COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 12 Washington at Oregon
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Oregon quarterback Bo Nix announced Monday that he will return to the Ducks for his fifth season of eligibility in the 2023 season. Experiencing a career resurgence in 2022 with Ducks after spending three seasons as the starting quarterback at Auburn, Nix had his new team in the Pac-12 title hunt for most of the year and talked about as a College Football Playoff contender. 

"There is nothing like a Saturday in Autzen Stadium in front of the best fans in college football," he said in a video posted by the official Oregon football account. "There's nothing like playing for my coaches and going to battle with my teammates. There's nothing like being an Oregon Duck. For 2023, I'm back."

Nix threw for 3,388 yards and 27 touchdowns and added 504 yards rushing with 14 touchdowns in his first season with the program. Under Nix, the team won eight straight games in the middle of the season, which vaulted them in the mix in the College Football Playoff discussion and Nix into the Heisman Trophy race. However, they lost two of three to close the season after Nix suffered an ankle injury in the loss to Washington.

Nix is able to play a fifth season after the NCAA issued a blanket waiver that gave players a free year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Ducks are a title threat

Get ready for the hype because Nix's return will put Oregon squarely in the CFP mix. Oregon's success when Nix was 100% was undeniable, and another year with the program will allow the staff to build on the success he showed in 2022 -- especially on the ground. 

Running backs Bucky Irving and Noah Whittington should be back, as well as wide receiver Troy Franklin. Alabama wide receiver Traeshon Holden announced his intent to transfer to the program, too. Simply put, this offense will be filthy. The defense was very opportunistic last year, and while that isn't something that can be expected on a year-to-year basis, it did have something do with the aggressive nature that first-year coach Dan Lanning instilled in the program.

Expect another step forward

Nix had a relationship with offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, who has since left to take the head coaching job at Arizona State. Former UTSA co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Will Stein was hired to replace Dillingham, and the two share many of the same ideas. Roadrunners quarterback Frank Harris was used in essentially the exact same manner as Nix was used last year, including on the ground when he rushed for 602 yards.

The experience on the offensive side of the ball coupled with what should be a smooth transition in the new coaching staff should allow Nix to stay in the Heisman Trophy mix for the second straight year.

Pac-12 is going to be loaded

The Pac-12's reputation as the laughing stock of the Power Five is an outdated, inaccurate narrative. Washington, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and Utah all spent time in the Top 15 this year, and the star power returning to the league should make it one of the nation's best this season. 

USC is getting Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams back under center, Washington's Michael Penix Jr. will be taking the snaps in Seattle again, Utah's old-school style is well-established, UCLA's rise under Chip Kelly can't be denied and Oregon State's ascension to relevancy under Jonathan Smith has been one of the most underrated storylines in college football.

Nix's return will draw even more eyeballs to a conference that should be taken more seriously than it has been in the past.