Oregon’s resurgence may benefit one team more than any and it’s not Georgia

USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley. (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)
USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley. (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /

Oregon’s climb back into the Top 10 is good news for Georgia, but another rival could benefit even more from the Duck’s strength: USC football.

A season-opening beatdown at the hands of Georgia set the Oregon Ducks back in 2022. They’ve spent the last six games taking steps forward after that big step back.

Now, the Ducks rank No. 8 in the latest AP poll and they are in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 title race.

That’s great news for Oregon. It’s better news for Georgia, whose victory in Week 1 looks better by the day.

However, the team with the most to gain is actually USC.

USC football is the big winner of Oregon’s resurgence

USC lost a tough road test at Utah by one point, putting a trip to the Pac-12 title game in jeopardy. Their simplest path to Las Vegas and a potential playoff berth is obviously to win out but they could also use help from their Pac-12 rivals to clear the way.

Oregon checked the first box by handing UCLA a loss when the Bruins visited Autzen. Now, USC won’t have to worry about complex tiebreakers when it comes to the Bruins. If they beat them when they meet later in the season, the Trojans will have the edge with one Pac-12 loss to two.

The Ducks can do USC another favor by knocking Utah out of the title race when they meet in mid-November. The Utes have a tiebreaker over the Trojans if both have one loss. Oregon could hand them a second and solve that issue.

In a scenario where both Oregon and USC win out, those two will represent in the Pac-12 Championship Game with a potential College Football Playoff spot on the line.

USC needs Oregon to walk into that game at 11-1 and holding a strong ranking. The Trojans’ one last chance at a regular-season ranked win would ideally come against UCLA. They will need a highly-ranked win in the Pac-12 title game to make a case for the playoff committee to consider.

So the stronger Oregon is, the better for USC…assuming they can beat them when it comes to that.

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