Saturday was an all-around fantastic day for sports. There was the Duck game against a respectable SEC opponent, a high-profile boxing match and, of course, the much-anticipated matchup between No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Texas A&M. Now, while some Oregon fans were disappointed with the outcome of the ‘Bama game, I’m here to point out why it was a good thing they won.
Had the Crimson Tide been defeated Saturday, our Ducks would have unquestionably been the new No. 1 team in America. But thankfully, Johnny Football and his Aggies came up just short of pulling off a win. Subsequently, Oregon remains in the No. 2 position.
It would be great to be ranked No. 1, of course. But that is our primary goal for Jan. 7th, the day after the National Championship Game. Think about it — there is all that media coverage, national attention and the proverbial “target-on-your-back” that will be worn for the next 12 weeks or so. With all that pressure, it’s incredibly difficult to hang on to the number No. 1 position for that long. Heck, Alabama couldn’t even do it last year – they went into the BCS national title game ranked No. 2 after a regular-season loss to Texas A&M.
But ‘Bama is, recently at least, somewhat familiar with being in the spotlight. The Ducks were on the verge of wearing that mantle last season. About halfway through the Stanford game, word got around that then-No. 1 Kansas State had lost to Baylor 52-24, and it looked like we were the new top dog as a result . . . for the next few hours, anyway. During that time, Stanford was able to score a last minute touchdown, send it into overtime and ultimately upset the Ducks in Autzen Stadium. From that one loss, they were denied the chance to clinch the Pac-12 North, and punch a ticket to the BCS title game.
I don’t mean to sound like a negative Nancy, but to sum it up, I’m glad that Alabama won Saturday for 3 reasons:
1. It’s too early in the season to have a No. 1 ranking.
2. Fate has not been kind to the potential-No. 1 Ducks for a very long time.
3. It keeps the Ducks hungry and gives them something to work toward.