After yet another single loss season, coupled with another BCS Bowl ring, the Ducks found themselves ranked in the top five to end the season once again. The only problem being they were not at the top. Oregon put together a 12-1 year that ultimately ended with their head coach moving on to the NFL and analysts scrambling to figure out how far the Ducks would tumble down in the rankings.
And tumble they will, but not far.
Oregon finished the 2012 season ranked No. 2 in the polls, right behind Alabama. When Chip Kelly left, the Ducks lost arguably the top coach in college football and that’s why I have Oregon coming in at No. 3 this preseason. I believe the best coach in NCAAF stands on Alabama’s sideline. Coach Saban has led the tide to three BCS Championship victories in the past four years and has earned the respect of being on top. No. 2 will be led by a coach with the same face but in a different place. Ohio State alumnus and second-year head coach Urban Meyer, has the Buckeyes poised to make a championship-like run this season as they will play bowl-ban-free for the first time in three years.
That brings in our beloved Ducks at No. 3. Kenjon Barner is the only loss offensively of the skill positions and will presumably be replaced with the trio of De’Anthony Thomas, Byron Marshall, and Thomas Tyner. Along with the addition of head coach Mark Helfrich, Oregon does not have a many holes to fill, which is why I have them ranked where I do. Let’s not forget, though, that preseason rankings do not really mean much.
Any Trojan fans out there remember what USC was ranked at the beginning of last year? That didn’t last long.
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Cline