There's very little intrigue surrounding Friday night's inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game in Autzen Stadium.
Pac-12 North champ Oregon Ducks, who went 10-2, have the nation's sixth-most potent offensive attack (510.6 yards per game) and rank third in the nation in scoring offense (45.9 points per game) play host to the 6-6 UCLA Bruins, who lost five of six road games on the season, allow an average of over 30 points per game, and fired head coach Rick Neuheisal following last Saturday night's 50-0 shellacking at the hands of crosstown rival USC, who would be representing the Pac-12 South had they been eligible for post-season play.
With a coaching change in-progress, UCLA will win the battle of subplots, though Ducks junior running back LaMichael James possibly playing his final game in Autzen Stadium on Friday may be a close second.
"I'm not really thinking about the future right now," James, a fourth-year junior, said according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian.
Fentress notes that James is on pace to graduate this year and is the school's all-time leader in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, points scored and a few other offensive categories. The slightly-built (5-foot-9, 195-pounds) James missed two games in October with a dislocated right elbow and injured his left elbow in last week's 49-21 over the Oregon St. Beavers in the "Civil War".
With little else to prove at the college level, athletically or academically, 2012 may be the time for James to enter the NFL Draft.