The 2019 Oregon Ducks season just ended with an exciting victory in the 106th Rose Bowl, but it's never too early to look ahead to next season.
Thursday afternoon, the Pac-12 announced the conference schedule for all teams.
Here's an overview of Oregon's opponents in 2020-2021.
All three of Oregon's non-conference games will be at home this season, meaning they won't play away from Autzen Stadium until conference play which is a huge advantage. Let's look at each opponent.
vs. North Dakota State (September 5, 2020)
In the season opener, the Ducks will host FCS juggernaut North Dakota State. The Bison have won eight of the last nine FCS championships. Despite losing their head coach, North Dakota State went 16-0 this season to maintain a first overall ranking in FCS. They also have a history of upsetting FBS schools with six total victories last decade: Kansas (2010), Minnesota (2011), Colorado State (2012), Kansas State (2013), Iowa State (2014), and No. 13 Iowa (2016). The Ducks will have the talent advantage but cannot overlook the Bison, especially with a big opponent looming the following week.
vs. Ohio State (September 12, 2020)
A game ten years in the making. No, seriously this home-and-home series was scheduled in 2010 after the two teams played in the 2010 Rose Bowl, which Ohio State won 26-17.
Now ten years later, Ohio State will travel to Autzen Stadium with an expected preseason ranking of No. 1 or No. 2, while Oregon will want to prove on the national stage they belong in the top tier of college football. The Buckeyes will return Heisman finalist quarterback Justin Fields who will be hungry to return to the college football playoff after a heartbreaking loss to Clemson this past season. Ohio State will be the first big test for whichever quarterback replaces Justin Herbert.
vs. Hawaii (September 19, 2020)
After hosting the Buckeyes, Oregon will play the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors from the Mountain West Conference. Hawai'i did defeat two Pac-12 teams this past season, Oregon State and Arizona, but both of those games were on their home turf and just lost their coach. The Ducks should blow them out in Autzen Stadium.
at Colorado (September 26, 2020)
Following a 45-3 stomping this past season, the Buffaloes will look for revenge on their home turf. This will be head coach Mel Tucker's second season at Colorado and will aspire to improve on their 5-7 record.
vs. Washington (October 3rd, 2020)
Besides Ohio State, this game should be the game of the year for Oregon. Cristobal and the Ducks have won the last two games of the series against their largest rival, but the Huskies will be sporting a new offensive system in head coach Jimmy Lake's first season. It'll be Oregon's first look at a new-look Washington program that has said it'll be much more aggressive when it comes to recruiting. With USC sinking, Washington and Oregon will compete to be the premier destination on the West Coast, and this game could help swing that battle. This will also be the first visit from Washington since CJ Verdell's walk-off halfback dive in overtime.
Washington will also be coming off a bye and opening their Pac-12 schedule with this game.
at California (October 17th, 2020)
Under head coach Justin Wilcox, Cal will always have a fundamentally sound defense that makes it hard on opposing offenses. Last season, the Golden Bears shut out Oregon in the first half to lead 7-0 despite their starting quarterback, Chase Garbers, missing the game. Garbers will be back next season and if he can stay healthy, the Ducks are in for a fight. In the seven games Garbers started and finished this past season, Cal went 7-0.
vs. Stanford (October 24th, 2020)
Next year's Stanford team will look a lot different than this past season as 14 different Cardinals have entered the transfer portal, including starting quarterback KJ Costello. If David Shaw can get some of those players to return this could be a trap game but the Ducks should take care of business despite Stanford always being dangerous.
at Arizona (October 31st, 2020)
The Ducks will travel to Tucson, Arizona to play the Wildcats which has always been a house of horrors for them, so it's fitting they'll play them on Halloween. Their last victory in Tucson was a 56-31 victory back in 2011 when the Ducks won the conference and went to the Rose Bowl. Since then, they have lost 42-13 in 2013 and 44-14 in 2018. Both losses had Arizona unranked and Oregon nationally ranked, and the latter loss came in head coach Mario Cristobal's first season.
vs. USC (November 7th, 2020)
USC will return to Autzen Stadium for the first time since 2015 when a Vernon Adams Jr.-led Oregon defeated USC 48-28. The Trojans shocked everyone this offseason by keeping head coach Clay Helton despite him holding the 12th ranked recruiting class....in the Pac-12. The Trojans can always put up a fight given all the talent on their roster. Cristobal will want to dominate the Trojans to show current LA-based recruits that Oregon, not USC, is the place to play on the West Coast. Don't be surprised if this is a massive recruiting weekend for the program.
vs. Arizona State (Friday, November 13th, 2020)
One home game many Ducks fans will have marked will be this revenge spot as the Sun Devils spoiled Oregon's college football playoff hopes last season by defeating them 31-28 in Tempe. Quarterback Jayden Daniels should improve on an impressive freshman season with some new weapons, including former Ducks WR commit Johnny Wilson. Herm Edwards got four different four-star wide receivers in the past recruiting class.
at Washington State (November 21st, 2020)
The Ducks will look to end another road-losing streak in Pullman, where they have not won since 2014. Their 51-33 loss in 2016 got quarterback Dakota Prukop benched for Justin Herbert. Then the Ducks lost again in 2018, 34-20, in College Gameday's first-ever trip to Washington State.
With the departure of Mike Leach to Mississippi State, the Cougars will be transitioning to the run-and-shoot offense under new head coach Nick Rolovich, previously from Hawaii.
at Oregon State (November 28th, 2020)
Beavers head coach Jonathan Smith has turned the program around to the point the Beavers gave the Ducks a fight with their backup quarterback in Eugene this past season. Oregon State loses WR Isaiah Hodgins and QB Jake Luton, but Smith will tailor his offense to the strengths of their replacements. Competing to replace Luton will be Nebraska transfer Tristan Gebbia, who started the Civil War, and Chance Nolan, a dual-threat JUCO transfer.