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Oregon Pac-12 favorite with Mariota back

(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role.

"I've had to get used to it and come out of my shell a little bit, but I'm trying to enjoy it," Mariota said at the Pac-12's media day. "I take it as an honor and a privilege, and hopefully an opportunity to provide a good influence."

Coach Mark Helfrich and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott both used the league's first session of its two-day Hollywood kickoff event to praise Mariota for staying in school. The rest of the Pac-12 isn't quite as excited about the Heisman Trophy candidate's return after two dynamite seasons for the Ducks, but he's just one reason why they're favored to win their highly competitive league again.

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BCS Rank
Rank School Rec
1 Florida State (14-0)
2 Auburn (12-2)
3 Alabama (11-2)
4 Michigan State (13-1)
5 Stanford (11-3)
6 Baylor (11-2)
7 Ohio State (12-2)
8 Missouri (12-2)
9 South Carolina (11-2)
10 Oregon (11-2)
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AP Rank
Rank School Rec
1 Florida State (14-0)
2 Auburn (12-2)
3 Michigan State (13-1)
4 South Carolina (11-2)
5 Missouri (12-2)
6 Oklahoma (11-2)
7 Alabama (11-2)
8 Clemson (11-2)
9 Oregon (11-2)
10 UCF (12-1)
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