Now that the Pac-10 is done expanding (for now), it's time to consider how this affects the rest of the teams. Specifically, the Oregon Ducks.
How do the Ducks prosper from the new expansion?
Well consider how the layout of the new Pac will most likely look:
In the North, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, and Stanford.
In the South, Utah, Colorado, UCLA, USC, Arizona, and Arizona State.
According to sources, playing in a south division was a requirement for Colorado to join the Pac. This is due to the large amount of alumni coming from California, and thus they didn't want to be stuck in a division isolated from that.
While both divisions are fairly equal, in my opinion Oregon is in the weaker division...at least for now. They get both of their rivals, Washington State, and two California teams, which is important as far as recruiting is concerned.
Washington State, obviously, is a pushover. Washington and Oregon State always provide a challenge, but recently Oregon has held the upper hand. Cal and Stanford are wild cards.
Stanford used to be the counted on bottom-dweller of the Pac, but recently picked up thanks to Toby Gerhart. Now that he's gone, it's definitely a huge question as to whether or not the Cardinals will return to bottom-dwelling.
Cal is always a middle/bottom Pac team, and hasn't ever posed a threat to winning the Pac since 2006, and before that 1975. However, they always seem to give the Ducks a hard time.
In my honest opinion, the winner of the North division will come down to the Civil War most years. And since Oregon leads that series, I like those chances.
Oregon has a much better chance of winning the Pac now that there are 12 teams. The two California teams they got are the two worst, and then there's Washington State, whose football is a joke. Washington and Oregon State is the only real competition.
Granted, Stanford does have their moments. Those victories against Oregon and USC last year were fantastic. But in the long run, they aren't a very strong team.
Stanford has only been to three bowl games this decade, and lost all three. They haven't won the Pac-10 since 1998.
The Golden Bears, as mentioned, won the Pac-10 in 1975. They were on a real bad streak between 1975 and 2006, when they tied USC for the title. This decade hasn't been so bad in bowl games, as they've gone 5-2.
Only in 2000 and 2001 under Tom Holmoe, and then Jeff Tedford's first year in 2002 did the Golden Bears not see a bowl game.
Over the past decade, all together, the Ducks are 31-16 against the other north teams, with their toughest opposition coming from OSU (5-5) and Cal (5-4). Those numbers are mighty pretty from a Duck fan's point of view.
Comparing that to the rest of the conference, the only team with a better record against the rest of the North teams is Oregon State, who's 33-15. This is largely due to their success against Cal...other than that, we're about even with them, and have a better record than the Beavs.
I think Oregon will be seeing the Pac-12 Championship Game in many years to come.