ninth when Mark Schlabach put together his first way-too-early ranking back on Jan. 9. In the first update since then, Schlabach moved Oregon down to 15th. Clemson and Texas jumped into the top 10, taking the last two spots and the places of Oregon and Tennessee.
Here’s what Schlabach had to say on Oregon’s post-spring outlook:
There has been quite a bit of turnover in Eugene, Oregon, since the Ducks defeated North Carolina 28-27 in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl to finish 10-3 in coach Dan Lanning’s first season. Quarterback Bo Nix has yet another offensive coordinator after UTSA’s Will Stein was hired to replace Kenny Dillingham, who was named Arizona State’s head coach. Nix had a couple of new targets in the spring: Traeshon Holden (Alabama) and Tez Johnson (Troy). Four starters on the offensive line departed; new center Jackson Powers-Johnson had a good spring. Lanning believes his team will be more physical this season. South Carolina transfer Jordan Burch should help improve the pass rush. Oregon had just 18 sacks in 13 games in 2022, the program’s fewest since 1986. Transfers Tysheem Johnson (Ole Miss), Khyree Jackson (Alabama) and Evan Williams (Fresno State) seem ready to contribute in the secondary.
Oregon had already hired Stein by the time Schlabach’s initial ranking came out. The offensive line departures were well-documented at that point as well.
Since, Oregon added enough to its 2023 signing class at the February signing day that the group jumped into the top 10 nationally. The Ducks also earned transfer commitments from Burch, Johnson, and Williams — all of whom are expected to compete for starting roles in fall camp. The Ducks lost some depth to the transfer portal, but Keith Brown seemed to be the only departure who was looking at a significant role in 2023.
The move down in ESPN’s way-too-early ranking ultimately means absolutely nothing, but it does perhaps serve as an indicator of the way the Ducks will be perceived by the media as we get closer to the preseason.
Texas is always given the benefit of the doubt. After landing TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, Clemson will be viewed as a resurgent group. The rest of Schlabach’s updated top 10 are the big brand names — Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, USC, Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, and Penn State (in that order).
No real surprises.
Perhaps preseason voters will want to see it from coach Dan Lanning before giving the Ducks another big preseason ranking. Oregon entered last season at No. 11, then fell out of the ranking entirely after Week 1.
The 2023 schedule gives Lanning more of an opportunity to get off to a better start — with a home game against Portland State in Week 1 and then Texas Tech as the marquee non-conference foe in Week 2.