Inside the Pac-12

March 16, 2010 3:00 AM

Ducks Will Not Be Defending Champions In 2010

Oregon coach Chip Kelly made the decision to suspend star QB Jeremiah Masoli for the entire 2010 season after Masoli pleaded to second-degree burglary. Masoli just came off a magical season when his Ducks became the first Pac Ten team other than USC to finish first in the conference in a long time. Heading into the 2010 season Oregon would have been the Pac Ten favorites and could have competed for a National Championship. Now Masoli is gone for the year and RB LaMichael James will be suspended for the season opener.

Good QB play is a must for any team that plans to win their conference. The QB that replaces Masoli will not be on the same level as Jake Locker, Matt Barkley and Andrew Luck. The Ducks will be at a great disadvantage at the QB position when conference play begins. On September 11th the Ducks have to travel to Tennessee. With Masoli behind center Oregon would have had a great chance to beat the Vols on the road. Chip Kelly will have to find a QB on his roster that is talented enough to keep his team in contention for a BCS Bowl and it will not be easy to replace a QB that was expected to contend for the Heisman. The door is now open for USC and Washington to earn a Rose Bowl berth in 2010.

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