TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24: Quarterback Darron Thomas #5 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates with fans after defeating the Arizona Wildcats in the college football game at Arizona Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. The Ducks defeated the Wildcats 56-31. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Pac-12 Football Picks: Oregon Ducks And Washington Huskies Season Projections

The Oregon Ducks may not be the Pac-12 favorites anymore, but they should at least cover their seasonal spread.

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Washington Football 2012: Josh Perkins, Willis Wilson Dismissed From Huskies For Rules Violations

Two players have been dismissed from the Washington Huskies football team after violating team rules.

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College Football Rankings: Oregon Ducks Ranked No. 4 By Sports Illustrated

Lost in all the hubbub concerning the USC Trojans in the Pac-12? The Oregon Ducks are back and as strong as ever, and they're expected to be right there to challenge USC for the conference crown. Oregon might have lost starting quarterback Darron Thomas and starting running back LaMichael James, but Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas return in the backfield to provide a solid offensive support system, and the Ducks have a pair of solid QB options in Marcus Mariota and Bryan Bennett.

Additionally, Oregon may have the most underrated defense in the conference, a group capable of making it difficult for even the best Pac-12 offenses to score. And while head coach Chip Kelly is there, Oregon will continue to receive the respect afforded the nation's powerhouses, which is why they're ranked No. 4 in the country in Sports Illustrated's 2012 Preseason Top 25 list.

Here's what Sports Illustrated's George Schreoder had to say about the 2012 Ducks:

Oregon has much of its nucleus from 2011 intact. The defense, the strength of which is a veteran linebacking corps, could be the most effective that the Ducks have fielded in recent years. Though the exciting Darron Thomas and LaMichael James are gone, the offense features an experienced line anchored by redshirt sophomore center Hroniss Grasu as well as playmakers in running backs Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas (who will also continue to play receiver).

You can read SI's full Oregon preview here.

For more on Oregon football, head on over to Addicted to Quack. For more on all things NCAA football, check out SB Nation's college football hub.

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Pac-12 Football Projections: Washington State Picked To Win Under 5.5 Games

The Washington State Cougars have a lot of hype going into this season. Head coach Mike Leach is definitely the hottest hire of this off-season and gives the Cougars someone that makes their team exciting to watch as 2012 approaches. WSU isn't going to be a national championship contender this season, but they should be exciting enough to watch in every game they play.

However, are they good enough to become bowl eligible for the first time in nearly a decade? That might be a tall order, and the odds that are given probably aren't good enough to bet on. Bud Elliott of SB Nation filed this report on his latest projections regarding this season, and they don't have the Cougars doing all that well.

Washington State Under 5.5 Wins (-160), 5Dimes: If I could bet against the hype of Mike Leach taking Washington State to a bowl in his first season with the Cougars, I would. But not at (-160). This might be a play at -130. Mike Leach's presence has not resulted in any major talent upgrades on defense.

Washington State definitely will have an exciting pass attack this year, but there are a lot of other questions on their offensive line, their defense and overall talent level compared to the rest of the conference.

For more on the Washington State Cougars, join the discussion over at CougCenter. You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation's college football hub.

Check out the SB Nation college football YouTube channel and see if you'd be willing to subscribe to the videos.

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Pac-12 Football Picks: Washington Predicted To Win Less Than 7.5 Games

The Washington Huskies are predicted to win less than seven or eight games because of their tough schedule and lack of quality depth.

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Oregon Football: Ducks Predicted To Win 10.5 Games

The Oregon Ducks may not be the Pac-12 favorites anymore, but they should at least cover their seasonal spread.

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