All the doubt about what the Mighty Ducks could do against a tough team evaporated last Saturday when they defeated the Washington Huskies. While the Ducks had an easy schedule the first half of the season, they were still virtually untested while holding the No. 2 ranking. This game was their first real test as they race toward the last BCS (Natty) National Championship, as legitimate contenders. Leaving Seattle with a 45-24 victory was a good sign of things to come, but as the upsets on Saturday show, it’s going to be a long 2nd half of the season.
While fans were flipping channels to see how other top teams were doing, ABC showed something surprising — Clemson trailing Boston College at the half in what looked to be a classic “Clemson-ing it” kind of game. This phrase came about after a few years of building a national championship team, and falling to a team they should have beaten easily.
The Ducks must avoid this experience in the Pac-12, now known as “Cardinal-ing it.” Simply put, Stanford was the clear favorite over the Utes, but was unable to stop a comeback late into the game and lost. Stanford has been a national title contender the past couple years but has lost games they should have won. The Ducks can’t afford to drop a game this year if they hope to attend the Natty again. There are good teams in the Pac-12 that play competitively, and most college football fans consider the Pac-12 to be the second-best conference in the nation, so every week is another challenge. Stanford has a stain on their record already, and the UCLA Bruins are almost a lock to represent the South division and will look to spoil the season for us in a couple weeks. We may have O’s on the back of our helmets, but there are also targets on our backs.