Oregon loses five starters from the Rose Bowl lineup, including record-setting junior running back LaMichael James to the NFL, and four starters on defense. But with so many experienced upperclassmen back, including quarterback Darron Thomas for his senior season, the 2012 campaign has long seemed Oregon’s next realistic chance at a national-title run, the way 2007 once was.
“We’ve taken the next step,” Asper said. “The program’s just going to keep taking off.”
• The R-G also has a position by position outlook for the football team in 2012.
• Jared Sawyer @ FishDuck.com takes a look back at LaMichael's record setting career.
• Brian Libby @ FishDuck.com looks at the 85 scholarship era and Oregon's rise to power. Brian's article starts like this:
In college football, the modern era is generally considered to have begun after World War II ended. But it was actually in 1994 that the game solidified around the NCAA’s 85-scholarship limit. Isn’t a game only relevant so long as there is a reasonably level playing field? And as Oregon fans know, it is precisely that year, ’94, in which the program was transformed.