Washington State has cruised through the first four predictions, winning each poll by a wide margin. That will likely change with this post as Oregon poses WSU's toughest test of the season. Despite losing a lot of talent, the Ducks are still going to be very good in 2012.
2011 record: 12-2
2011 S&P+ rating: 266.2 (WSU 175.3)
2011 road record: 4-0
Returning starters: 11
Athlon Sports preseason ranking: 4 (WSU 51)
Phil Steele power rating: 145.37 (WSU 123.32)
All-time record vs. WSU: 43-33-6
Last meeting: Oregon 43 vs. WSU 28 (2011)
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The schedule is perfect for breaking in a new backfield, and both the defense and special teams should be stellar once again. The pieces of the machine are in place, and if Chip Kelly can continue to put a product of this high caliber on the field, he will almost certainly reap the benefits one of these years. Will that year be 2012? There are just enough question marks to figure it won't, but a team's schedule doesn't get more favorable than this.
When Bill Moos announced Mike Leach as new head coach, a lot of folks around the country circled this game on the calendar. Mike Leach vs. Chip Kelly is the offensive fan's dream. However, this is going to be a very tough game for WSU to win. Even if you go out on a limb and predict the two offenses to be even, Oregon holds a pretty substantial advantage on defense and special teams.