College football is back! The Ducks begin fall camp on Monday so we're breaking down each position to determine if the Ducks, picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12, and their fans will be smelling roses as Pac-12 champs during a trip to the Rose Bowl or placing bets at a roulette table prior to watching a sixth-place UO team in the Las Vegas Bowl. Each position is graded using the poker hand scale.
Projected starter: Senior Dakota Prukop (6-2, 195), transfer from Montana State.
Smelling like roses: Prukop will win this job unless Jonsen takes a quantum leap this fall. Why? Because the senior transfer has been there and done that. At least at the FCS level. Oregon needs Prukop to put up the same numbers he did last season at MSU when he threw for 3,025 yards and 28 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, and rushed for 797 yards and 11 touchdowns. Only that type of performance from the quarterback position would give the Ducks hopes of winning the Pac-12 conference.
Place your bets: If Jonsen wins the job, or Prukop falters, the Ducks could easily be Vegas Bowl-bound. Name the last time Oregon won the conference with a redshirt freshman quarterback. Try never. Even Marcus Mariota fell short in 2012. Some believe all an Oregon quarterback must do is be a game manager given the talent throughout Oregon's offense. Nonsense. The Ducks have never been special with a game manager at quarterback. Only with the likes of Joey Harrington, Kellen Clemens, Dennis Dixon, Darron Thomas and Mariota have the Ducks ever truly been elite. Even marginal passer Jeremiah Masoli proved time and time to be a special playmaker in key situations, especially with his legs.
Odds are: Prokop could end up being better all-around than Vernon Adams Jr. was last year simply because the former will put the "dual" back in "dual-threat quarterback." But little evidence exists to support the idea Prukop will be special enough to carry the Ducks on his back from time to time. Not saying he won't. We simply do not know that he can.
Poker hand: Three of a kind. Oregon has talent and depth at quarterback, but too many question marks to be considered can't lose.
Next up: Running backs.