The Oregon Ducks are National Championship bound. That has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? The climb has been tough, but now college football immortality is one win away. From the Ducks’ first Rose Bowl berth in 2009, to the BCS title game in 2010, and back to-back BCS bowl wins in 2011 and 2012, the past five years have been amazing for Duck fans. But this season has already eclipsed them all. When the Ducks put the beatdown on undefeated Florida State in the Rose Bowl, they earned their 13th win of the year — the most in a single season in Oregon football history.
Oregon is relatively new to this level of success and is seeking its first national title in school history, while the other three teams in the playoff have plenty of national championships to boast about already. The Ducks won their playoff game, but it was the way they won that made the statement. They didn’t just end the Seminoles’ 29-game win streak; they dominated most of the game. And they didn’t just win, the Ducks blew out FSU 59-20; even Washington State gave us a closer game. If the win didn’t shock the nation, the score sure did. Urban Meyer’s reaction says it all.
Even though Ohio State just beat Alabama, Oregon is the best team the Buckeyes will see all season. These Ducks will have a chance to have their first Heisman winner, first Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl win since 2011, and first national title in program history, all in the same year. What happened in the Rose Bowl isn’t an aberration, it’s what the Ducks have done all season. The scary part? This Oregon team has gotten better every game since the early season loss to Arizona. The Ducks are, without a doubt, playing their best football of the season right now, when it matters most. With only one game left in this amazing 2014-2015 season, only Ohio State stands in the Ducks’ way.
Win or lose, this season has already been historic. Oregon has its first Heisman winner, the Ducks won the first-ever college football playoff game, and again, won the most games in program history at 13. Oregon set Rose Bowl records, made post-season statements, and still has one final game left to play. The nine-day wait will be over before we know it, and then we will know just how historic this season will be. January 12 can’t come soon enough!
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck