An Oregon Ducks Dynasty in the Making

After the Game 62, Pac-12 Champ,14,KC

Dynasties are defined by long-term success and longevity. Programs at Alabama and Ohio State have defined what it’s like to have success, displaying the ability to adapt to new challenges every year.

Royce Freeman breaks free against Washington

Craig Strobeck

The immediate future lies in the hands of stud running back, Royce Freeman.

Right now, whether fans realize it or not, the University of Oregon Ducks’ football team is on the cusp of greatness. Molded by seven 10-win seasons in a row, Pac-12 dominance, and big-game wins; the Ducks are in the position to be placed in the upper echelon of college football. In my hearty opinion, the Oregon Ducks have a chance to solidify itself as the first Pac-12 dynasty since that of the Pete Carroll lead USC Trojans from 2001-2009.

I urge you to consider the following when determining whether a team is worthy of being called a dynasty: Success based on precedence, recruiting ability, coaching ability and on-field talent. Read below for a full breakdown of the four points as they pertain to your Oregon Ducks.

Success Based on Precedence

As I outlined in my last article, the Oregon Ducks have seven straight 10-win seasons. Not to harp on the obvious, but these numbers show longevity. A program’s ability to consistently win encourages recruits to give that school priority, fans to commit to attending games and gives the players confidence. The Ducks outdid their opponents last season, so it comes as no surprise that many pundits have them winning the Pac-12 again this season.

One thing that could hinder our Ducks from moving into the upper echelon is its lack of national championships — complete lack at that, actually. In the past five seasons, there has been two unsuccessful attempts at gold. Against Auburn, it only seemed impossible in the last few minutes. Everything was going well until an unfortunate play that led to the Ducks’ demise. And we all remember what happened earlier this year against Ohio State. The Ducks have many big wins in its history and a successful season in 2015 will catapult them to stardom.

Recruiting Ability

To say that recruiting has been a strong suit for the Oregon Ducks would be a lie. In the past, Oregon had gotten by on its coaching talent and their ability to develop players. The 2015 recruiting class, however, marks the Ducks’ first 5-star commit in a long time — Canton Kaumatule. As a whole, the class ranked 15th-best in the nation — which is six spots higher from that of the 2014 recruiting class.

I think that with recruiting, it’s not as important to focus on the current year’s rankings as it is to show a steady rankings increase over the years. The focus of the Ducks’ recruiting emphasis is shifting to the 4-star category. This type of shift can only bode well for a team that has been known to develop talent. It shocks me as to why the Ducks don’t get more elite recruits, but maybe it has something to do with the weather. Whatever it is, the Ducks are starting to figure this thing out.

Coaching Ability

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely nervous when Chip Kelly made the choice to take his talents to the NFL. Kelly had done so much for the program, combining for an overall record of 46-7, and 2-2 in bowl games. His departure pushed the program against a wall, and to say that new head coach, Mark Helfrich, has done a good job would be an understatement.

Mark Helfrich 27,National Championship ,14,JS

John Sperry

I, too, would be smiling if I was the head coach of the Oregon Ducks.

His first season was tough, but Helfrich sought to do wonders in 2014 — and he did just that with a special quarterback in Marcus Mariota. The two created magic together, combining for 12 thrilling wins, only to be defeated in the gold medal game.

Helfrich, along with offensive coordinator, Scott Frost, and defensive coordinator, Don Pellum, have a system in place that has proven its effectiveness. Another solid year for the Ducks, and Helfrich and his staff could find themselves responsible for starting a dynasty.

On-Field Talent

Just speaking to the number of household names that the Ducks had on their roster in the last few years will prove this point. With Mariota last year, names such as Kiko Alonso and De’Anthony Thomas, even Royce Freeman and Charles Nelson crop up.

Chip Kelly not ready to give up on Alonso

Robert Gauthier

Which current Oregon players will go to the NFL and have the same type of success that Kiko Alonso has had?

It’s hard to mention what fans thought of the Ducks’ preseason chances in years past, but this year is much different. Despite losing Mariota and some other key players, Tyler Johnstone is back to anchor the offensive line, Byron Marshall and Bralon Addison are back and ready to play together, linebackers Joe WalkerAnthony HardrickTyson Coleman, and Danny Mattingly are back and ready for more playing time and the backfield looks more stacked than it has ever been.

Yes, there is a lot of name throwing going on here, but the amount of preseason talent is enough to speculate about some incredible possibilities. Now, it’s time to put it together and show to every critic that the Ducks belong with the elite.

Top Photo by Kevin Cline

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Jason Selby

Jason Selby

Jason is a Junior at the University of Oregon, currently double majoring in Public Relations and Political Science. Jason has been an avid sports fan for his entire life, growing up playing Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Over the last year, Jason has found his love for sports reporting, and enjoys creating pieces that use his love and knowledge for sports to portray his message. In his spare time, Jason enjoys obsessing over Ducks sports, Scuba Diving around the world, and listening to music. Tweet at Jason…. @1seltank. He loves talking sports with other avid sports fans.

  • MAITAIDUCK

    Ducks just need to win it all! They are definetely good but they need to get that 1st championship.

    • Jason Selby

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the chances are going to come very often now

  • worldwidewebfoot

    Agreed. I recall in the UCLA game when Helfrich called a fake punt early and the Ducks came within a few yards of scoring on the play. I thought, this guy is every bit as gutsy as Chip. We are in good hands.

    • Jason Selby

      Thanks for the read. And yes, I agree. It takes time for everything to settle in nicely. Helfrich is the man to take this team forward, and everything is starting to fall into place. Will be interesting without Mariota, but notice I didn’t say it will be tough. Football is a tough game in general, losing one guy shouldn’t force a team off of its path. I have high hopes for this Ducks team

  • hokieduck

    I don’t really think that dynasties spend time telling themselves or others that they are dynasties. And seven (10) win seasons does not a dynasty make.

    This team is building. It will be very interesting to see how the adjustment to life without Marcus is made. Hopefully, Pellum will settle in and use the most defensive talent the Ducks have had in a long time to fashion an answer for the program’s biggest weakness.

    Go Ducks! Barely a month ’til football season. Thank the gods.

    • Jason Selby

      I agree with you, in that I don’t think teams tell themselves that they are dynasties. This is a hypothetical approach to the situation at hand. Seven 10 win seasons, along with Alabama, the only other team with such a streak, is huge. The Ducks have won over 80 percent of their games in the last decade. This is the cycle that dynasties have taken in the last 50 years. If things continue to progress, the Oregon Ducks will be a dynasty. Thanks for the read

    • Anthony Joseph Gomes

      if you dont think dynasties spend time telling themselves they are dynasties you should perhaps consider the case of U$C which does little else but brag about its “storied history”.

      • hokieduck

        Point taken. But do the Ducks really want to emulate the likes of Steve Sarkisian? And especially do the Ducks want to do so before they have even won a single Championship, much less multiple Championships, to back their hubris up?