The college football season is finally upon us, but instead of writing a ridiculous pump-up article or “10 Reasons Why Oregon Will Win the Rose Bowl,” I think we need to take a step back and contemplate our expectations, remember the capricious nature of Football, and finally, the current state of our Ducks.
I have to admit that I, as all Oregon fans, have been quite spoiled due to the Ducks’ recent success. Since 2009, Oregon has made it to two Rose Bowls (winning one of them), a National Championship Game and a Fiesta Bowl (winning that game decisively). High scoring matches, bowl games and championships, are what we have come to expect.
I’m originally from Michigan, so this “Bowl-Game or Bust” mentality reminds me of 2007 when Michigan was ranked a solid No. 5 and was projected to win the Big 10 conference and contend for the Natty. When September rolled around, Michigan was expected to defeat the Appalachian State Mountaineers so badly that Las Vegas refused to present a betting line.
The whole state of Michigan had a meltdown after their Wolverines were upset by the boys from Appalachia 34-32.
Similar to the 2007 Wolverines, we begin this season ranked No. 3, widely expected to win the PAC-12 conference championship and once again considered to be contenders for the national championship. But if our one trip to the national title game against Auburn, the USC game two years ago, or last year’s Stanford game has taught us anything, it’s that we are not immune to the unforeseeable happenings embedded in the game of football.
Fun sidenote: going into that same 2007 season, Oregon wasn’t ranked in the top 25. I’m not predicting that we’ll be upset by Nicholls State. What I am illustrating is that this mentality of “Win or Bust” is incredibly recent and largely unwarranted, given that we have yet to win a National Championship Game. We must remind ourselves of this, and moreover, of the very unpredictable nature of college football. Although we’re all excited, let’s retain a small dose of humility and caution. Go Ducks!