In his 2022 college football preview magazine, longtime CFB analyst Phil Steele has the Oregon Ducks ranked 10th in his preseason top 40.

Under first-time head coach Dan Lanning, Oregon will open the season in Atlanta against the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs—Lanning’s old stomping grounds. But after that, Steele writes that Oregon could be favored in all nine of its Pac-12 league games. Here’s what he had to say on the Ducks:

“Oregon led the Pac-12 in recruiting almost every year and this is another roster loaded with depth and (very highly touted recruits). Dan Lanning brought in another solid class and some key transfers. This is not only a talent pick but a schedule pick. The knock on Bo Nix was he could not win on the road but he solved that last year and the Ducks’ toughest games this year are all at home, with the exception of Georgia. They should be favored in all nine Pac-12 games.” 

Steele describes his preseason top 40 as a reflection of talent, strength of schedule, and how each team should finish the season. He lists a host of years in which he was higher on certain teams than other preseason publications and ended up hitting the nail squarely on the head—highest on LSU in 2003, highest on Florida in 2008, highest on Florida State in 2013, etc.

The Ducks have pretty consistently come up in the teens for way-too-early top-25s, but a top-10 ranking is certainly a high-water mark from what we’ve seen published.

Oregon has plenty of talent, specifically up front and on defense. In Steele’s nationwide unit rankings, he writes the Ducks have a top-25 wideout group, offensive line, linebacking corps, and secondary.