Duck DISRESPECT? CFP Committee Dismisses Oregon

Joshua Whitted Editorials 73 Comments

This year’s initial College Football Playoff rankings were bound to be the strangest, for obvious reasons. In a year marred by uncertainty, it was anyone’s guess as to how the committee would weigh factors such as the number of games a team has played, strength of schedule and even games lost due to unavailable players. Although the Ducks were considered a longshot to make this year’s CFP due to a small and relatively easy schedule, their landing spot in these initial CFP rankings would be a good indicator of their Playoff chances.

Unfortunately, it would appear Oregon doesn’t stand much of a chance to make a serious Playoff push based on the committee’s highly questionable rankings. The Ducks are rightfully ranked behind the undefeated teams with stronger resumes than them to this point (Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Cincinnati and Northwestern). And they’re also understandably behind a few one-loss teams that have stronger wins than them at the moment (Clemson, Florida and Texas A&M). This should have put Oregon right on the edge of the top 10, in competition with teams such as BYU, and possibly Miami and Indiana.

Instead, Oregon ranks behind those teams — and a few others — despite winning two of its three games by multiple possessions, and ultimately remaining undefeated, unlike many of the teams ahead of it.

Tom Corno

The Ducks have handled their business so far.

Two-loss Iowa State and Oklahoma both rank ahead of Oregon, despite Iowa State losing at home to a now-unranked team from the mighty Sun Belt conference, and Oklahoma nearly losing three in a row before it pulled out an overtime victory against Texas. No. 9 Georgia is somehow ranked ahead of all of these teams, with its only win worth mentioning coming against Auburn. That win was solid, but getting blown out by Alabama and Florida should factor into their positioning too, right?

Miami and Indiana are getting credit as one-loss teams for beating absolutely nobody. Miami’s best wins are a three-point victory against NC State and a one-point victory against Virginia Tech — both unranked, middle-of-the-pack ACC teams. Indiana’s wins are honestly worse; the four teams they have beaten have a combined four wins among them. The Hoosiers are getting credit for keeping their game against Ohio State close, but a “good loss” shouldn’t overshadow what has been a cakewalk schedule so far for them.

Do you think that the Ducks got the raw end of the deal in these initial CFP rankings? Is it possible for Oregon to somehow impress the committee enough in the coming weeks to make a Playoff push, or is the writing on the wall for our feathered friends?

Joshua Whitted 
Morgantown, West Virginia
Top Photo by Tom Corno

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Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

New Rivalry Game Name?

Tomorrow the Sticky-Post at the top of the comments (that is what this is) will ask about game score predictions, but I am bored and wondered what do you think about a serious name for the Rivalry game?

We are to stay away from “War” such as Willamette War, or Wetlands War, (I like that) yet it has to be something that convey the antipathy between the fans. (If there is any doubt about those feelings–wait for tomorrow’s article by Yours-Truly, heh-heh…)

I see some on other sites…thoughts?

I-5 Fight
Cascade Clash (I like this, but we are in the valley, not the Cascades)
Beaver State Battle
Pond Scrum
Forest Fight

I like something with alliteration, but…it’s pretty hard.

Willamette Wrath?


how bout the Timber Bowl?
or the Hazelnut Bowl?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

They all lack the “it” factor…


The Pinot Noir


Rodent Roundup


I like the idea of referencing the Pond because it makes literal sense. I guess that is why I kind of liked the Platypus Bowl as well.

Perhaps something like “Pond Cup” or “Pond Championship” or “Master of the Pond” or “Pond Rivalry” game.

Unfortunately a lot of the ideas for new names come off as a bit silly, and these are no exception I suppose.

Thing is for me that while I am a die hard Duck fan, I still root for the Beavers whenever they are not playing the Ducks. So I never really thought of it as a Civil War anyway.

I kind of like the idea of going with a more light hearted name.

Probably doesn’t hurt us a state (or nation for that matter) to take every opportunity we can to lower tempers and find as much common ground as we can.


How about “Cross State Rivalry”


how bout: “the Oregon trial”

It’s a play on words for the Oregon Trail.


I have a better one: “The Frontier Fracas”

Fracas definition: a rough and often noisy fight usually involving several people

  • police preparing for any fracas that might follow the soccer game

and Frontier gives reference to the pioneering days

its catchy, its unique to our region of the country, and has a little flavor of the Hatfields/McCoys battling it out in the boondocks — with the northwest being way out on the outskirts of relevancy in the world of college football


Teams are ranked based on expectations for their next game(s) THIS season.

Expectations are based largely on the quality of players, along with coaching, scheme and things like that.

The offensive scheme and play calling has greatly improved. QB play is OK.

What is lacking is offensive and defensive line play, along with poor pass coverage and bad tackling.

Verdell is still getting stuffed on a lot of plays. I am not seeing the linebackers being as good on the field as they are on paper.

Cristobal is punting when he could be going for it on 4th downs. That shank of a field goal attempt was ugly.

Put it all together, and no way this team playing like it is playing now looks like a playoff team.

Some players are emerging, but not nearly enough.

2020 team is a drop off from the 2019 team. It will get better next year, and the next when more recruits get here and start practicing in the system. .


On a national sports radio show this morning a guest (I really should pay attention to names) said he was surprised that Georgia was ranked ahead of teams such as Oregon. I forget the other teams he mentioned, but Oregon was the first he listed.


There were a few, and the justification for Georgia was murky, nice to hear he had Oregon on the top of his list. The brand is strong.

David Marsh

Usc v Colorado canceled… This one is a major loss… Usc and Colorado are both undefeated and this would be the game to determine who is in control of the south… Usc being ranked might be the weaker team that gets into the championship game if this game is not made up.


It won’t be a conference game, but Colorado still wants to play.

David Marsh

Colorado can’t afford to miss two weeks in a row. Last week was a shame that Stanford was the other team sitting out as those two already played each other.

I do think colorado may be the better team between the two.

Jon Joseph

So, CU has played its cross over game. Maybe something can be done to get a game on between SC and CU instead of SC playing WSU that in turn, would play CU’s scheduled opponent.

As I opined before the season started, I thought it was stupid to keep the division alignment this year instead of the top 2 teams regardless of division playing for the conference title.


Pac12 Network? I didn’t know they had the capability to broadcast a game after all their layoffs.

Jon Joseph


Jon Joseph

The ONLY way to ‘make it up’ would be in week 7 when 1 of these 2 will likely be in the champ game. Of course, if both get other game cancellations the same weekend in weeks 5 or 6 this game could get played?

It also would make sense to have SC play CU instead of WSU in its cross over game. I don’t think CU has played its cross over game? But, these would have to be on the same weekend and it could cause a rematch up north?

I think you have to play 4 games to be eligible for the champ game?


I agree with most here that the Ducks arent ready for major prime time just yet-Maybe next year.Right now we need to boot those Beavs out of the pond-A shut out would be great.

David Marsh

I always dream of shut outs though to be honest I doubt that is going to happen.

Though keeping Oregon State below 25 would be great and keeping them below 20 would be huge.

Below 10 would be a dream… But I do think the beavers will get some points in. This will be a challenge for the rush defense to force the beavers to turn to the air… And Gebbia has not shown himself to be a great qb when he NEEDS to pass it this year.

The secondary has made some progress and here’s hoping they take another step forward tomorrow as a a unit. I get the feeling some of the break downs come from some players trying to do too much and not trusting their teammates.


We need some style points so keeping them under 2 TDs would be very nice –Fingers crossed.

David Marsh

The pac-12 leadership hasn’t done Oregon any favors when it has come to launching this season.

A part of why Oregon hasn’t looked so hot on the field is just straight up that Oregon like the rest of the PAC is still in early season form… There is a big difference between game 3 of a season and game 6…. Oregon id only 25% through a typical 12 game schedule… And they will only play 7 total apart of a regular season this year.

If Oregon wins out I feel they’d get a new years 6 game and finish the year inside the top ten…. Oregon will have to dominate big time to get enough attention to be higher than that and I don’t see that happening with the youth of this team.

Jon Sousa

Yep. We have just finished our three game “OOC” slate and are now ready to start conference play. Bring on the Beavers!

David Marsh

I have been on the whole pleasantly surprised by the offense. I will admit I started off shocked by our leaky the defense has been but given the youth I’m excited to watch the growth.

This defense did only give up 13 points on 3 turnovers to wsu after all and though last year’s defense probably would have given up fewer this defense had done well enough to propell Oregon to 3-0.

Jon Joseph

UGA? There’s some SEC love on full display.

OK, IA ST. TX – the Committee loves a B12 conference that went 0-3 against the Sun Belt.

Oregon? I kind of get where the Committee has the Ducks. Oregon’s D ranks 100th in the country, giving up 6.3 YPP. Illinois ranks 99 and U Mass (!) ranks 101. I also get the opt out impact and lack of practice time on the D.

But Come On Man! This is to date a pathetic showing featuring a whole bunch of Ole! tackling, the disappearance of the D line and mass confusion in the back 7.

Game 4 tomorrow. There is no excuse for the D not to show a good deal of improvement against the Beavers. Will the Ducks D be able to slow the Beavers run game? I expect J Smith will pound the rock and do all he can to ‘shorten’ the game.

I’ll hold off on my score prediction until tomorrow. FWIW, Stewart Mandel sees the final score as Oregon 45 and Oregon State 42.

IF Oregon played OK, UGA or IA ST tomorrow, I think Oregon would be the dog in 2 if not all 3 games.

BTW Oklahoma at W VA called off. Cincy game called off. SC had a guy test positive yesterday. Will SC/CU be played?

Thanks Joshua. Always great to read your takes.

Jon Joseph

This was a great take that initiated the discussion. Mongo is but a pawn in the game of life.

Jon Joseph

Will SC/CU be played? ‘How about no!’


Like most others have said it’s a result of only playing three games and not looking that great in any of them. I think we take it at that and try not to let it get to us if we can. In a normal season I would definitely agree with you though Joshua.

I do think the three teams we have played are better than they are given credit for. Meaning I think there is greater parity in the Pac 12 than several other conferences, particularly the ACC. So blowout victories are not as easy to come by as say when you match up Alabama versus Kentucky or Clemson versus Georgia Tech.

If the Ducks win out, which I believe to be a tall order, then they will likely sit somewhere between 6-10 to finish the season. Personally, and I think a lot of others agree at this point, I don’t think being added to the playoff four would be a healthy thing for this team this year. The best scenario is probably versus BYU or Northwestern….or possibly Indiana in the Fiesta Bowl. Consolation is likely the Alamo Bowl versus Iowa State or Texas.

Jon Joseph

Good take.

There may be parity in the conference but there is no parity between the quality of the Ducks roster and the roster of the 3 teams it has played.

How would the Ducks do this season against UNC, Wake Forest, BC, Miami; let alone, Notre Dame and Clemson?

I am not ready to say the Pac-12 is deeper in 2020 than is the ACC; especially, with ND an official conference member.


Until the Ducks play better, any notion of being disrespected is silly. Sure, there’s SEC bias, Indiana has played nobody, and Iowa State lost to Sun Belt conference team, but seriously…if you’ve watched the Ducks this season, being 15th is about right, and if anything, is generous.


Given Oregon’s strength of schedule and game control after three games, I’m not surprised by the rankings. SC should feel fortunate they landed as high as they did, considering none of the teams they’ve played have won a single game. But we should want them to win out until the CC. 

Looking forward to tomorrow’s rivalry: Between Two Firs.

Santa Rosa Duck

I am not concerned about rankings this screwed up year. I just want to see our DUCKS come together as a team and create a strong building block for next year. We really do not know from week to week or even day to day if we are going to play our next game due to this pandemic. Oh well………..I hope we have beaver steaks for dinner tomorrow.


I hope the Ducks feel disrespected. We need something to fire us up for the Feather Fur Feud. The guy who, rightly so, should be ridiculed is Lazy Larry for putting together the schedule and his destruction of the conference.

What the committee is doing is reflecting the fact that we have played 3 games while most teams have played 5-9 games. The committee wouldn’t even come out with a poll if all teams had only played 3 games. If the Ducks win out and actually start to win pretty then the committee will reflect that play.

As many will post that won’t help us get to the Championship, unless we get help. What winning out will get us is a very good bowl game and continued momentum. This is all we can expect from a season effected by Larry and 2020. Those two are pretty formable, destructive forces.

Jon Joseph

Lots of games have been called off across the country and in the Pac-12. But the Pac-12 using the same testing protocols as the ACC, B12 and SEC, could have kicked off far earlier.

In fairness, Larry had and has, to deal with a different set of government restrictions.


From what I read Larry got the testing process going and then did nothing. The Big 10 got the same testing systems, later, and got their conference schedule ahead of Larry and the Pac-12.

You don’t get paid more than other commissioners and then get beat by them. If a coach did that they would be down the road. Cristobal has a tougher place to recruit to, but doesn’t complain about those restrictions. I don’t have a problem being fair with Larry, he just needs to be held accountable and not make excuses. Also Jon is obviously a much fairer gentlemen than I.

To stay seasonally correct, I am thankful for Oregon’s players, coaches and administrators. I am not thankful for the buffoon in charge of our conference.

Jon Joseph

NO one loves Larry more than I.

I dare you to find a better tennis commissioner anywhere on planet earth


Ducks 3 games so far have kicked off East Coast time of @ 7:30, 7:30, and 3:30. So the only game that most media folks were even glancing at was UCLA, where we had some quick scoring strikes after turnovers, but mostly were being pushed around by the thoroughly discounted Bruins.

This week’s CBSSN two hour preview show contained roughly 4 minutes on the Pac12: 3 minutes on USC’s win over Utah, and 1 minute to show Jerry Rice’s son catch a TD pass for CO (on a busted coverage with no defenders within 15 yards) followed by fawning over and congratulating Jerry Rice. That was it; for the whole conference.

Tomorrow’s Gettysburg Game will be @ 7:30 Eastern, once again. Will anyone besides Duck & Beav fans give two whits?

The Committee has clearly stated that Oregon, and the Pac12, will be irrelevant this year. I don’t see our College Football Overlords breaking much of a sweat to come up with their rankings before the Conference Championships. They don’t have to; who’s going to hold them accountable?

I’m going to watch and try to enjoy the game, while looking for optimistic signs on the field for 2021.

Jon Joseph

Yes, the Ducks best defeat The Northern Aggressor’s!

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Until our defense is improved…we are not top ten. We should be a bit higher and perhaps with some upcoming tough wins–that will happen.


Absolutely, Charles. It’s hard to replace 3 All PAC-12 defenders, though. I have faith Coach Avalos will get it done. As others have said, I see this year as a growth opportunity. Rankings be damned…I’m just happy to see our Ducks playing football!

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

True enough!

Spot on! See the D stats I posted above.


Thanks Joshua for your article. I know everyone has talked about this year’s opt outs had brought venerability to this team where we needed experience at those positions. We have inexperience players having to have to grow up quick in those positions which has not helped our cause this year. But, I do agree with you about where they were placed in the poll. At least should be higher than two loss teams. Like to see this team get into one of the New Year’s Six bowls.

I look at this short season as a time for this young team to gain valuable playing time to prepare for next year.

Hoping Oregon wins all their games this year. Go Ducks!!


Jon Joseph

Georgia, Iowa State, Oklahoma. Which team(s) should Oregon be ranked higher than?

I don’t disagree with your point, but I do not after the way the Ducks has played in its 3 games to date, have any real beef with the Committee’s 1st ranking.


The one thing about the rankings that stood out was seeing Clemson in at #3, knowing that no #3 in the initial list made it to the “Playoffs”. Indiana? it would have been fascinating if the Hoosiers had beaten the Buckeyes. Would, “the committee” have Indiana @ in at 4, and 1 L, Ohio State down at 12, behind, “The Committee’s” darling, 2 L Oklahoma?

Don’t understand Iowa State at all, Georgia? When Northwestern beats Ohio State in the B1G Championship Game, that will get cleared up, and when the Ducks beat UCLA, again, in Autzen, for the Pac-12 crown, “the committee” will push them up to #5. Which is okay, because I actually don’t want Alabama this season.

Jon Joseph

30, if NW plays tOSU in the B1G champ game I will be happy to take the Buckeyes straight up! For a 6 pack of righteous Oregon IPA? I’ll let Charles pick the brand.

UCLA’s S Division title problem? Not only do the Bruins have to beat USC, which I think is very doable, but CU at 2-0 and with a W over UCLA is 3 up in the loss column.


Unfortunately Jon, The NW over tOSU prediction comes with the Todd McShay clause, “Such statement is viable only if borne out to be correct; should it be specious, it shall expire”.

Jon Joseph

Often wrong; but never in doubt! SEE: Todd McShay


Inconsistent play and the PAC 12 late start hasn’t helped. I don’t believe we are a CFP team this year, and apparently others agree. However, ranking the reigning PAC 12 champion behind teams with 2 losses does seem somewhat disrespectful. So the rankings seem a little off in that respect, but not by much.

Jon Joseph

If the games across the country get played as scheduled or otherwise, thee rankings will come more into focus. I think the entire exercise is kind of a scam but the Committee does have a tough job this season.


We all know and admit that the Ducks this year are just not performing well. Like Pm mentioned “we are a year away” from staring a serious run at the national playoffs and IMO maybe two years from making it. As a Duck fan I am happy to be 15th right now.

Our toughest part of the season is ahead of us yet and to date we have not looked like top 10 talent, let alone even top 5 talent. Others in the East have but not anyone in the Pac-12. As it stands right now for the Ducks to even win the Pac-12 they will have to do a lot more then just “win ugly”, we will need the opponent to “play uglier”. USC on the other hand has played ugly at times but for short times toward the end of the games, played extremely well. The Ducks have not shown that “got it all together” dominate attitude at all this year.

Jon Joseph

2 years? Will the Ducks face JT Daniels in 2022? That would be interesting.


2 years because our D backfield is not ready yet and that takes time.


It is what it is !! We are being punished for being in the pac 12 , but also , we are a year away ! We have not really played that well , and I feel 15th is about right! With this years team , thank goodness we didn’t play Ohio state , wise the score would have been 45-14 ish ! We’re good enough to win the pac 12 , Fiesta Bowl game , get a nice win , and ramp up for next season ! We are the DUCKS


Well said Pm.

Jon Joseph

Maybe if Autzen wasn’t empty it could have been close? Otherwise? I would not want to see the Ducks D backs going against Fields and that set of receivers; especially, if there was no pressure on Fields.