It’s Party Time for the Ducks

Darren Perkins Editorials 60 Comments

This Halloween weekend took me down memory lane over 20 years ago to my final year of college in Eugene.

There was a big Halloween Party that all my friends were going to, but I had to work until 10 pm that night at my part-time restaurant job. When ten o’clock hit I flew out the door, sped home, threw on my costume (an inmate), and shot off to the party.

I arrive, and while everybody else was in the party groove, enjoying music, cocktails, drinking games, and overall craziness; I, of course, was stone-cold sober. It was an out-of-sync and awkward feeling for sure, and all because I had joined the party late.

So yes, I can relate to how the Pac-12 and the Ducks are feeling as they arrive late to this party known as the 2020 College Football Season. The likes of Alabama (SEC), Ohio State (B1G), and Clemson (ACC) are in that perfect party groove, ripping it up on the dance floor, impressing the ladies, making the guys jealous, and all with their eyes on the bigger party known as the College Football Playoff.

Eugene Johnson

The Ducks are getting ready to live it up in 2020.

The Big 12, on the other hand, is already partied out. Texas and Oklahoma arrived to the party drunk as they’ve belligerently stumbled around the early part of the 2020 season. On the other hand, Oklahoma State was on fire in the early going, that was until they just passed out in a dark corner with a spilled drink on their lap. Then again, given the way they choked against Texas on Saturday, I think they may have peed themselves.

With the Big 12 in chaos, it gives the Ducks (Pac-12) a real shot to make it to the CFP. But the Ducks don’t want to make the same mistake I made all those years ago after showing up to the party late. When my friends saw me walk through the door, they shouted “Darren!” and began pouring me a line of tequila shots, telling me I had to “catch up” with everybody else.

I was always more of a beer drinker, and for a lot of us, shots equal trouble. Well, I’m no different. But hey, I didn’t want to let everybody down, I had to step up to the plate, I had to be the man! So, I murmured to myself “to hell with it” and caved to the peer pressure by pouring shots of booze down my throat.

And off to Tequilaville I went….

(Time elapses)

Kevin Cline

The Oregon Duck after a long night of partying.

It was a wild night, or so I am told, but the aftermath was awful. All I know is that I awoke the next morning on a couch with a smelly bucket next to it, had a massive headache, and had profanity scribbled all across my face. What the hell was I thinking?

The point of my little party analogy is this—Lots of college football pundits are saying that not only does the Pac-12 champion need to go 7-0, but they have to win every game big and with massive style points. This is like my buddies all those years ago telling me to drink a line of shots to “catch up.” Well, don’t do it Ducks! Don’t give in to what those idiots are telling you to do, it definitely won’t be worth it.

Play hard, play tough, play within yourselves, and play to win. But don’t try anything stupid by trying to do too much or trying to impress others. Because if you do, you’ll end up as I did all those years ago.

One big smelly mess.

Darren Perkins
Spokane, WA
Top photo credit: Kevin Cline

Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.

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Charles Fischer

A Forum that has Enforced Decorum? Impossible!

Yes, it is real because the Our Beloved Ducks Forum is coming soon…

My friends, we all have had a bit-off-more-than-we-chew type of project, and the new forum is in that category. The software for this website, FishDuck, took long enough to learn, but the forum software is completely different. It is a mother-bear that has consumed many, many hours of my time already.

The goal is to have it out within a few weeks, and I think we can do that. However I will tell you that it will just be a pretty basic forum to start, and we will gradually add more items and/or fix things over time. It might be a tad plain … bordering on ugly, but again–we’ll slowly fix that.

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Last edited 21 days ago by Charles Fischer
oregon111

If Anthony Brown is healthy, then I think he should play, regardless of who starts the game. He can play. He can make on the fly decisions and he can scramble. He has 28 starts at the college football level compared to none for Shough.

If a play breaks down, Brown will be in a better position to make something out of a broken play. And with 5 new starters on the offensive line, there may be a lot of broken plays.

Haywarduck

As has been pointed out, he has been scrimmaging against one of the best defenses in the nation. If Shough isn’t ready then there is something wrong with the young man or Brown is a phenom.

Also I think it hurt Oregon’s recruiting of qb’s when we went after transfers at the expense of developing qb’s back in the Helfrich days. Kids want to know they will be developed and given a chance.

That said you make a good case for starting Brown. I just think it is detrimental to the program to bring top flight talent and then put them on the bench for a transfer.

David Marsh

Counter-point… if experience is the end all be all then what’s the point in recruiting quarterbacks at all and why not just dip into the transfer pool for a quarterback every year?

Shough has some game experience… in garbage time yes but some. He has the chance of being a multi-year starter and if Shough and Brown are playing at the same level in practice I would say start Shough as he can start next year as well. It also shows that Oregon can recruit and develop talent.

With that said I think Brown is a fine safety net for the program. If Shough stumbles I do believe Brown will be pushed into action. Graduate Transfer Quarterbacks: Saviors or Usurpers?

oregon111

why not just dip into the transfer pool for a quarterback every year?

That is what Oklahoma has done for a few seasons and Georgia tried it for this season.

You can’t bring in a multi-year starter just to be an insurance policy in case of an injury to the starter.

I think they can both play, if Shough is ready.

I think the reason that Oregon has fallen in the crapper in 2007 and 2017 and that year when Lockie played is because the program only wants to use one QB.

If the QB runs in this new system, the QB is going to get banged up, if not hurt.

Go look at Brown’s highlight video. He can scan the field and scramble and throw on the run accurately. (kind of like how Mariota did it).

Even if Shough is the real deal, he will still struggle at times due to his inexperience, much like Rattler at Oklahoma.

Jon Joseph

Because of the weird COVID year, Brown can play this year and also be eligible in 2021.

oregon111

If he doesn’t play this year, he will go elsewhere.

David Marsh

Brown won’t be able to transfer again to play. The extra year of eligibility due to covid is only for the school a player is currently at… This is so stop grand transfers from going off to transfer again if they didn’t get on the field this year.

I’m not opposed to Brown playing this year if he is the better quarterback. I just don’t think expirence should be the reason to bench someone with a high ceiling. Shough probably has a higher ceiling than Brown.

As for Oklahoma and Georgia… Yes both have seen some success with grad transfers… Oregon has seen success with grad transfers with Vernon Adams. They can be saviors to a program. They can also get in the way to developing talent that is sitting on the bench behind them.

oregon111

It WAS party time last November. Ducks had a good defense and some of the best players in the game in Sewell and Thibadeaux. Then came the Az St game. And it all went down the toilet. Much like the 2012 season, a loss against a conf team they should have beaten had derailed any national ambitions.

It is ALWAYS party time for the Ducks, UNTIL they lose that one game that kicks them out of the national conversation.

They stop the haters by WINNING those kinds of games.

Every game is a playoff game. And with the big12 not looking like it has a playoff contender, the playoffs are in for the Ducks if they win out the regular schedule.

30Duck

If only you and Jerry Palm could make it so. As for, “Every game is a playoff game”. We have evidence that shows that isn’t the case at all. As Jon pointed out earlier, the “subjectivity” in the Committee’s decision making process puts winning in the mix but not absolute.

Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State have all shown that winning every game is not needed. A team does not need to win its division, conference to play for the championship. “The Playoff” is so absurd that the better a team is perceived to be, the less it needs to win during the season, to play for the championship at the end.

oregon111

Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State have all shown that winning every game is not needed. Yes, but the other teams need to win, except for Oklahoma, which just needs to win their conference.

In a regular year, Oregon needs to either win out, or lose only one game, preferably an early season game against a highly ranked out of conf opponent.

Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State have dominated the last few years so heavily, that they get to have a slip up game. But if Clemson loses to Fla St or Miami, they are out. If Ohio St loses to Michigan, they are out. And bama was out for losing to LSU.

It all comes down to recruiting. Recruit the best and you win the majority of tough games.

Oregon got in into the 2014 playoffs after losing to Az. They built up that kind of good will by dominating during the Chip Kelly years.

Jon Sousa

Bama was out for losing to LSU AND Auburn.

Oregon got into the 2014 playoffs after losing AZ AND beating AZ in the conference championship game.

David Marsh

Cristobal’s post-pratice game week presser… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neAzwmI–sw

The first question was about who the actual starters are and rep splitting in practice. His answer is trademark Cristobal… an honest “we would rather let the other team figure that out” and respectfully declines to answer the question.

THIS is what seperates Cristobal from so many coaches out there. I know it is small and doesn’t really mean a whole lot but it is just one more instance of Cristobal’s honesty. He doesn’t duck the question (intentional pun) he just answers it by honestly declining to answer. It’s weird but the normal response would be to dance around for a few minutes and not answer the question.

Where so many coaches fall down is dealing with media and dealing with boosters but with honesty like that I can see Cristobal sticking around for as long as he wants to.

Jon Sousa

Furthermore, it takes less time to say you won’t answer and here’s why….

30Duck

Today was Joe Burrow Day on ESPN, “Put him in the Pro Bowl!!”  Of course if any rookie QB should be drawing Pro Bowl talk it’s Justin Herbert.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2020/passing.htm#passing::pass_rating

Passing yards per game: Herbert 303.3 Burrow 284.0
Completion % : Herbert 67.4 Burrow 67,0
TD/INT: Herbert 15/5 Burrow 11/5

David Marsh

Herbert has the problem where the Chargers really only play half a game… the first half Herbert is lights out and does all his heavy lifting pretty much for the game. Second half… Herbert hands the ball off and watches his team slowly lose the game. Herbert’s stats would be up if they just continued letting him throw the ball in the second half… with that said.. his stats are still very impressive.

Oregon did the same thing with him in 2017 under Taggart and a portion of 2018 in Cristobal’s first year.

30Duck

Yep, he’s playing better than is Burrow, setting NFL records, while as you pointed out, basically playing half the game! Ryan noted yesterday what a woeful job, Chargers coach, Anthony Lynn is doing. The team consistently is outscored in the 2nd half; due in part to a defense that just can’t stand up for a complete game, and Lynn, putting Herbert and the Chargers in a Prevent Offense.

Jon Joseph

How close can you get? Oregon and USC are basically neck and neck pursuant to EPN’s FPI and SP+ ranking systems.

Oregon – FPI 10/SP+ 14

USC – FPI 11/SP+ 15

According to SP+ this Saturday both teams will be playing the 2nd best opponent on its schedule.

30Duck

Enough with the suspense Jon, who is the best opponent on Oregon’s schedule?

Santa Rosa Duck

Thank you Darren, you reminded me that the roughest hang overs of all time were in Eugene. All this talk about the final 4 makes me nervous. Heck, I am concerned about the Stanford game. We should have a good team but how long does it take for Tyler Shough to really take charge? His backup while experienced has no history with our Oregon team. How long does it take for our entirely brand new 0-Line to gel? Stanford has a lot of young top talent. I understand the reason that so many Stanford players entered the transfer portal is that they saw better, younger players stepping up.

I hope we do not snooze here and take this one game at a time and we all hope we get 7 games. GO DUCKS!

oregon111

Herbert had and lost it for 4 years at Oregon. He was that inconsistent. But for other QBs, you can usually tell right away.

Jon Joseph

Stanford’s 2 best players. OT Little and CB Adebo, opted out.

Agree, you do not want to look ahead and overlook any opponent, but who is the ‘young talent’ you reference? Sills was a 5* recruit at QB but has been average at best.

As long as the O does not turn the ball over I do not see Stanford scoring more than 21 points.

1 reason Stanford guys opted out is that the school no longer gives its student-athletes grad school admission preference.

Santa Rosa Duck

I just heard about the “young talent” anecdotally but you are right about the grad school admission preference going away.

Jon Joseph

Upon further review, Bill Connolly’s SP+ has Stanford ranked as the Ducks 2nd toughest scheduled opponent.

duckcardinal

Here’s some mitigation Re bad voter karma for running scores up. Suppose offensive back ups run up scores using standard plays from Moorhead’s new offense. How could we have possibly had the time to learn a proper “slow down/clock kill” offense when we barely had time to install the regular schemes?

Both Brown & Shough getting lots of reps; a hungry Williams, Addison, Hudson, being rotated in @ WR; ditto Cyrus, Dollars, Benson @ RB, plus our long awaited dreams of whole flights of fresh OL being rotated in and out! How could this be wrong to give these poor cloistered kids a chance to get on the field?

On defense I might hope for a bit more restraint in substitutions, as I’d hate to see a 40-10 lead suddenly balloon up to a less impressive 40-24 with a couple busted coverages, but I’ll trust the coaches to be acutely aware of all the implications of Darren’s Exquisite Party Parable.

Last edited 21 days ago by duckcardinal
Jon Sousa

One thing we saw last year was a whole lot of substitutions on defense. Too bad we didn’t see more last year on the offensive line and at QB.

Steven A

Heck, I’m now all for coming late every year….watching the other teams “PAc-12/cannibalize” themselves was great fun while we remain undefeated.

duckcardinal

Loved poor Auburn flipping the script on LSU as well – save the Malzahns; a pox upon all their houses!

Last edited 21 days ago by duckcardinal
Jon Joseph

Yes, THAT was so Auburn and for Coach O, a severe return to the mean.

And Auburn actually won without help from its friends, SEC refs.

Bo Nix is a far different player at home vs on the road.

Help the Ducks cause Auburn and beat A+M.

Drake

Every weekend we have a game is a party for me. I am tired of watching other teams play. At this point I am just hoping we can play all seven games.

Let’s get after it and see if we can move up in the rankings. If we can move that needle, then I will worry about what to wear to the big party.

Go Ducks.

Haywarduck

Love the analogy, but the outcome when you go to a party is to come away with somebody you didn’t arrive with. The problem with coming late is most have already been working hard to impress and connect with all the available talent.

Oregon is arriving late to the party and has already, almost, been forgotten. Unless others have been taking the tequila shots, like some programs, Oklahoma, Texas, Auburn to name a few, winning some games late won’t get you the major talent, the playoff. Basically we need help.

The playoff is out there, but it is going to take methodical steps to connect with those making the decision on who gets the attractive date. There is plenty of opportunity for teams to fall into the track Darren speaks about. We have all tried to play catch up, it doesn’t end well. Hopefully Oregon doesn’t fall for that route.

Oregon needs to come at every game with a purpose. If Oregon does that then then beacon that is the Oregon Football Program will light up enough to get noticed.

What we have is a speed dating type of opportunity. We don’t even get an opportunity to talk to any of the talent we want to impress, so it will be tough. What we have to do is impress enough that the decision makers begin to talk about that late comer who has excited the general public. They can’t be left out of the final episode of the greatest reality tv show, the College Football Playoffs!

Jon Joseph

DGUE? Don’t go ugly early?

Great take and analogies.

Historically, 2L teams have been playoff done. But this is a weird season.

Texas? In the modern era, schools outgained as badly as Texas was outgained by OK ST are 3-102.

Tom Herman has a winning record when unranked UT plays ranked opponents. A losing record when a ranked UT plays unranked opponents.

Charles Fischer

Darren, I forgot about your sense of humor and that was a fun read. But it was also a great perception on our situation as Ducks coming late to the pond after a long flight.

I am realistic; the chances of making the playoffs are very, very low for a ton of reasons. Thus I really want to see the Ducks overcome the handicap of no home-field crowd to help, and develop the offensive weapons for future NC runs.

If we could make it to the Fiesta Bowl under the circumstances–I’d say that the coaching staff did a great job, IMHO.

Jon Joseph

TEQUILA! LOL and I have felt your pain my friend.

I agree that the Ducks shouldn’t ‘press things’ this season. But in order to have any kind of a shot at the playoff the Ducks will have to destroy the lesser conference opponents.

Latest AP Poll – Ducks 12; SC 20; Utah 32; UW 33; ASU 37; CAL 41. The conference whether on purpose or not, did all it could to help out the Ducks and USC. Oregon plays UCLA at home instead of SC and SC draws WAZZU as its cross over opponent.

There will be no national appreciation for defeating the majority of this season’s conference opponents unless the Ws come with style points. There will be a lot of pressure on the Committee to take an undefeated G5 Cincinnati. Cincy’s toughest remaining game is at UCF. The rest of the games for the Bearcats should be no problem. Then, there is the possibility of a 1L A+M, Notre Dame and maybe, a 1L B1G runner-up?

Small ball wins against inferior, unranked opponents will get the Ducks to the Fiesta Bowl, which is all well and good, but not to the playoff.

I have hope that Oregon will get 7 games played and the new guys get valuable experience going into what will be a ‘normal’ 2021 season. With Fields almost certainly departing Ohio State, I think Oregon will have a legitimate shot at winning in Columbus next season and coming off the 0 for Ohio?

Your fun take is spot on. Let’s enjoy playing ball. A whole lot has to happen, starting with a 7-0 record, for the Ducks to have a final 4 shot this season. But nothing stands in the way of the new OL, new OC, new D players and a new QB, getting valuable experience and preparing for 2021.

BigDucksFan

That sure is a lot of “new” for the Ducks.

Jon Joseph

We are about to see whether highly ranked recruits have been coached up?

BigDucksFan

5 days and counting, times running out for coaching up.

Jon Joseph

Thank goodness!

Jon Sousa

What I don’t understand is how the PAC12 is considered such a terribly weak conference when fully half of the teams, without playing a snap, received votes as being considered in the top 25 in the country. This happens every year.

CAL didn’t get voted the 41st ranked team in the country. It got enough votes as a top 25 team to place 41st (which of course means that 40 other teams received more votes/points than they did, I get that). But many consider CAL one of Oregon’s toughest games this year, and some are giving them a fair chance to win the North. Three teams are considered contenders in the North and three teams are considered contenders in the South. How many teams have been considered contenders in the ACC over the last few years? This year, there are two.

Jon Joseph

Good call on CAL.

With Garbers back, CAL is the only N division school returning its starting QB. I will not be the least bit surprised if CAL defeats UW in Berkeley come Saturday.

Down south, I think ASU is overrated and Utah, underrated. I expect 1 of Utah’s 2 grad transfer QBs will play well.

30Duck

Darren, I agree, the Ducks don’t have to do anything crazy. Alabama hasn’t done anything crazy. Rather than party time, their games have been clean, efficient business meetings. The Ducks might not be as disturbingly superior to their opponents as The Tide is to theirs, but the goal is the same. Domination.

Jon Joseph

Donta Smith on Saturday outgained Mississippi State on his own. The Bama D shut out UGA in the 2nd half. Bama put a beat down on a very good A+M team and won the track meet at Ole Miss.

Tennessee? 2 decades ago was once a rival for Bama. Now?

Down the road, Waddle could be a big loss? But the Bama D is steadily improving and Mac Jones is playing like he will be invited to NYC.

Bama will finish 2020 ranked first or second in recruiting.

At 69, I don’t see Nick slowing down and I don’t see him doing anything to stop the O from scoring points on out-classed opponents.

Auburn comes to Tuscaloosa. LSU? I don’t see Bama with a game it will lose before the SEC champ game, if then. I see an 11-0 Bama that gained a lot of ground this week on Clemson in the AP Poll, being the #1 seed and playing the playoff 4 seed in the Sugar Bowl.

BigDucksFan

Interesting analogy Darren, however let’s look at a couple of things.

The powers that control the game – the head coach – the offense coordinator – the defense coordinator, are all a little more mature then you were when you were drinking your way thru college.

What makes you think the Ducks would follow sute with the Big 12 rather than the ways of Alabama (SEC), Ohio State (B1G), or Clemson (ACC) ??

Jon Joseph

I want the Ducks to put up every single point that it can. If the opponent cannot stop you, that is the opponent’s problem.

When Clemson has the chance it destroys unranked, inferior ACC foes.

When it was all about the Run For The Roses there was no need for an in-your-face victory. But this is a different era. You have to impress to make the playoff and further impress for seeding purposes.

30Duck

Absolutely right Jon. The Committee likes points. Clemson beating Georgia Tech 73-7 told the Committee, that Clemson is really good, a LOT more than 42-0 would have.

Jon Joseph

Man, and in many ways, I hate the subjectivity that leads to beat downs. I think an 8 team PO with all 5 P5 champs is would cure a lot of ills?

30Duck

Exactly. Take subjectivity out and replace it with objectivity. Are You In? Win your conference

Quackanadian

I think the Ducks run the table and get into the dance, and maybe upset a Clemson or 2.

Or at least I want that for xmas.

Jon Joseph

You’ll get nothing and like it!

Kidding! I also have high hopes but ‘everything’ will have to go Oregon’s way to make the final 4 in 2020.

Clemson at Notre Dame with Lawrence out is going to be very interesting. I am not sold on Clemson’s D in 2020. Both Clemson and ND, to date, have played bad (sorry Miami) competition.

Of course the best playoff scenario for Oregon would be for Clemson to win and for ND to have a 2nd L, possibly vs Clemson in the ACC champ game? But it will not surprise me at all if ND wins on Saturday.

IMO, to date, Bama and Ohio State are playing at a different level than any other teams in the P5. But there is a lot of ball to be played.

30Duck

There is one chance that the game on Saturday could mean something. A blow out win by Clemson would at least damage ND’s chance at the, “Playoffs”. A Notre Dame win would be against a “Trevor-less” Clemson, so, wouldn’t really count in the eyes of, “The Committee”.

Jon Joseph

Spot on. Based on 1 game only, DJU sure looks like the real deal.

Mike West

Ah,

But Clemson sports the number one QB recruit from 2019’s class. He merely brought the Tigers back from an 18 point deficit last week. Think ND can keep up with even him? I’ll be extremely impressed if the golden dormers even hang around with Clemson (clearly I’m NOT IMPRESSED with ND).

Party hardy. That was also a motto back in the day. I myself can’t wait to see the product MC unveils this year. But I must admit, margin of victory is a concern of mine. Dominate the conference is an understatement in my book.

Jon Joseph

The only bigger comeback win by a #1 team? USC on the road at ASU and down 21 at the half.

It’s the Playoff Era! Take no prisoners and leave no crumbs!

Jon Joseph

From The Athletic: Notre Dame has not won a top 5 matchup since 1993 when The Irish defeated #1 FSU.

Since 2015, Clemson has won 7 top 5 matchups including a playoff beat down of Notre Dame.