After Oregon lost to LSU in the season opener we discussed whether or not the Oregon Ducks were officially out of the BCS championship picture. Since then the Ducks have ripped off three straight wins in explosive fashion. Oregon has scored 181 points in wins against Nevada, Missouri State and Arizona as the offense showed just how potent they can be.
So with September coming to a close we reassess the Ducks, who are now ranked ninth in the nation and back in our weekly power rankings this week.
After week one we took a look at the Oregon Ducks and what the loss to LSU meant for them going forward. The general opinion was that they are certainly still a team to be reckoned with. Since that season opening loss the Ducks have torn apart their opponents with a combined score of 181-58. As the Ducks enter the second week of Pac 12 play, let’s revisit the question. Can the Ducks make a BCS championship run?
Max Price, Oregon Ducks Examiner: Yes. I think, if anything is becoming obvious this year, it’s that LSU is absolutely the best team in college football. A lot of things were written after that week one game, but the fact of the matter is simply that LSU is that ridiculously good. Oregon never looked in doubt against Arizona Saturday night, and they were up 14-0 before the Wildcats even realized the game had started. And the Ducks have spent the last few weeks reminding us that they’re a darn good team, too. I don’t see them having any trouble in winning all their Pac-12 games – except for one against some team led by the future top NFL draft pick. Oregon can definitely make a BCS championship run.
Jordan Caldwell, Utah Utes Examiner: The Oregon Ducks are still one of the top teams, and the voters have acknowledged as much ranking them in the Top 10. They are in position, especially with a big game against Stanford coming up, to make a title run. But even with a win against Stanford and a win in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game, the Ducks still need teams to lose. Any undefeated team from the Big 12 or Big Ten as well as a 1-loss team from the SEC will get the nod ahead of 1-loss Oregon. Even if that one loss is to a top ranked LSU.
Gerald Nicdao, San Diego Sports Examiner: Like I said after Oregon’s opening-week loss to LSU, yes, the Ducks can still make a repeat run at the BCS title game. And they’re doing it in the manner that will get them there—by having no regard for their opponents and blowing each and everyone of them out.
Oregon has a lot to prove and still has matchups with USC, Arizona State and Stanford. If the Ducks can do to those teams what they have done since losing to LSU (which includes blowing out the Cardinal in Palo Alto and winning the Pac-12 title game) then they should have a real good case to be competing for the BCS title for a second consecutive year.
Schimri Yoyo, Big East Examiner: They can still make a run at the BCS because they still can win the PAC-12. They hold their own fate in their hands. If they beat Stanford, they should win the conference easily. Even if they lose to Stanford,–if it’s a close loss, and they win all their other games convincingly they might be high enough in the polls for a big bowl to snatch them up because they’ll be a big draw ratings-wise.
Troy Hyde, Iowa Hawkeyes Examiner: They can. If they run the table and get some help from Oklahoma and Alabama, then yes, we may have a national championship rematch with LSU and Oregon. The Ducks have a lot of weapons and play in a down conference this year. If they beat Stanford then they have a strong chance to enter the bowl season with just one loss.
Sean Jackson, Ohio State Buckeyes Examiner: It’s possible, as the Ducks possess enough offensive firepower to beat anyone remaining on their schedule. They have a couple of barometer games coming up that should tell us if this team is as good as previous seasons. For now, it seems they have rebounded well and are on the right path to having an opportunity to get back in the title picture.
Rich Kurtzman, Colorado State Rams Examiner: At this point, the Ducks look unstoppable. Darron Thomas is a touchdown machine and LaMichael James’ 9.4 yards per carry are remarkable. Their offense is extraordinary and really, there’s only one massive matchup Oregon has to worry about for the rest of the season, at Stanford November 12. If they can find a way to win that game.
Kevin, National College Football Examiner: I said all along it was silly to write off the Ducks after losing in game one, and now that we know just how good LSU looks to be, it seems even more ridiculous to me that anyone would say Oregon is officially cooked as far as the BCS championship goes.
I still believe that it will be tough for Oregon to crack in to the top two before the end of the season but it certainly is not impossible. Not when LSU and Alabama have to play each other to force one team to take a loss and not when Oregon has a game with Stanford still on their schedule. And do not forget that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State still play each other later this season and Wisconsin and Nebraska play each other this weekend. All four of those teams are ranked ahead of Oregon right now so it would appear that making up some ground is still going to be fairly easy as long as Oregon can take care of their own business in front of them.
With Oregon’s offense, they will be tough to beat in Pac 12 play and they may be the favorite every week this season, perhaps even against Stanford. There are three games that stand out to me. In addition to the road game at Stanford, Oregon’s home games against Arizona State and USC could be the only other hurdles standing in the way, and the Ducks are difficult to beat in Autzen Stadium.
If I were to make a prediction, I would guess Oregon is on the outside looking in at a BCS title shot for a second straight season, but it is certainly a real possibility and I still consider them the Pac 12 favorites.
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