Well if it wasn’t evident before, it is certainly evident now. Oregon, Stanford, and the rest of the PAC-12 have a long way to go before they will be considered in the same respect that SEC teams are.
The harsh reality that Stanford brought to Autzen Stadium doomed Oregon to another year of subservience to the Southeastern Conference, and the championship game shoved Oregon’s reputation further into the ground. As much as I believe in the validity of Chip Kelly’s offensive system as a true, non-gimmicky scheme, and as much as I have faith in Oregon’s defense to play to their highest abilities, the Ducks would have an extremely tough time winning a game against Alabama.
As well as Oregon’s defense played against Stanford, the 200 yards gained by Stepfan Taylor and Co. would likely turn into 250 against Alabama’s likely superior rushing attack. On the other side of the ball, the size and speed of Alabama’s trench players brought back memories of Chase Thomas and Shane Skov chasing down Kenjon Barner outside of the hash marks. It is very hard to imagine a scenario in which Oregon would be able to keep Alabama’s offense at bay long enough to outscore Alabama, and the Ducks would likely find themselves at the mercy of Alabama’s mistakes.
I am still a firm believer in the ideas and strategies that Chip Kelly and his staff have put in place, but until Oregon’s “Bullet not bowling ball” policy for linemen develops enough elite linemen to top a defense that is just as fast as it is massive, SEC style football will be king.