Ultimate Dis: ESPN’S Todd McShay Says Oregon Was 7-6 in 2015


This isn’t a case of man love, but you’ve got to admit that ESPN’s Todd McShay is one handsome dude. That suit he’s wearing had to cost more than my entire clothing budget for the century so far.

McShay is a former college quarterback. It was at the University of Richmond where he served on the scout team before a back injury ended his career, but hey, that still counts.

ESPN pays McShay money to bless us with his knowledge, so you know he has to be knowledgeable. When he first opens his mouth to speak, from the first words out you can tell he’s articulate.

Then you get to the second words out of his mouth, and you think what the hell.

In a recent interview on ESPN’s College Football, McShay was asked if the golden era of Oregon football was over. The second thing he said was,

“They (the Ducks) should have won that bowl game a year ago. That would have been eight wins, I believe.”

–ESPN’s Todd McShay, referring to 2015 Oregon football.

Okay … what is going on here?

First I thought maybe Todd was really, really bad at kindergarten math and they just gave up trying to teach him numbers.

Then I thought maybe he was getting Oregon confused with Washington. The difference can be troublesome for people back East. I can forgive that. I could come close, but I couldn’t place Rhode Island, Connecticut or Massachusetts on a map. But this isn’t about geography. It’s about football! And Todd McShay is an expert, so that couldn’t be it.

Then it dawned on me. In spite of the handsome, obviously intelligent face; in spite of the four-digit or whatever suit; in spite of the ESPN title; in spite of the articulate delivery …


And ESPN no doubt paid him good money to make it clearly obvious to anybody who does.

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is a Heisman candidate, but ...

John Sperry

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is a Heisman candidate, but …

For those who don’t understand what I’m getting at here, Oregon won nine games last year. Had the Ducks won one more game, that would have made ten wins, not eight. If Todd McShay is reading and he still doesn’t get it, one more win means that you add one to the win column, not subtract it.

Someone who is giving expert opinion on whether the Ducks’ “Golden Era” is over really ought to know what their record was last year if he wants listeners to give credence to a word he says.

But McShay gave further proof that he gets his expert knowledge from whatever he happens across on the internet rather than doing any hard core research. He added that “this quarterback situation has to be figured out.”

Just because McShay doesn’t have something figured out does not mean that, say, the Oregon coaching staff hasn’t got things figured out.

News Flash! Oregon quarterbacks have led the nation in passing efficiency the past two years in a row, with two different quarterbacks. And the Ducks have been in the top five nationally in scoring for five years running. Apparently without having their quarterback situation figured out.

Granted, the Ducks did not fare well when they had to turn to a backup last year. A lot of teams don’t. But last year’s backup quarterback is now number five on Oregon’s depth chart.

McShay mentioned Dakota Prukop, possibly replaced by Travis Jonsen or Terry Wilson if Prukop doesn’t work out. McShay has not been following the Ducks closely enough to know that 6’6″ 225 lb. freshman Justin Herbert has been lighting up Ducks practices.

This past spring Herbert was 8-0 as a pitcher for Sheldon High. He struck out 71 and gave up only 11 walks while posting a 0.66 ERA. So you know he has an arm, and there’s a hint that the arm might be accurate. According to a recent Register Guard article by Ryan Thorburn, Darren Carrington and Charles Nelson rate Herbert’s arm as already the best on the team.

Herbert also batted .447 and had six stolen bases, so he apparently has eyes and wheels as well. His name deserves mention in any discussion concerning Oregon’s “quarterback situation.” If McShay knows this guy exists, it seems to have slipped his mind.

The Oregon running attack, now led by Royce Freeman, has consistently out-performed Stanford.

John Sperry

The Oregon running attack, now led by Royce Freeman, has consistently out-performed Stanford.

But this, obviously, is the year to sell the Ducks short. In annual position rankings, ESPN placed the Ducks behind Stanford at the running back position. While it is possible that Stanford’s running backs may end up out-performing Oregon’s this year, there is absolutely no rational basis to expect it to happen.

It is true that Stanford’s all-everything Christian McCaffrey ran for 83 more yards than Oregon’s Royce Freeman did last year. But that was only because Stanford does not have the depth that Oregon has at the position. Stanford’s # 2 running back, Bryce Love, would be fifth on Oregon’s depth chart.

Freeman actually averaged half a yard per carry more than McCaffrey. And Oregon’s four returning running backs ran for 3,058 yards in 2015. Stanford’s two returning running backs ran for 2,245 yards, eight football fields fewer.

Oregon has led the Pac-12 in rushing for the past ten years in a row. The Ducks are four deep to Stanford’s two deep. To rate Stanford stronger than Oregon at this position is … let’s just say that it’s consistent with everything else the learned media has been saying about the Ducks in a year that 4 is less than 2, and 3,058 is less than 2,245.

And, according to Todd McShay, apparently a year in which 9 + 1 = 8.

Top photo from ESPN video

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Mike Merrell

Mike Merrell

Mike (Editor-in-Chief) is a 1970 graduate of the University of Oregon where he attended the Honors College and received all-conference honors as a swimmer. After college, Mike ran for the Oregon Track Club and narrowly missed qualifying for the US Olympic Trials in the marathon. He continues his involvement in sports with near-daily swimming or running workouts, occasional masters swim competition (where he has received two Top-10 World rankings), providing volunteer coaching to local triathletes and helping out with FishDuck.com. Mike lives on 28 acres in the forest near Sandpoint, Idaho, where he has served as a certified public accountant for most of his working career. His current night job is writing novels about Abby Westminster, the only known illegitimate daughter of Britain's finest secret agent who has to bring down arch-villains plotting dastardly deeds. And, yes, Abby is also a DUCK!

  • goducks58

    Love it, thanks Mike.

  • What a week! Mike skewers Stewart Mandel of Fox, along with Todd McShay of ESPN, while FishDuck slaps down John Canzano of The Oregonian. The thing is….they set us up with lay-ups that were they not so boneheaded would have been ignored.

    The reporting they offer is insulting to Oregon fans…way to go MIKE!

    • bbb

      The ignorance of the media Echo Chamber is deafening… And I love it!!! If the Ducks need motivation for the year, they don’t have to look far to see how everyone is counting them out. This is going be a great year.

    • Anthony Joseph Gomes

      this is the happy time for ESPN and the media experts and enemy fans charles. our time is coming very soon. ARE YA READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Platypus

    All i can do is shake my head…Why is there such a bias against the Ducks? What will it take to sway the so called experts? I hope the players read this BS and come ready to kick ass.

    • Anthony Joseph Gomes

      l love answering this question. oregon is a small rainy town with little money compared to a seattle or an LA. when the ducks win 150,000 people are happy. when U$C wins 21 million people are happy. and then it has to do with who has the most money to pay for ESPNs subscriptions and services. only phil knight has the bucks to compete there but uncle phil is smart money and smart money doesnt tend to waste money.

      • res_ipsa_loquitur

        Oregon is a state. It’s in between Washington and California.

        • Anthony Joseph Gomes

          haha…it couldnt have happened any other way. you had to be right about something eventually. i think this is what you should do…stick to correcting peoples spelling errors and things like that and avoid anything that involves using your brain too much.

  • Eugene Bradford

    Fun article to read Mike and thank you for the re-cap as during my work shift saw and sort of heard the error-filled rants of McShay It was strange that he was talking and (very ignorantly) about Oregon football more than I’ve ever seen before and full of astonishing ignorance considering McShay supposed to be big expert regarding college football ESPN and another source of motivation for the Ducks this year. Passing efficiency and improved defense will make Oregon hard to beat this year not to mention a great running game (Again) as Mike Bellotti would say

  • Nate Haas

    As a lover of Sun Tsu, I would prefer entering any battle under-rated by my opponent. Hopefully, the opposing teams are as superficial in their analysis as the poorly informed media though I doubt few in the Pac-12 will make that mistake though some might.

    In the end, it will be hard to argue with wins on the field. I’m very excited about this season, and I’m sure many of these talking heads will find themselves corrected.

    • Damn Nate….no one had ever quoted Sun Tsu on our site. Interesting quote, application, and conclusion!

      Great stuff.

      • Anthony Joseph Gomes

        sun tsu said that the pinnacle of military success approached the formless. for when one becomes invisible the greatest armies cannot attack it nor the wisest generals make plans against it and if you look at how media experts are claiming the ducks chances to win are invisible or non existent you become very optimistic if we follow the teachings of master sun. unfortunately the words formless and invisible could also be used to describe todd mcshays brain………………………

      • Nate Haas

        it IS hard to shake the impression that some people just love “traditional” football and auto-reflexively tend to view any change as negative. since the Ducks represent an bold attempt to change and innovate, they are automatically suspect in those types of minds.

        another military analogy is asymmetrical warfare. the Ducks create a type of asymmetry with speed and deception… asymmetric warfare is often regarded as not “playing their game” or pitting your strength directly against their strength or type of strength. to some that feels unfair.

        the result is (using yet another military analogy) something like maneuver warfare where the opponent is kept off balance physically and psychologically because his decision cycles are unable to keep pace. in turn, that creates a cascading “ripple effect” that shows up on the scoreboard as the “whoosh” we have all seen the Ducks inflict on teams. the Ducks are not merely “running the scoreboard up” as some superficial criticism has asserted.

  • Anthony Joseph Gomes

    mcshay also claimed that jameis winston would be the best quarterback to come along in 10 years and that mariota would either be a bust or need years of sitting on the bench. mcshay just has an irrational hatred of duck football. you cannot reconcile his ridiculous remarks with anything resembling reality.