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Oregon Football Jumps Into Top 25 in Latest 2022 SP+ Projections

The Ducks have high expectations going into year one of the Dan Lanning era, especially after an exciting spring game.

Sept. 3 is still 103 days away, so the college football season may not feel within reach. But one month removed from the Oregon spring game, preview content for the upcoming season is in full swing.

Bill Connelly of ESPN unveiled his latest SP+ rankings ahead of the 2022 season, and of the teams in his top 25, the Oregon Ducks enjoyed the biggest jump from his February rankings.

Oregon came in at 24 on Connelly's SP+ rankings, which are based on returning production, recent recruiting, and recent history. The Ducks ranked 32nd in his Feb. 9 rankings.

In terms of returning production, the Ducks took a big hit with some of their top impact players on both sides of the ball heading to the NFL or the transfer portal. Now Oregon must replace leaders in passing, receiving, rushing, sacks, and interceptions from a year ago, as well as six of their eight leading tacklers.

The returning production on the roster isn't substantial from a statistical perspective, but 2022 gives an opportunity for plenty of young players to break out and make a significant impact in a bigger role.

byron-cardwell-oregon-spring

On the flip side, few teams can compare to the job that Dan Lanning and his newly-assembled staff have done on the recruiting trail and in the transfer portal. The 2022 class finished 16th in the country, according to 247Sports, thanks to a flurry of late commitments from 5-star offensive lineman Josh Conerly Jr. and reclassified 4-star wideout Kyler Kasper, who was originally in the class of 2023.

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The Ducks also took advantage of the transfer portal, adding veterans like Auburn quarterback Bo Nix, UCLA wide receiver Chase Cota, Colorado cornerback Christian Gonzalez, Washington defensive lineman Sam Taimani, and more.

Oregon has been the king of the Pac-12 North in the past three seasons, making it to the Pac-12 Championship Game three seasons in a row, including two titles in 2019 and 2020. 

Kayvon Thibodeaux Pac-12 Championship

For further context, Connelly's SP+ rankings are not meant to project what the AP Top 25 will be in the preseason or to rank the top resumés in the sport. In Connelly's words, the rankings are "a predictive measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football."

You can see the full projections here.

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