Hubris Illustrated: USC Thinks They’re Better Than Us?

Ryan Robertson Editorials 82 Comments

Oregon won the Pac-12. Fans of other teams, certain writers and even a radio host will try and throw asterisks at the mere presence of Oregon in the championship game, but those other teams didn’t win.

One team with a lot to complain about is USC, losers of the Pac-12 Championship. The Trojans played a hard second half, not cutting in to the Oregon halftime lead at all. But they did manage to turn the ball over less, admirably only turning it over one time in the final three quarters. Sure, they had two turnovers in the first seven minutes of the game, but cutting down on that number proved to be the difference between losing big and losing close.

The Trojans never led. After an interception followed by a facemask on the opening USC drive, Oregon scored a touchdown. The game was only six plays old and the Ducks had obtained a lead that they remain in possession of to this very second.

USC is taking the loss with particular grace. The claims made in the previous video are… dubious at best. Oregon keeps out-recruiting USC, out-playing USC and out-performing USC in essentially every other facet of their program. The Trojans still think that they are better than the Ducks.

University of Oregon Athletics

Deommodore Lenoir has a knack for interceptions in the LA Coliseum.

The only way that USC looked better than Oregon in this game was in passing yards. I will take Tyler Shough and Anthony Brown combining to throw for only 108 yards, but having four touchdowns to only one interception over Kedon Slovis throwing for a bajillion yards, 24 incompletions and three interceptions. By the way, those 24 incompletions accounted for five more passes than Oregon’s total passes thrown in the entire game. What Trojan fans seem unwilling, or unable, to acknowledge is that if a team is always falling behind in games, they aren’t that good of a team.

Oregon only found out they were North Division champs via a forfeit on Monday. The coaches had to sign a recruiting class that would make the rest of the conference blush on Wednesday. The game was Friday, so the Ducks didn’t have much time to scout and practice leading up to the game. If USC was truly the better team, any adversity for Oregon should’ve been enough to get the Trojans a win.

To be the best, you have to beat the best. You also have to play. (Washington?)

Ryan Robertson
Yuma, Arizona
Top Photo By Dennis Hammond

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69-65 Oregon over WSU.

Thankfully this one didn’t end up as a “good loss” and the Ducks can learn from it anyway. WSU played like a team looking forward to playing #8 ranked team in the country, the 3-peat Ducks. Unfortunately, the Ducks looked like they figured they were playing the Cougars, picked to finish last this season.

There were a lot of Firsts in this game for Oregon. For the first time this season the opponent scored more than 59. For the first time, the Ducks trailed after the first quarter, and at halftime, and after the 3rd quarter. Also for the first time, Te-Hina Paopao looked like a freshman.

Fortunately, not for the first time, Nyara Sabally brought her A game, keeping the Ducks close before they finally took the lead, thanks to a 3 off the backboard by Jaz Shelley, and a game clincher by Erin Boley from the corner.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Big Plays At Both Ends Seal Win for Ducks



PULLMAN, Wash. — Jaz Shelley and Erin Boley hit back-to-back three-pointers down the stretch and freshman Maddie Scherr made a couple of key plays on the defensive end to help the No. 8 Oregon women’s basketball team fight off an upset bid at Washington State on Monday, 69-65.

The Ducks (7-0, 5-0 Pac-12) led for less than seven minutes in the game, but made big plays down the stretch to extend their winning streak overall to 26 games, longest in the country. Monday’s result was just the fourth of those 26 straight wins decided by single digits, and the first since a 74-66 win at then-No. 4 Stanford on Feb. 24.

“This is good,” UO coach Kelly Graves said. “This is an eye-opener for them, and a humbling experience. But they passed the test.”

WSU (3-1, 2-1) led for more than 31 minutes Monday, including 62-60 after two free throws. Shelley gave Oregon the lead for good by banking in a three-pointer, Scherr had a steal on the Cougars’ end and then Boley hit another three-pointer to make it 66-62. With the score 67-65, WSU got an open look at a three-pointer that missed, with Scherr grabbing the rebound and securing the victory with two free throws.

“We showed some composure there at the end,” Graves said. “They got a pretty good three-point look that I wish they wouldn’t have gotten, but we made the plays. We deserve a lot of credit, those kids do.”

How It HappenedNyara Sabally was the Ducks’ most dependable player from start to finish, keeping Oregon in the game to set the stage for the late-game heroics by others. She scored five of the first eight points of the matinee for the UO women, including a rebound-basket for an 8-8 tie. A three-pointer by Taylor Mikesell two possessions later gave Oregon an 11-10 lead, but WSU scored eight in a row and the Ducks didn’t lead again until late in the third quarter.

WSU led 20-14 after the first, and scored on consecutive possessions for a 25-16 lead early in the second. Angela Dugalic and Sabally finished at the basket to get Oregon within five, but the Ducks then committed a series of turnovers that helped the Cougars extend their lead to 32-24. WSU led 37-32 at halftime, at which point the Ducks had 11 turnovers and had surrendered nine offense rebounds.

It was 41-32 in the third when the Ducks started to get going. Te-Hina Paopao got to the basket for the first of four straight made shots by Oregon; Sabally added a bucket and then Boley and Shelley hit back-to-back threes. It was 43-42 at that point, and after WSU pulled out to a 48-42 advantage, Shelley and Sabally responded with baskets and then Shelley hit a three pointer for Oregon’s first lead since the opening quarter, 49-48.

Trailing 50-49 entering the fourth, the Ducks traded the lead with the Cougars a few times. Boley hit a three-pointer for a 58-58 tie, and after WSU pulled ahead again, Paopao crossed over a defender at the arc, drove into the lane and then pulled up for a game-tying jumper. The Cougars briefly pulled ahead on two free throws, but Shelley’s banked three-pointer gave Oregon the lead for good, 63-62.

Who Stood Out: Sabally was 9-of-17 shooting for 19 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds, her second career double-double. Boley added 18 points on 5-of-5 three-point shooting — she now has an even 200 made three-pointers in her UO career — and Shelley scored 11 points. Sabally and Sydney Parrish each blocked two shots, and Boley and Mikesell each had two steals.

What It Means: The Ducks now will get a much-deserved break for the holidays before returning to practice next week. Players had the opportunity to travel directly from Pullman to their home towns after the game.

“On top of the normal pressures of a regular season, with COVID and everything that’s happening, it’s a lot of extra stress on everybody,” Boley said. “We’ve been working really hard to make sure we’re diligent and able to play and compete. There’s a little bit of that added stress on top of what a regular season brings.

“I think every year, every team needs a bit of a break around Christmas. But I think this year in particular.”

Notable: The Ducks are 7-0 for the second time in three years. … Oregon has won 13 straight road games, the second-longest active streak in the nation. … The UO women trailed after the first quarter and after the first half for the first time this season. … At least three players have scored in double figures in all seven games.

Up Next: The Ducks host UCLA on New Year’s Day. 

So on Saturday it was freshman Sydney Parrish to the rescue, and today it was freshman Maddie Scherr with the steals and two clutch free throws to win on the road? Whew!


SC at best is clueless! They and the Leg Wizzers are both A-1 and A-2 in not in reality. Both these programs just don’t get it and then tyhey open up their mouths and much more ignorance spews out. I would think after High School heading off to College would make you a little more intelligent but I prove myself wrong a lot.

Great point as great teams don’t fall behind teams every game they play. Then they get beat by Oregon and then they refuse to play in any Bowl game because they think their just to good to play in a lesser game. That team I just don’t ever see reaching the same greatness in their hay day. Whats impressive about the Ducks is they are so young.

I expect Oregon to win the Fiesta Bowl. 42 to 24. Thanks for the information and well written.

Frozen Duck

Re: Hubris. I listened to a post game discussion with 3 SC reporters(?). One of them made a comment about SC’s image or appearance that rang s bell for me. I have long held that substance is far more impotant than appearance. The world today, especially in SoCal, is more concerned with appearance. The Ducks, from top down, are much more concerned with substance, despite flashy uniforms and facilities.
“The proof is in the pudding” is an old adage but holds true on the gridiron. One thing I really appreciate about our coaching staff is they recruit based at least partially on work ethic. I believe we put substance above appearance because that is what wins games. Go Ducks! A 50 year fan.


Iowa State will be very stingy on defense. Will Shough step us his game, will Moorhead pull a rabbit out of a hat, will CJ Verdell be able to carry the rock again in an Oregon uniform?

All questions I can’t wait to answer on January 2nd.

Purdy owned Shough in high school……well owned may be an exaggeration, but he definitely beat him a few times.


I thought I read that CJ will be out for the championship game. An injured hand or something?


I don’t think much has been said about all the Pac 12 teams opting out of bowl games. That is literally millions of dollars not coming into our conference because teams are choosing to not play in a bowl game. I think UO and CU should be the only teams sharing in the bowl game money this season or at least a much bigger slice. SEC has 12 teams playing bowl games. Granted, the Pac 12 had half of their bowl games cancelled, but we still should have filled our other 2 bowl spots. Surprisingly, I can’t put too much blame on Lazy Larry this time.
Last year Pac 12 bowls:
Las Vegas 2.9 mil
Holiday 6.53 mil
Cheez-IT 1.6 mil
Redbox 3.6 mil
Sun 4.5 mil
Alamo 8.5 mil
Rose 66 mil?

David Marsh

Many times of those games on the list have already been cancelled by bowl organizers. I know the Holiday, redbox and sun bowls have all been cancelled.

The rose bowl is its own problem for the pac-12 this year.


I think this game will go down to the wire-Whoever scores last wins

In my heart I want a Duck blowout.

tired of sittin on the edge of my chair and yelling at my screen.

USC has always been a bit snobby to us.

Hmm, those Iowa St uniforms look a bit familiar.

David Marsh

Also… Usc is not firing Helton with a pac-12 championship appearance.

Granted from the sound of it usc can’t fire Helton. His contract is just too big at this point. Especially in a year where every program is suffering from some budgetary constraints.

Jon Joseph

? I’m going to wait until Cincinnati plays UGA in the Peach Bowl. Bohn hired Fickell at Cincy, and SC boosters have pockets just as deep as Auburn boosters.


SC fired Kiffin on the airplane runway, so they aren’t really concerned with appearances. They didn’t go after Helton, he was just the best of the litter that wanted the job. Getting Fickell would be a huge upgrade, and they will if he wants it.

Jon Joseph

Christmas Star – I hope everyone will have a good view of the ‘Christmas Star’ tonight?

This conjunction of Venus and Saturn only happens every 800 years or so. Tonight, the two planets will be as close to one another as earth is to our moon.

Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, a Fiesta win would be a delight!


Uhmm, that would be Jupiter and Saturn. Venus would be awarded a serious traveling violation to get that proximal.

Jon Joseph

YES. Thanks.


Inside Info From An Iowa State Fan:

Our O – line is banged up. If your pass rush is decent it will be a big advantage for you guys,

Jon Joseph

Thanks 30.


Inside information, or misleading information ??

David Marsh

Doesn’t really matter which it is…. I don’t think it would change the game plan.

Oregon needs to bring the heat and own the line of scrimmage. They need to make tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage and pressure the quarterback.


If MC can get the boys “UP” for the bowl game like he did the USC game, it will be a fun game to watch.

David Marsh

I don’t think it was just MC… there has been some real player leadership taking hold now as well. We saw those results on the field. The WHOLE defense was working as a team and that is a big reason why we finally saw KT doing what he does best rather than running around the whole field trying to fix other people’s mistakes.


Now thats a good thing.


I think you’re right, David. The Geiger counter was buzzing the whole game around the Ducks. USC ? Hufanga blasts the punter. The Ducks looked like the team fighting for a chance at The Playoffs.

David Marsh

Oregon looked like the team that wanted to be there. USC was on cruise control… They have a pretty good team for cruise control but they didn’t really step up until late in the game and Oregon rose to the occasion with a resounding

“No, bad USC” *hit with news paper. It

Same thing also works against our purple friends.


Yes, I’m also hoping the Ducks will play with the same fire and passion as they did in the PAC-12 Championship game!


With the Ducks being the underdog, it could happen.


Who knows?


Beating USC is very high on my favorite things to watch list. Older USC fans are starting to become more humble, and very angry. USC is becoming less relevant on the football field and that does not sit very well with their Alumni.

The turmoil behind the scenes at USC must be reaching levels that requires changes to be made. What is the over/under on number months/days that Helton keeps his job? Who do they replace him with?


College football is – ever so slowly – changing. The old guard and ESPN have long ago captured and frozen the attitudes and perceptions of us geezers: the SEC is supreme top to bottom, Notre Dame is always great, no other schools really matter, the West is irrelevant, yadda yadda yadda.

Part of that mythology (and partial reality) is that somehow USC is eternally a power, and that USC always matters. But, does it? Why? USC and Notre Dame are like celebrities who are famous only for being well known; what they actually do doesn’t seem to matter. Great recruiting rankings, high pre-season rankings, but poor records are lately the norm.

I don’t see why Oregon needs USC to be successful in order for the Ducks to be great. Oregon has created and is still building its own national brand that has little to do with beating USC, in a media market the size of a postage stamp. Sure, beating USC is great and all, but it’s not essential, especially when you schedule the likes of Ohio State.

When the forces of E$PN are finally toppled, when the playoffs are expanded, when schools like Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina and Iowa State finally get a fair shake, we’ll see a more open playing field where actual results, not the opinions of the likes of Howard Finebaum, are what matter. USC will be free to compete in that arena, without the assumption of eternal relevance.

I apologize for the rant. I came to college football late in life and many of the givens in this world seemed dubious, at best, one of which is that the world needs USC football.


I think its important to have at least 3 or 4 successful teams in a conference if you want respect and media attention.

Lets be honest here, the SEC has had a number of very successful teams over the years and that’s why they get special attention.

The PAC has to do the same to get the respect we think it deserves.


But, there is Clemson and the ACC; one good team there. And more good teams in the PAC would be great, they just don’t have to be USC.

Jon Joseph

However, the ACC has a network that is owned by ESPN. And the ACC ended up with 4 teams in the Committee’s final top 25; 5 if you include Notre Dame as you should in 2020. That’s 20% of the top 25. When was the last time the Pac-12 accomplished this?

Clemson vs Miami, UNC and Va Tech, drew far better #s than any regular season Pac-12 game. And if played, Clemson/FSU would also have drawn good #s

BTW, the mighty SEC finished with 4 teams in the top 25..

This, ‘we don’t need SC to be good?’ Sounds good. but viewership #s do not bear this out. And when it comes time to renegotiate the media deal, it’s all about the # of eyeballs watching the games.

SC draws the biggest #s. May not like it but that’s a fact. And SC vs Oregon when played draws the best conference game #s. These days, Ducks/Trojans trumps Trojans/Bruins.

SC vs ND is the biggest regular season Pac-12 draw of the year.

The Ducks can only benefit from the South Division having a nationally relevant team and the conference needs a big time player in the essential LA market.


Over the years there has been FSU-Miami-Clemson-VT-Boston College-Syracuse—I know I know-!

some of those teams havent been relevant for a while, But—

lots of peeps live back there.

That means lots of viewers.

Lots of viewers = lots of $$$$


I agree that USC and Notre Dame are famous for their past accomplishments. However, TV revenue from football helps to pay most of the bills. Having more teams in the PAC 12 that are relevant on a National level attracts more of those much needed dollars.

That is the reality of college sports.

Mike West

I disagree with you jrw. On eye test alone, Coastal Carolina and Iowa State would get beat down so bad people would wonder why the playoffs expanded in the first place.

Oklahoma should already demonstrate the Big 12 is will need to recruit far more effectively than they have been. , if they want to win another playoff game. And the G5 schools? Please. They don’t have nearly the depth or talent to last more than a half. I believe Penn State’s victory over Memphis last year was far more indicative of the closest any of the G5 teams will ever get in a playoff. PSU was motivated, and they were the third best team in the Big Ten.

Now match up any of the top four—including “fraudulent“ Notre Dame, against these “competitors”. Coastal Carolina, as tough as they are, have absolutely no shot at even keeping the game close. And please explain to me how ANY of those teams ANY year would fare against Florida and Texas A&M THIS YEAR.

No snowflake in the Sahara would last, and yes Coastal Carolina would learn real fast the canyon size difference in talent those two teams have over a very solid G5 team. I’m talking about how ridiculous Alabama looks in the SEC type disparity in talent. There isn’t one G5 powerhouse that would win six games in the SEC. Yet they claim they could defeat Alabama.

I don’t think a G5 team can beat Iowa State, Northwestern or Oklahoma this year. It’s that stark, and it’s almost an insult to suggest they deserve a shot. I give you the cases of TCU and Utah as the clear example of how difficult it would be for those top tier G5 teams to compete, lest they battle for a P5 conference crown.

Now I do believe they should all get a shot as P5 conference members. Then we could discuss their qualifications. And I do believe there are ways to make that happen (of course the greedy P5 powers that be must learn to share, but that is another story). Merit. IT ALWAYS MATTERS.

Let’s keep that in mind.


Thanks for the reply, Mike. I hate it when you demonstrate just how out my league (G5, on a good day) I am in this sort of discussion.

I’m sort of the like the person who says, “I know nothing about astrophysics, but darn it, I have some strong opinions”.

Mike West

You are definitely in this league jrw. You make very good points consistently. I always look forward to seeing your comments.

Jon Joseph

Mike, in general, I agree. But recall the famous ‘engagement game’ when Boise beat Oklahoma. And after that, UCF’s defeat of Auburn.

In a 1 off, who knows? A 16 has beaten a 1 seed in the BBall Tourney.

I’m not so sure that Cincy wouldn’t keep it close with Notre Dame this year? Cincinnati did get drummed by Ohio State when last they played, but the Bearcats did defeat UCLA back to back.

Coastal Carolina did more than hang with a big and talented BYU this season.

If you go not give these guys a shot it is for certain there will be no chance of the upset.

I’d like to see a 16 game ‘D 1’ football tourney run by the NCAA and not Doc Peeper, or, whatever? 10 conference champs and 6 AL with all games up to the semis played on campus. The semis played in the Rose (with kickoff at 1 not 2) and Sugar Bowls. Champ game location to rotate.

Among other reasons this should happen, We Need The Dues!

Mike West

On principle I agree, but the year 8-5 Pitt took the ACC smells like rotten rats if you put them in a playoff. Same for back door Duck this year. It just doesn’t sit well in my stomach (unpalatable as far as I’m concerned).

After all, if you lose five, or even three, are you really qualified? That means you at least lost to a mediocre to terrible team. It’s like the year Ohio State lost by thirty in Happy Valley? Or was it Iowa? Purdue maybe? You get my drift, it was a team you wouldn’t remember in a normal year. That is inexcusable.

And last year. Does anybody on this planet believe our Ducks could beat any of last year’s final four. I mean, it’s why you play the game, but my God, the Ducks didn’t look like they belonged on that stage ALL YEAR. Then you take Memphis, the best of the G6? They were good, but that defense would have really had problems. Like maybe giving up 50? To all four NFL light playoff teams. And that group didn’t even include Alabama.

Maybe once a decade type shot like BSU. But have you noticed BSU has virtually disappeared as a Cinderella since Utah and TCU joined P5 conferences? It’s a viscous cycle. The wealthy take all the loot because kids know where the spotlight shines brightest.


Agree that Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati didn’t belong in the 4 team playoff, but they certainly belong in the NY6 bowl games. Cincinnati got the invite while C. Carolina got snubbed even after beating a team that beat Iowa State.

The games have to be played on the field not based on subjective ideas of what people perceive as merit.

Like Jon articulated below there have been many upsets over the years.

Mike West


I forgot about that. In fact I expected at least two G5 teams this year. The talent base improved when it came to the number of teams. Liberty and BYU also had very good years. Unfortunately they don’t get to play each other, but liberty defeating Virginia Tech helped all of them.

I certainly believe this season showed the NY6 at minimum is a requirement because the G6 have shown they can win those games (and again, there should be a path for the elite of the G6 to be included in P5 conferences, much like Notre Fame is —pun intended).

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Good reminders Ryan, as I heard some of the complaining about how their No. 1 tailback was injured….and they fill in with Stephen Carr, who was a 5-Star with some services and 4-Star with Rivals. Meanwhile the Ducks turn to their former 3-Star, Travis Dye, to fill in for former 3-Star CJ Verdell.

We just don’t understand how tough life is in La-La Land….


Washington indeed. The one and only time they’ve ever been right about anything is when they said teams with covid should take a loss. Curiously, they’ve been mute on the subject ever since.



Hmmmmmmmm, now that is interesting.

Jon Joseph

Is this a great system, or what?

UAB won the CUSA title. It’s reward? A bowl game versus 2-8 South Carolina. As Stewart Mandel asked, ‘What’s in your gift bag a screwdriver and some nails?”

Meanwhile 9-2 Army will not go bowling as no Pac-12 team, big surprise, wants to spend Christmas in Shreveport. Why in the hell did Larry sign the conference up for this game in the first place?

Meanwhile, I loved this take by Stewart Mandel in regards to Brian Kelly bemoaning perhaps, having to play in the Rose Bowl: “,,, but there was Kelly ranting about ‘worshipping the ashes of tradition.’ (Rich, by the way coning from a school whose entire identity is rooted in the ashes of tradition.)

I only hope that Stewart intentionally misspelled ‘coming’ and came with ‘coning’ on purpose.

The playoff in year 1 (sorry Baylor/TCU) was perfect with schools from coast to coast in the final 4. Last year’s LSU/Clemson champ game drew a 30% less audience share than did the Ducks/Buckeyes champ game. Clemson and Bama win their semi-final games and that will be the 5th time in 6 seasons these 2 have squared off in the “playoff.”


Since “The Invitational” is nothing but a reality TV show, Its producers certainly aren’t going to change it. A lot of people moan that because of March Madness the college basketball season is meaningless. Excuse me!

If you want to talk about a complete season being meaningless, I suggest you ask Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina this year, UCF a while ago, Ask Boise State? Each of those teams had great seasons, didn’t even get a chance to play for the championship.

In basketball, 64 teams, conference winners & at large, all get a chance at the Ring. A double digit seed or two, almost always make it the Sweet 16. Elite 8’s and Final 4’s are not unbelievable. But football. If you don’t make the Final 4, and you won’t, unless you’re on speed dial with the committee, your season is a bust.


“March Madness” is epic, my favorite part of the year, every year, whether the Ducks are part of it or not, and with Altman they are. I fill out 1 bracket, can’t really get with the idea of filling out more? Then it’s basketball all day.

With the television system now, you can watch some of EVERY game that is played, Often two teams you have no interest in, but they’re almost always exciting. I also don’t think it hurts the regular season at all. I still want the Ducks to win every game, it still matters if you finish first or some place else. The Conference tournament is also okay. The Ducks pretty much own it, just like in football.

Jon Joseph

So right. But Madness is epic in part because the ‘little guys’ get a shot at the prize.


Swish! The Playoff pool is 16 times the size of The Invitational, every team has a chance at the championship. There is some eye test in the seeding, but primarily teams are slotted based on what they did on the court.

Jon Joseph

ESPN will not change it.

However, it’s absolutely within the power of the B12, Pac-12 and G5 to change things. And why wouldn’t ND want an additional 2 AL bites at the apple?

Herbie, Stewart Mandel, Dennis Dodd, Pat Forde and many other folks who cover CFB nationally, have all opined recently that the playoff as currently constituted is injuring the game. All of the above who used to want to stay with 4 now advocate going to an 8 team field.

IMO, it’s going to 8 before the current deal expires in 2026.


Exactly Jon, I don’t expect to see the PAC-12 leading on this issue until Scott is replaced. But this rotten playoff has to be replaced, not amended by adding a few more teams.

What is needed is an actual post season tournament. The Alabama’s and Clemsons may well dominate even in say a 16 team, seeded tournament but I’m not sure we wouldn’t see upsets and that’s what draws in the casual viewer.

It very well could prompt a bidding war between major networks for rights to televise the thing. That would undo the lock ESPN, the SEC , and the ACC have on it the playoff.

Santa Rosa Duck

I have read a fair amount regarding USC from the Southern California media after the DUCKS win. It is all focused on why USC has not created the classic USC running game and how come all the studs from the University of Oregon are playing in Eugene and not at USC or UCLA. Oh well, just luck I guess.


I appreciate the comments and insight on here. One slightly dissenting opinion though. I feel that Oregon does not necessarily have to have USC good for the Ducks to be great. Look at Clemson and their very little or no competition in the ACC as an example. Plus, if USC returns to prominence, they will be keeping and taking some of the same recruits that may be otherwise looking elsewhere to go to a contender like the Ducks.

I certainly agree that the Pac 12 needs to do something to improve its stamp on the college football scene, but a lot of that has to do at the top with losing Larry Scott sooner than later. But Oregon can make a statement by continuing to schedule and beat top tier teams such as Ohio State next year and beyond. My two cents.


I agree with this conclusion based on the amount of 5* talent on the west coast. What we need is for Oregon to become the go to place for the elite talent. Too often, in the past, the allure of a successful program at sc has pulled recruits who many have otherwise come to Oregon. It is time for Oregon to make the full leap of being the place to come and be part of something special.

I also agree another big problem with the Pac-12 is the guy in charge of the conference. Get rid of Larry and we have a chance of becoming even more relevant with an infusion of dollars, and exposure with a real tv deal.

SC and the other schools can continue to languish while Oregon becomes the face and leader of the Conference of Champions!




Once again……..well said! Very well said :)

Jon Joseph

Thanks Ryan.

I thought the imbedded postgame take by the 2 SC folks covering the game was was both fair and spot on. Both questioned whether Clay Helton can win games against evenly talented or more talented opposition. That’s a very fair question for a blue blood program with a ton of pride.

I didn’t sense any dumping on the Ducks and lots of dumping on Clay Helton. And I entirely agree. Clay Helton is a man who is way over his head as a P5 HC. His teams are an undisciplined mess. I give him props for bringing in Graham Harrel and bringing the Trojans O into the 21st century. However, ‘Tailback U’ can no longer run the ball. Bama, Clemson and Ohio State all have balanced Os. Not USC.

New DC, Todd Orlando, was let go from Texas largely because Longhorns Ds did not play in unison and were often undisciplined and out of position. See any change from this Friday night?

Look, like it or not the conference needs USC to be a national player. To compete and beat Notre Dame. To not get completely blasted by Bama. To win the S Division year after Year. Oregon needs this too. Oregon vs USC has far more cache than Oregon vs any other team in the conference. It really isn’t that close.

And there is no way in which the Pac-12 is going to do a financial about face without SC competing for conference titles and beyond. Ask yourself what the Ducks prospects will be if SC is unsatisfied with the new media deal and says, ‘so long Pac-12?’

Us Ducks fans are upset about not having a chance to play for a championship after having come oh-so-close on 2 occasions. Imagine how SC fans must feel?

It would change the calculus, no doubt. But I still say the best shot at saving this conference is for SC to do whatever it has to to bring Urban Meyer to S Central and Heritage Hall.


I think you hit on something most graybeards have know for a long time. The Washington’s, Stanford’s, Cal’s, UCLA’s and of course SC have always thought they are just better schools and athletic programs. Oregon was a school students and athletes went to when they couldn’t get into one of the other elite programs.

The problem with that is the same problem with what research has shown on IQ scores. A simple IQ score and elite status have little correlation with success. You have to have talent, but it then comes down to effort. Oregon students and the Oregon Athletic Department understand this better than the programs who think they are born better.

We are also moving up academically and frankly have moved past the others athletically. I do think this is why the Talanoa type talents have gone to the other schools. What they have found is the supposed elite status doesn’t get them what they were after, as far as college football, and undoubtedly academically either.

Oregon is an extremely good school academically, and the athletic programs are second to none. The other schools, listed, can continue to think they are just better, while we out work and out smart them on the field, links, court, or in the real world.

I know I wouldn’t trade my experience and degree at Oregon for anything. My bet is some of those Talanoa types are second guessing themselves on chasing an association with past elite status. What we have is the Cali flock growing and becoming a national flock, as many are seeking the magic that is the University of Oregon.


Right on Haywarduck!

Both my wife and I earned our undergraduate degrees from the University of Oregon and feel the education we received was the basis for professional success.

Living in the State of Washington for the last twenty years we get the “well, we are a superior academic institution” from Exasperated Husky fans, always after a Duck victory in one of numerous sports.

You know, never have I had an opponent tell me after getting beat “I’m smarter than you, so there.” It must be a fan thing.

Jon Joseph

A rising Tide does lift all boats. Both Bama and Clemson applications for admission with much better candidates in the mix have soared since success on the field.

Oregon’s academic improvement is also a reflection of getting Oregon CBB and CFB on the radar.

This from a guy who isn’t certain how the planets are aligned?


Ryan, it’s appropriate that you bring up USC as being full of itself, as they play in Hollywood, the land of Has Been’s. The fading star who still thinks he deserves top billing. Fun fact USC, you and Oregon have played the last two games in your crib. Oregon is 2-0, outscoring you, 87-48.

“Fight On!” Yeah, okay. Oregon is beating you with kids from Cali. Used to be they were automatic. Not the case anymore. Bush & Leinart know it. Your fans are front runners. When PC was your coach, and you were winning, they were there. Now?

We keep hearing that USC needs to rise from the ashes and be competitive for the Pac-12 to get respect again. That is true. As loud as Oregon’s brand is, we need some back-up. Dominating the football and basketball seasons year after year is tiring.

The scary thing USC, is that Oregon will just keep getting better. 3/4 of our secondary isn’t playing this season. Got a new OL playing in front of a freshman QB. Top rated recruiting classes are becoming the norm, Eventually, as much as Mario might want to “prevent” it, the offense will score!

Jon Joseph

Spot on. Oregon needs SC to be relevant on a national scale and vice versa.

No game in the conference moves the national needle like Oregon vs USC. No other game comes close.


It would be nice if more then just SC and UO would become “relevant”.


You know, next season, I predict that the Beavs will have a better season than will the Mutts. Smith has something going in Beaver Nation, while Go jump in the Lake has the Dogs chasing their tails. They finished 38 in recruiting, with two top 10s right in their backyard, going elsewhere.

Jon Joseph

Agree on the job Smitty is doing. But things on the recruiting trail are bad and sad for the Beavers. And likely always will be?


Their ceiling is low, but apparently are doing well with transfers, and will probably continue to so. All they can do is maximize what they have. Fortunately, UW is a languid pool of stagnation.

Jon Joseph

How about the trick play vs ASU? Awesome!

Jon Joseph

Here’s another thing that would be nice. Dump divisions and have the two top teams play for a conference title.

When, not if, the playoff expands to include all P5 champs, I would be happy to see the conference play 10 conference games.

With 4 cross over games today, a champ game rematch is odds on to happen with division play.


Steel sharpens steel. Good take 30Duck.


The giant may be sleeping in L.A. while the Ducks are setting up for a powerful run. I remember the glory days of the Trojans as “Tailback U” with OJ, Charles White, Marcus Allen and a slew of supporting casts and crushing lineman running John Robinson’s student body left and student body right – right over our Ducks. I admire your enthusiasm for the Ducks, Ryan.

Jon Joseph

Tailback U has gone the way of Failback U? However, you can run a 21st century O and still pound the rock as did Bama, Clemson and Ohio State on Saturday.


They are better then us. They are ranked #17 and we are ranked #25 in the playoff rankings.

“To be the best, you have to beat the best” Yes, that is true but right now we are only the best of the Pac-12 (the insignificant P5 conference)

It’s time to take it up a notch. It’s time to get into the top 10 and stay in the top 10. Our goal for 2021 should be to stop just “winning” games and start “dominating” games.

Jon Joseph

YES! Starting with beating the #10 ranked team on 1/2/21.

If Oregon plays with the passion it did vs SC, the Ducks will defeat Iowa State. A 3L Iowa State. A good team that plays better than its ‘roster ranking’ but a team, on paper, with less talent than the Ducks. This game is a good measuring stick for the Pac-12 vs the B 12. You are not going to defeat the Oklahoma’s with regularity if you can’t take down the Iowa State’s.

If need be and it looks like it might need be, give Brown the starting nod. Hats off to Shough for giving his all for Oregon, but the young man is regressing. Playing with little or no confidence. And if the QB is playing without confidence?


As you say, Spot on! The Ducks need to get their intensity to the same level that Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State have theirs every game, like USC had in the Carroll years. It doesn’t have to be like The U, though they certainly made it work, ask Mario.

But really, it’s just a business like approach. See game, win game, Doesn’t matter who, when or where, “Just Do It”.

I also completely agree about Brown. I can’t think of any area where Shough is better. If anything, he has regressed as the season has gone on. Rather than it shake his confidence, taking the weight off his shoulders might be a welcome relief.


Agree about Brown, but can you change just before a bowl game and have it come out good ?? Then what do you do about next year ??

Jon Joseph

Brown, if he so desires, is eligible to play for the Ducks in 2021. Unless he has moved up on NFL draft boards, why wouldn’t he?

As the 2nd string QB, I would think Brown is getting lots of practice reps? There is a reason that Moorhead had a goal line package ready for Brown and that Brown was the QB at the end of the game. This does not evidence the coaching staff having a great deal of confidence in Shough.

If nothing else, having Brown play against SC puts another thing on the table for the Cyclones DC to have to deal with and plan for.

Jon Joseph

1 of the most astounding stats in CFB. Since Saban’s 1st season at Bama the Tide has never lost to an unranked opponent.


Two big “IF’s”

Jon Joseph

Amen. And it is concerning that a number of us wonder if the Ducks will be fired up and show up to play in a NY6 $ bowl, in front of a large national viewing audience.

Mario has got to get the playing down to the competition’s level problem fixed.