Officially ranked in the preseason by the AP Poll as the number three team in the nation are the highly anticipated Oregon Ducks, and they’re not phased one bit. This ranking ties for the best preseason placement in Ducks history. The Ducks were one of five Pac-12 teams to be ranked in the AP preseason top 25, and not surprisingly they had the highest ranking of the five. To put the team in perspective, Stanford was ranked number four, while our ugly sister school, Oregon State, barely made the ranking at 25th. So, we finally have an idea for where our team stands with respect to the other Division One programs out there, but how should we feel about this high ranking?
According to Coach Mark Helfrich, preseason rankings are fun, but don’t have an effect on their daily approach to winning that Natty. ”They’re great for the media and the fans to talk about and argue about, but after that, that’s neat,” said Helfrich. Clearly Coach Helfrich wasn’t sitting at home biting his cuticles waiting for the results to be presented. Helfrich also stated, “If it does anything to us, it makes us practice harder.”
Coach Helf is neither stressing nor relaxing about the preseason polls, so why should we? Let’s take for example just last year, when USC was ranked in the preseason as the number one overall team in the nation. How did that work out for them? If anything, the hype put more pressure on their program than they could handle after they were released from their sanctions, which led to the collapse of their season.
We should be proud of our Ducks for getting the nation’s attention at number three, but we can’t predict anything until we see what the newly coached Ducks will look like on August 31st against Nicholls State.