Oregon Football Most Likely Team To Make Big Ten Championship

Oregon Football enters the Big Ten Conference as one of the strongest teams in the nation. Will they be able to have a strong enough inaugural season to make their new league's title game?
Oregon head football coach Dan Lanning and his team address the crowd during a timeout of an Oregon basketball game.
Oregon head football coach Dan Lanning and his team address the crowd during a timeout of an Oregon basketball game. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

EUGENE - Oregon Football is entering the Big Ten Conference with the expectation of competing for a conference championship right away. The coaches expect it, the players expect it, and the fans expect it.

Now, a national media outlet is saying the Ducks are the most likely team to be in Indianapolis on Dec. 7. A recent CBS Sports story broke down the "five most likely matchups for new 18-team title race", with Oregon being featured in three of the potential matchups.

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning, center, waits to take the field with his team for their game.
Oregon head coach Dan Lanning, center, waits to take the field with his team for their game. / Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard / USA

With the expansion of the Big Ten to 18 teams in 2024,—adding Oregon, UCLA, USC, and Washington—the conference championship game will feature the top two teams in the league standings as opposed to a conventional division format it employed from 2011 until 2023. Prior to 2011, the conference champion was the team with the best record in league play, leading to a number of years with shared titles and no conference championship game.

The most likely matchup is Oregon against Ohio State in what would be a rematch of their October 12th matchup at Autzen Stadium. While this may seem obvious and too easy, the odds markets have them as the two odds-on favorites to reach the title game as well.

Not only do the two teams return a wealth of talent on both offense and defense, they have been battling it out on the recruiting trail as well. Oregon and Ohio State are not just conference championship hopefuls, but likely national championship contenders, making them easily the most likely Big Ten Championship game competitors.

Oregon head football coach Dan Lanning and his team address the crowd during a timeout of an Oregon basketball game.
Oregon head football coach Dan Lanning and his team address the crowd during a timeout of an Oregon basketball game. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

Other contenders include Michigan who is coming off a national championship of their own. The Wolverines lost Jim Harbaugh and many starters to the National Football League, but they return last year’s offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore as head coach and many NFL-capable players across the roster.

Coach Moore filled in for Jim Harbaugh in three games last year, leading Michigan to wins over Bowling Green, Penn State, and Maryland. Moore now looks to sustain what Jim Harbaugh built in Ann Arbor and figures to be a serious factor in the Big Ten conference picture this year.

Penn State represents another threat to Oregon and Ohio State’s pursuit of the conference title, having gone 88-39 in head coach James Franklin’s tenure and returning high-profile quarterback Drew Allar, along with great defensive talent.

The Big Ten is one of the deepest conferences in college football and this year’s conference title should be exciting for fans of any team.

Oregon Green Team offensive linebacker Teitum Tuioti breaks up a pass intended for White Team tight end Terrance Ferguson.
Oregon Green Team offensive linebacker Teitum Tuioti breaks up a pass intended for White Team tight end Terrance Ferguson. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

Odds update periodically and are subject to change.

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Linden Hile

LINDEN HILE