Thanks For Nothing, Alabama

When the top-ranked Crimson Tide flopped at home against former UO commit “Johnny Football” and the Texas A&M Aggies, the BCS championship hopes (expectations?) of the entire SEC took a huge hit. After winning six consecutive national championships, the proud conference now has no undefeated teams, and appears to be on the outside looking in.

You would be hard pressed to find someone who would have projected the conference newcomer with an undersized freshman QB to be the one to knock off the reigning champs in their own house, but knock them off they did. That wasn’t supposed to happen; not this season. Alabama’s invincible aura was shattered, sure – but they also crushed the hopes of everyone who wanted to see the best two teams play for it all in Miami this year.

Meanwhile, Kansas State was disposing of TCU, with Heisman frontrunner Collin Klein returning from an injury scare to help the Wildcats remain unbeaten. When the BCS standings were released, Kansas St. had surged to the top of the polls at #1. It should be said that Kansas State is a fine Big-12 team. They have a likable Hall-of-Fame coach who has them playing an extremely disciplined and physical brand of football. If they win out, they will play for the title and deservedly so. But does anyone really think they’re better than Alabama, even a one-loss Crimson Tide?

“Look at the scoreboard! That wasn’t supposed to happen until we play Oregon!!”

While an undefeated Oregon vs undefeated Kansas State matchup might be worthy and intriguing, it is also not exactly what most of the nation had in mind. I’m not so sure it’s what Oregon fans should want either.

Don’t get me wrong – a national title is a national title, and if a team earns the right to hold up the Coaches Trophy at the end of the season, that’s all that truly matters. Your name is forever stamped in history, and 119 other teams would gladly trade places with you. Winning one would be especially big for a team like Oregon, who has been building momentum for decades, yet still doesn’t have a national championship to their credit.

A theme for years now has been the perception that Oregon “doesn’t play anybody” (despite half of the Pac-12 being ranked annually) or that “the Ducks can’t beat an SEC team” (or at least one not named Tennessee or Mississippi State, I suppose).

The trouble with that is unless two teams meet in the National Championship, or are willing to schedule out of conference and travel across the country, the two conferences never play each other, and it’s a shame. Who wouldn’t want to see Stanford vs LSU or Florida vs USC this year? And I would bet that, say, UCLA vs Georgia might sell some tickets too.

Why don’t we have a Pac-12 vs SEC Bowl? Without one, we rarely get to see each conference’s best teams actually play each other. The games we do get are always a big draw, and seemingly everyone who follows college football wants to see more games involving the Pac-12 vs. the SEC.

“BIG boy football” isn’t always pretty

Let’s say that Oregon makes it to Miami and K-State or Notre Dame are waiting there for them. Oregon wins their first Crystal Football by two or three scores. Sounds pretty good, right? The only problem is that this year, the Ducks likely would do the exact same thing to Alabama, or any team for that matter. Now, they won’t get a shot to prove it, because Alabama blew it by not holding up their end – choking away their unblemished record against A&M.

If Oregon wins the title, but doesn’t have to knock off an SEC team to win it, the ridiculous criticism and speculation by some that they can’t beat an “elite team” will rage on. The questions about Oregon, however silly, will still exist until they beat an SEC champion soundly. The Ducks vs. the SEC is clearly what most in the nation wanted to see. Beat KSU or Notre Dame, and would anyone really think that Oregon had just beaten the best team?

Of course, Oregon has some big hurdles still in front of them to get to the title game. KSU and Notre Dame do, too. If two of those three slip up, you can bet that a one-loss SEC champion would jump right back in the mix. There is a lot of football left to play, and anything can still happen. But right now, it feels like Alabama has robbed us all of the rare chance to watch the two best teams play for the national title.

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Josh White

Josh White

Josh White has been a dedicated Duck fan since the Bill Musgrave days. He has attended (and lost his voice at) virtually every home game and many away games since the late 1980's, including 96 of the current 97 game sellout streak at Autzen Stadium. A Eugene native, Josh works full time in Eugene area real estate, helping people buy and sell residential and commercial properties, and also volunteers with Habitat For Humanity, Kidsports and Food For Lane County. He welcomes your feedback. Twitter: @WhiteHouseJosh Facebook: EugenesBestRealtor

  • bandonduck

    Yeah, Until we beat an ESS EEE SEE team in the championship, we will not get the respect we deserve. It will be the *asterisk* championship. Besides, I would really love to shut them up with “scoreboard!!”

    • SECforever

      “SCOREBOARD”….is that what all the Stanford fans were saying to Duck fans on Saturday? Hahahahahahaha

  • Ducks Everywhere

    bandonduck, great post except, the term “ess ee see” should under no circumstances, excepting an arrest report, be capitalized, right?

  • TruthOnAPlatter

    Considering how your last 2 matchup against the “es e see”(Is this really amusing to you guys?) went, I think you should thank aTm.

    • Nope. If you don’t think Oregon could do the same thing offensively to Alabama, you’re crazy. And just a few weeks ago, Louisiana Tech had a field day against A&M’s defense.
      Why couldn’t Bama do the same to a mediocre defense? After TAMU exploited Bama, it became obvious that the tide was overrated, and the SEC’s lack of offensive power cost overwhelmingly enhances the SEC defensive emphasis.
      Oregon would have beaten Alabama handily.

      • Transitive football = brilliance

        • Bottom line – Bama’s defense is overrated, and its offense is too anemic to be considered a national title worthy unit

      • SECforever

        Just like they beat Stanford…..hahahahahaha…have fun at the Fiesta Bowl…if that

  • OUoverconfident

    Oh man, I found this post hilarious the day it was written, and I find it even more hilarious now. Oregon, you finally had your chance to win a National Championship without ever having to play an SEC team. I suppose the author of this piece will claim that Oregon lost on purpose in order to wait until they would have a chance to play an SEC team in the title game, since that’s the only way it would really count, right? I find it surprising that a team that has never won a championship before would thumb their nose at one like that, but that must be the only explanation, since Oregon would clearly beat any team in the nation by 2-3 scores.

  • SECforever

    So I guess that whole Oregon vs Stanford game makes this whole article…..bleep!

  • LetsBeReal

    Oregon gets exposed by more physical defenses at the line of scrimmage. LSU a good defense and Auburn a BAD defense! SEC aka Big Boy Football!!!