Former head coach Mike Bellotti on the upcoming Ducks football season


The wait is almost over! The 2021 college football season for the Oregon Ducks is just a few short days away. 

After a 2020 season that was shortened due to the COVID pandemic, there are lofty expectations for the Ducks this year. They open the season ranked No. 11 by the Associated Press, have multiple players on official watch lists and are projected to win the Pac-12 championship as voted on in the 2021 media poll. 

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And on Saturday, the world will see if the hype is real. 

For former University of Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti, he sees something special in Mario Cristobal's team. 

"I fully expect the Ducks to win the division title. And then win the conference championship," Bellotti said. "I think that they are the best team overall in the league. Now they still have to play like that."

With a stacked Pac-12, the road to lifting a trophy won't be easy for the Ducks. 

"I think USC will be tough in the south. Utah's always tough. Don't sleep on Washington. Stanford is always lurking. Cal can play some defense and they have a veteran quarterback," Bellotti explained. "So it's not going to be easy. And that's why the Pac-12 is a struggle because it is a cannibal conference in terms of they play nine elite games and that's more difficult than anybody else."


One thing that is not lacking for the Ducks is athletic talent and a world class coaching staff. A question, however, that still lingers over Autzen Stadium is how quarterback Anthony Brown will perform in his first full season for the Ducks. 

"I do think that Oregon has the talent and they have the coaching acumen. It's just keeping people healthy, making the right decisions in terms of the quarterback play. And I say that because you have to have a special guy in a quarterback, and I think Anthony Brown has the combination of experience and talent right now. It's going to be interesting to see as we go over several games." 

For Coach Bellotti, there is a challenge in store for Oregon in the opening stretch of games. 

"They will be tested early. Fresno State's a good football team, Ohio State's an excellent football team and one of the odds on favorites to be in the college football playoffs," Bellotti said. "I'm excited. I'm optimistic. I believe that Mario Cristobal has done a tremendous job recruiting both coaches and players, and this is the time to put it all together."

The Ducks kick-off their highly anticipated season this Saturday at 11a.m. PT at Autzen Stadium against the Fresno State Bulldogs.