Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Perhaps it is just me mellowing as I get
older, but while the BCS rankings continue to discredit the Oregon Ducks, I've
decided to reserve judgment until the season comes to a close.
Piling on with all the critics of the clearly flawed system used to be fun,
but it just seems played out at this point and with a postseason playoff just
two seasons away, the criticisms may be falling on deaf ears.
The Oregon Ducks are ranked second in the nation and have completely dominated
the competition this season, winning by an average of 30.9 points per game.
They may actually be the most-talented offensive team in the country, one
capable of putting up big numbers on anyone. However, despite the eye-popping
production and lopsided wins, the Ducks opened the BCS rankings at No. 3 and
have since fallen to No. 4.
It's a lack of competition that is the main culprit here, not the BCS. Oregon
has failed to register a marquee win on the season, with its best being last
week's 43-21 victory at Arizona State.
The argument here from the Oregon faithful is that Alabama has followed a
similar path yet sits atop the standings.
Certainly a legitimate argument, but there are a couple of reasons for
Alabama's lofty status which hold equal merit.
For one, the Crimson Tide are the defending national champions. They also have
completely dominated the competition this season. Finally, they are doing so in
Is there an SEC bias when it comes to the polls? Probably. That doesn't mean
it isn't justified. It happens to be the toughest conference in the FBS,
winning each of the last six national championships.
With that in mind, Florida sitting at No. 2 in the BCS standings has gone by
without much of an argument.
The Gators have surprised more than a few pundits with their 7-0 start this
season. Unlike Alabama and Oregon, Florida possesses a few marquee wins this
year, topping Texas A&M, LSU and South Carolina already. Staying at No. 2 won't
be easy, though, with this weekend's annual clash with Georgia, a regular-
season finale at Florida State and a probable matchup with Alabama in the SEC
Championship left on the docket.
These things have a way of working themselves out and if the Gators finish up
with a perfect record, they will have undoubtedly earned a spot in the
national title game in Miami.
Despite Oregon's eruption at Arizona State last week, the team fell another
rung on the BCS ladder, as Kansas State's big win at West Virginia helped the
Wildcats leapfrog the Ducks.
Again, KSU's ranking is justified based on its schedule to this point, as it
has already put the work in, with huge road wins at both Oklahoma and West
Virginia. There are a couple of tough opponents left on the docket, most
notably this week's clash with Texas Tech, but a continued climb up the BCS
rankings isn't likely, regardless of what Kansas State accomplishes, as its
toughest games are already behind it.
The funny thing is that this may not be the end of Oregon's downward spiral.
This week's matchup between Notre Dame and Oklahoma is certainly worth
checking out. It wouldn't be surprising if a Notre Dame victory in Norman
propelled the fifth-ranked Irish past the Ducks as well come Sunday.
The Eugene denizen just have to bide their time and remain patient. Oregon
hasn't played top-notch competition to date, but that will certainly change
as the season heads into November. The Ducks will open the month at USC, play
Stanford at home and then travel to rival Oregon State to close out the
Wins in all three of those game should be enough to put the team in a position
to play for the national title, but if it isn't enough, the Ducks also will get
the best the South Division has to offer in the Pac-12 Championship Game. A
second showdown with the Trojans is likely and another win will certainly put
the Ducks over the top.
"All things come round to him who will but wait."
Longfellow wasn't referring to the plight of the Oregon Ducks, but the fan
base can take some solace in the words he scribed more than a century and a
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