Surprise Stars Propel Oregon to Pac-12 Championship

Joshua Whitted Editorials 155 Comments

Mario Cristobal has firmly established himself as one of the top recruiters in the country. He has proven that it is indeed possible to bring elite talent to Eugene, and under his leadership, the Ducks have compiled the best roster in the Pac-12… on paper.

For all of their supposed talent, the Ducks have struggled to find difference makers on both sides of the ball in 2020. With many veteran stalwarts graduating or opting out, Oregon has had to rely on fresh faces in key positions. And even though many of those new starters were once highly ranked recruits, their impact has been generally underwhelming.

That is, until the Pac-12 Championship Game. Players who had been quiet for most of the year stepped up in a big way against USC, and their emergence propelled the Ducks to their second Pac-12 title in as many years.

Defensive lineman Brandon Dorlus — a former under-the-radar recruit whom the Ducks snatched from the heart of SEC country — had been a rotational player in a defensive line that had struggled all season long. But on Friday, he teamed up with superstar pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux to terrorize USC quarterback Kedon Slovis. Dorlus looked like a transformed player; his strength and power were on full display throughout the night. He routinely bullied the Trojans’ offensive line, finishing with a sack to go along with additional hurries and disruption that won’t show up on the stat sheet.

From Twitter

Jamal Hill had a big game for the Ducks.

Another former recruit from SEC territory, defensive back Jamal Hill, also stepped up big time. He snatched a pair of interceptions, including the one that ended up sealing the deal for the Ducks as the Trojans were looking to tie the game. Hill gave the Ducks’ secondary the spark that it needed, as he flew around the field, showcasing much-improved instincts paired with his natural athleticism.

Finally, on offense, the Ducks needed to complement star tailback Travis Dye, especially without CJ Verdell in the lineup. Running back Sean Dollars has flashed explosive potential just about every time he has seen the field throughout his young career, but his opportunities have been few and far between, as he has been buried on the depth chart. He finally saw some extended action on Friday, and he didn’t disappoint. He led the team with 7.4 yards per carry, and he helped to kickstart an offense that had been stuck in neutral for a couple of weeks.

The best teams in college football reload rather than rebuild. The Ducks have been recruiting well enough to avoid taking big steps back whenever key players on the roster depart. For much of 2020, Oregon had been waiting for new stars to emerge. That finally happened against USC, and if these three players can build upon their breakout performances, this certainly won’t be the last time they find themselves hoisting postseason hardware.

Joshua Whitted
Morgantown, West Virginia
Top Photo by John McGillen From USC Athletics

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Pelican82

Hello Good article

n99cr

Great Job as always Charles

Dawg tears are DELICIOUS

CJ

Interesting tidbit……….

Brock Purdy of ISU and Tyler Shough have played a few times in high school in Arizona. I am trying to figure out what the outcomes of the games were. If anybody knows please share them.

jrw

According to Crepa at O-Live:

The two signal callers were high school rivals, Purdy beating Shough twice. Purdy led Perry to a 65-63 win over Shough and Hamilton in 2017, when the two were seniors. Purdy was the Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year. Shough was the higher ranked prospect and an Elite 11 participant.

CJ

Awesome, thanks for finding and sharing that article.

Hmmmm……it sounded like a familiar storyline. Shough came out looking good and put up 49 points in a quarter and a half……wow, that is some serious offensive productivity.

But then Purdy’s team got pressure on him and held Shough’s team to only 14 points the rest of the way before coming out on top in the end.

Not really what I wanted to hear……from a “if past is prologue” point of view.

30Duck

A Ducks Update:

Tomorrow at 11:00 on Pac-12 Oregon, 1330 Comcast, the #7 Oregon Women’s team takes on the Cougars, fresh after their beating of Oregon State.

Wednesday, at 12:00 on ESPN2, the Oregon Men face UCLA. It will be a test to see how the Ducks make up for the loss of Dante against a Bruins team that gave #20 Ohio State a good game yesterday.

Also on Wednesday, at 4:30 on TNT, Payton and the Celtics open their NBA season against the Celtics.

On Saturday, at 5:15 on the NFL Network, it’s Marcus and the Raiders against the Dolphins

Sunday, 1:05 on CBS, it’s payback time for Justin and the Chargers against Denver

Jon Joseph

That would be The BOSTON Celtics! Give it up!

30Duck

Oooooops, the BOSTON Celtics will actually be playing the Milwaukee Bucks

Jon Joseph

YOU, are walking encyclopedia of all things Ducks, former Ducks and upcoming Ducks.

Oooooooops to moi? No way, Thirtay.

Logger29

To my fellow commentators, great logical and most importantly, rational, replies regarding my rant about the Rose Bowl. I watched the PAC-12 Championship replay while working out this morning and got the blood pressure down.

Having been able to attend all of our son’s home and away games during his college career I know how important being able to be there in person is and should have considered that prior to posting.

However, I do believe the Rose Bowl logo and name is the property of the city of Pasadena. This is petty I know, but I think the CFB committee should be made to pay Pasadena for the name. Think of it as a metaphorical finger through the FaceMask of the committee, make them blink.

Jon Joseph

Great post and correct regarding the RB name. Pasadena will have to consent to the use of the name.

The sweetest little Rose Bowl that Texas’s ever seen?

30Duck

Will they call it “The Yellow Rose Of Texas Bowl”

jrw

I vote for “The Bloom Is Off The Rose Bowl”.

30Duck

NICE!

ducker1

How bout the Dust Bowl?

Jon Joseph

How about YES!

Jon Joseph

Not sure? But I don’t think the Domers will sparkle in the dew?

You can sing about your Nick and talk of D Swinney, but as far I’m concerned I’d like Brian to leave.

CJ

Sorry for all the off topic here today but I just can’t let this crap go…….

So as if Georgia and Florida getting invites over Indiana isn’t bad enough, how about both ISU and North Carolina getting invites over Coastal Carolina????

Both teams have 3 losses with N. Carolina’s against really bad teams like Virginia and Florida State, and how about ISU’s loss to Louisiana who subsequently got beat by you guessed it……Coastal Carolina. You can’t make this stuff up.

The good news is that this may be so screwed up this year that it actually causes a sea change going into next year and/or future years. With COVID fundamentally changing our lives this year perhaps it will also impact the way CFB is played as well.

Jon Joseph

RIGHT ON! This Committee is off the rails.

I am not thrilled about the Ducks at 25 and SC at 17.

BTW, forget about ND and A+M. I know it has 2 Ls but Oklahoma is a 2L Conference Champion and defeated 3 top 25 teams while going 3-1 vs the top 25. ND went 2-1; A+M went 1-1. ND beat a depleted Clemson team in South Bend and 13 (!) UNC lost to FSU.

Love Jimbo; we won 8 in a row vs the mighty SEC! And defeated 2 teams with winning records in the process.

This season proved up what we already knew. Take the cupcakes away from the SEC and the top teams are the country’s top teams, but the rest?

Jon Joseph

No, it’s $ honey

Haywarduck

I think a shout out to the coaches who were clueless, in many of our opinions, until the championship game, deserve a game ball too. Moorhead had the trojan defense all mixed up. Avalo’s defense, finally, is starting to look, again, like a top defense.

Each assistant has kept his head down and kept coaching these great student athletes up. I give a big kudos to the coaches who bring these kids to Eugene and give them the best experience in the Pac-12, every year! The coaches may be the biggest surprise after some head scratching type games and play calling.

Also I agree on the Malibu Mustache, the 40 yarder was a thing of beauty. Now if we can just get a kickoff unreturnable, we can all rest better. I suppose a kickoff return alignment the opposing team can’t onside would be nice too, but I digress, great job coaches!

CJ

Apparently we don’t have a single guy on this roster who can kick the pig skin 70 yards. Not good, because our kick coverage is suspect, though those line drive 55 yard kick offs definitely don’t set them up for success. Maybe we need all the back-up qb’s playing kick coverage at once???

I agree with you about the coaching. But why wait until now to get creative with blitzing and play calling??? Better late than never so I will take it and tip the cap to them for coming with their A game………….until the last play of the 3rd quarter, which from then on saw us run too much of the prevent offense.

duckcardinal

Oops, was dawdling with my coffee while your kickoff comment came up.

CJ

No worries…..the more the merrier.

Your comment about corner kicks is interesting. Is it possible that Lewis is purposely pooching??? That would make me feel a little better if he was, but me thinks not. He just doesn’t have the leg and apparently no one else on the roster does either.

Jon Joseph

Out of the end zone is ideal. But if you can’t do that, get the ball high in the air.

Jon Joseph

THIS is what happens when you don’t have a Men’s soccer team?

Meanwhile, the LSU kicker last week made a 57 yarder for the W.

duckcardinal

I’d love KOs routinely out the back of the end zone; injury reduction for both teams.

We seem to be in love with the attempted ‘corner’ kick, but perhaps that’s due to the absence of a kicker who can get it routinely into the mid/back of the end zone.

Jon Joseph

As I commented before: How sweet it is to have a FG kicker who doesn’t make you wet the bed when he steps on the field for a FG attempt.

Jon Joseph

Thanks 30.

ESPN? I never again want to hear any ESPN talking head complaining about CFB being too playoff-centric. Thanks for keeping CFB fans waiting until the follow up Bowl Mania show.

Let’s give 4 teams tons of pub while we hide the rest of CFB under a rock.

Back to back $ bowl games against 3L opponents. Interesting. This is just another example of how a team like Ohio State is viewed differently from an Indiana. Another example of how this entire system is set up to throw even more $ at the SEC and get Ohio State into the field.

The Hoosiers were hosed.

Is there a vaccine for this ‘playoff’ cancer? For a media cartel dictating the terms and conditions of what was once a coast to coast game?

Do games count? If Notre Dame had lost by 40 yesterday would the Irish still be in because it defeated a North Carolina team that lost to FSU?

David Marsh

My worst case scinario played out with the ACC this year… Notre Dame beat Clemson during the season and that counter balanced the loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game…

Jon Joseph

Why do you think the ACC a) gave ND a place to play, b) dropped divisions and c) canceled the Clemson and ND ‘postponed’ games.

This Invitational is a $CAM!

30Duck

There is no doubt in my mind that if Alabama had lost to Florida, and Clemson had lost to Notre Dame, the Final 4 would be the same as it is now. If Ohio State had lost, Texas A & M would probably have taken their place.

It “works” for the Sports Overlord, ESPN because Alabama & Clemson are the best teams, Can’t really argue that. But ends justifying the means is not the best method. It fills the coffers of ESPN , SEC and ACC, and that’s all they care about.

“March Madness” is fun because you don’t know the Final 4, 2 weeks into the season.

Jon Joseph

It also ‘works’ this way due to Disney owning the ACC and SEC networks.

Ever hear a single ESPN talking head apologizing for ‘potential’ bias?

When it got down to the Ducks vs IA ST today, FINALLY, these SOBs actually LOL at Oregon.

But Larry was last seen bending over.

duckcardinal

Cinncy vs GA in the Peach is one game that I’ll be interested to watch. I suspect that GA will be looking at this as their first game of the 2021 season with their starting QB of the (near) future. Not sure how many Bulldog potential pros might sit out from their loaded roster, but would expect Cinncy to be full strength and focused.

Jon Joseph

JT Daniels? Not certain Slovis had a better season at SC this year than would have a healthy JT?

Cincy will be fired up for this game. An entitled Dawgs team?

Notalot

Don’t piss off your neighbors, Jon. Mad Dawgs!

CJ

7 out of 12 teams in the top tier games are ACC/SEC.

Dude on ESPN just said it clearly……it’s time for all other conferences to part ways with this crap. It’s time to create a playoff for the rest of the conferences and render the ACC/SEC/ESPN to the irrelevance they deserve outside of the southeast.

On the more positive side though………I am taking the Ducks in this one 28-24. Shough still gets the start and plays much better in his favorite weather on his home turf and with his family and friends in attendance. Thib’s goes superhuman again and completely disrupts the cyclone offense with help from a few others.

CJ

Paul Finebaum is the most toxic human around college football. He just keeps on towing the line. What a joker. Herbstreit and other dudes on ESPN are waking up and seeing what’s happening but ol’ Bama homer Finebaum just can’t come to terms with reality.

I think ESPN knows they are on very thin ice at this point. If all other conferences besides the ACC/SEC abandon ship they will realize huge losses.

30Duck

You’re being too kind CJ. “PAWL!” is brought on by the ESPInners to be the voice of reason. That alone shows what a “sh*t show” their “Playoffs” is. All during the season it goes on, the tension over whether a team “is in or is it out?”

Anybody who follows football at all knew who the 4 were. That undefeated Cincinnati kept winning, and falling, in the rankings is not an accident. I would hear, “Put them and Ohio State on the field. Who do you think would win?”

That doesn’t matter! Playoffs work because the unexpected might happen. But it’s ruined if you preclude it from even having a chance. My two most hated words are “eye test”. Playoffs work objectively, not subjectively.

CJ

I guess the question I should ask myself is……why am I even watching or listening to his crap?

The first step is not giving ESPN an ear or eye. We need a better alternative to ESPN to get our info and news about college football.

30Duck

ESPN has a monopoly on sports. FOX is trying to give us an alternative, but ESPN clearly OWNS college football, coverage and the conferences and the playoffs. We don’t need to watch it for information, it’s just the easiest way.

CJ

It does feel like they are pretty much the only show in town. Their website is solid and they do a good job of covering all the bases.

They are just so biased that it has kind of dictated the outcomes of the competition.

Jon Joseph

CJ, ESPN does not ‘report,’ it controls.

Are you surprised that 3 ‘ACC teams’ and 4 SEC teams are in the 2020, NY6 $ bowls? I’m not.

$CAM!

Pocketchange

If enough people cancel Hulu, espn, and Disney during the playoffs. They will get the message.

Jon Joseph

Or, at the very least a slimy and unseemly cartel. With the Sun Bowl canceled, how many bowl games this season will be shown on other than ABC, ESPN and affiliates?

How about ZIP.

THIS, would have ticked off Teddy Roosevelt.

Jon Joseph

This stuff started with all of that ‘my conference can beat your conference BS.’

Jon Joseph

LOVE IT! 1st with the predicted score post. Will the 1st finish first? Or will the 1st be last?

ducker1

Iowa St will be the toughest D we have faced this year.

Jon Joseph

One of the more unique Ds when it comes to formation, no doubt. You can beat this D with TEs and you can defeat the Cyclones O by stopping its TEs.

30Duck

As it happens, Oregon has TE’s, a bunch of ’em and they’re all good! I remember Gronk at Arizona back in the day, hopefully the Cyclones don’t have anybody close to Gronk.

ducker1

This will not be an easy game–The Ducks will HAVE to be at their best.

Jon Joseph

Ponder this Ducksters.

Alabama has already moved from -17.5 to -19 vs Notre Dame. ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) gives Bama an 87% chance to win The Rose Bowl in Dallas.

Clemson opened and has stayed at so far, -6.5 over Ohio State. However, the FPI has the Sugar Bowl as a 50/50 toss up.

HMMMMMM?

30Duck
Jon Joseph

Saw this. I’m holding off for a bit on the +3 but as I will post later this week, I’m already down with Over 53.5.

BigDucksFan

To show you how far the Pac-12 has fallen, the best the Pac-12 has to offer, (its conference champion) gets to play the Big 12 runner up and is an underdog. Maybe we should play a Mt. West team – might get even odds then.

How low can the Pac-12 go.

30Duck

We can not underestimate Larry enough.

Jon Joseph

BDF, in ‘fairness’, you can’t lose to the Beavers and Bears and expect to be treated otherwise.

How low? When was the last time the Pac-12 had more than 1 team in the $ bowls?

BigDucksFan

Yes, but how did the Pac-12 get like this ?? Thank you Larry Scott and friends, the root cause.

Jon Joseph

And I’ll also give a tip of the hat to Paul Dee and the NCAA. They hammered SC. No other team including those with multiple players being paid has been shafted as was SC.

And SC was shafted when the fledgling Pac-12 network needed a big time player in LA.

Jon Joseph

Good call. But yesterday I did not see an O line better than that of the Buckeyes.

I think Ohio State has a very good chance if it doesn’t try to get too cute and runs the ball?

And if it rushes 3 on D and drops 7 to 8.

IMO, OSU is a better team than ND. It failed last season vs Clemson because of red zone miscues and perhaps, SEC refs?

Notre Dame had everything going for it vs the Tigers in South Bend and won in 2 OTs

When OSU went to the ground game yesterday vs NW it made Trey Sermon (!) look like Jimmy Brown.

Look it’s the playoff. All teams will be motivated but will any team be more motivated than a 6 game win Buckeyes going for its 1st win vs Clemson?

I believe Bama will blow out ND. But I think the New Year’s nightcap will be a very competitive game that Ohio State has a very good chance to win.

Santa Rosa Duck

Thank you Joshua. Just read this morning that Oregon just barely had enough players on scholarship to play USC. Just like everything else this year there is no guarantee that the Fiesta Bowl happens.

Charles Fischer

Well, if the Pac-12 Championship was the final game of the year…what a way to go out on!

Jon Joseph

Think Positive! 13 days to the next game and the next Ducks W!

ducker1

I worry more about Iowa St fielding enough players by that time. Iowa is a hot bed of CV.

GO DUCKS!!!

Jon Joseph

And corn that finds its way into a can. I am optimistic.

ducker1

never had any of that stuff–only fresh

David Marsh

Oregon has apparently been barely able to field a team for the last month but they have managed to do so…

Thankfully there is a decent chunk of time before the bowl game to get people healthy and potentially back into the rotation.

Assuming they are able to maintain the current roster as well. There has been a solid core of Oregon players who have stayed active for the season so lets hope that holds.

Depth has been the biggest difficulty and will probably continue to be the biggest difficulty.

FishIceCream

Thanks Joshua! In the excitement of watching I did not notice how well Brandon Dorlus was doing, and it’s good to see that pointed out. I know the Ducks have a few high 3* and low 4* types who are young and should be coming into their own now. I am sure we’ll all know their names next year.

Logger29

Off topic: Is anyone else upset about the blatant snub of west coast football being delivered by moving the semifinal game from the Rose Bowl to Arlington, TX, and cloyingly pretending the game might still be called the Rose Bowl?

Although the Oregon and Colorado kids earned the trip to their respective bowls, I can’t say I would object to both teams saying “thanks but no thanks” and basically creating a Pac-12 boycott of the corrupt playoff and bowl system.

I realize the monetary loss this would mean.

Also, before I end this rant, will Norte Dame be forced to share their bowl pay out with the ACC or did they negotiate some “special deal?”

Jon Joseph

However, the great state of California refused to grant a waiver that would have allowed the player’s parents to attend the Rose Bowl game.

500 or so fans in the Rose Bowl would have presented a big COVID risk? That’s just another in your face to small businesses. This time, businesses in Pasadena.

Bama is playing ND in Dallas and not the Sugar Bowl because 16,000 fans will be allowed into Jerry’ Palace with only 3,000 allowed into the Sugar Bowl.

Enjoy New Year’s watching Bama, -17.5 opening line, blow out Notre Dame before another shot for Ohio State to finally defeat Clemson. Ohio State is 0 for Clemson. The opening line has Clemson -6.5.

Bama did suffer a significant personnel loss last night when starting center Dickerson went down. Both Bama and ND will be without their starting center.

Meanwhile, the B1G has relaxed its 21 day COVID quarantine requirement to 17 days. And player’s who tested positive but are asymptomatic, will be allowed to play in the game. The B1G does not want the Buckeyes playing this game without star WR Olave.

FishIceCream

I would make no difference to small businesses if the 500 people were not able to enjoy the business because it’s been closed down. Sorry, I am grumpy this morning!

Jon Joseph

Zero problema + have a better day tomorrow. This too shall pass.

Jon Sousa

On playing a bowl game: Folks always say that one of the best rewards of getting to play a bowl game is the extra practices it gives the whole team… and we need more practice.

Another issue is money. The PAC 12 needs every penny they can find.

Another issue is recruiting. The more you are on the national stage, the more you promote your national brand.

Jon Joseph

UF’s great TE, Pitts, has opted out of the gators $ bowl game. This is the pits for Dan Mullen and Kyle Trask.

FishIceCream

I noticed that, but I’ll come out on the other side of your opinion.

FishDuck is a place I have been going to to get away from the gloom and doom of 2020, so I don’t want to go on a COVID-19 rant, but suffice it to say it has affected me personally, my close friends and family, and my neighbors in terms of jobs, future plans, housing, health, and in some unfortunate cases death.

I live about an hour’s drive away from the Rose Bowl. Specifically to avoid FishDuck rules, I will avoid any political talk. But, there is a lot of anger and bitterness in these parts. Some due to politicians, some due to the circumstances.

It is not a year to insist on holding a bowl game at the Rose Bowl. Yes, I’m sure there is a way that officials could work out some compromise to allow “boosters and families” to attend safely, but it ain’t a good look when people are putting up ‘For Lease’ signs in small business storefronts a few blocks down the street, hoping for more unemployment checks, and attending funerals.

I recognize the hypocrisy, because I got so much joy in our last game during this crummy year. But, if there was ever a year to snub the Rose Bowl, this is it. And I do not care even a tiny bit.

David Marsh

I do agree in thinking that playing the rose bowl with any sort of fans in attendance would be a bad look.

Especially in california which is really struggling with the virus right now.

I will also say that moving the rose bowl someplace else means it is not longer the rose bowl it is something else. the rose bowl is so much about the community and traditions that follow the game that it can’t really be transplanted.

No Pac-12 team is playing in it and it has been moved to Texas… They’ll still call it the rose bowl but we’ll all know it isn’t.

Jon Joseph

Stanford demurs?

GODUCKS15

No one really cared about the P12 when the season was still pending from Covid. I suspect that no one still cares whether the Ducks play Iowa State (?) except Duck fans and Iowa State (?) fans. Only way to create validity is to play and play well and not lose.
By forfeiting the game you succumb to the critics and give them more fodder to dribble.

Jon Joseph

NO WAY is Oregon not going to show up for a $ bowl game. We need the dues!

GODUCKS15

True and the rest of the conference should be grateful as well.

Jon Joseph

When it comes to the rest of this conference, they should be asking if Puddles wants a Western or English saddle?

Notalot

Huskies ride side saddle when they show up.

Notalot

A far better chance to be played in TX than CA. Many of our guys have played before inside AT&T “Jerry’s World”. All good by me. Sorry you don’t like it.

CJ

I might add Mckinley III and Andrew Faoliu to this list of players who emerged with big games. Mckinley may not be considered a surprise star at this point though, but he finished with a team high 9 tackles which I think could be considered a surprise.

Younger brother Austin is seeing a lot of time on the field as a linebacker these days and was seen flying around the field and had a big sack for an 11 yard loss.

Quackanadian

Nice read Joshua, thanks for the Sunday pleaser.

Now, I cannot be the only one sick of Bama, Clemson, Ohio St, ND plus/minus Oklahoma / Georgia / LSU (maybe not this year for them) in the playoff conversation since 2015/16? It’s getting a little mundane watching the same movie.

It’s my biggest argument for expansion because the rich get richer and Cincinnati is going to get eff’d over today and we all know it.

Cheers.

Charles Fischer

The vast majority of fans want an expanded playoff, and I wonder why we cannot get it done?

Jon Joseph

Because the G5 ADs, Bob Bowlsby and Larry don’t have the stones to step up.

jrw

I think there are ten reasons: money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, more money, and ESPN.

CJ

I agree wholeheartedly. Thing is this year no one is touching Bama……..except for maybe a very healthy full strength Clemson. I don’t think our eyes are lying to us on this one, these two teams are on a completely different level at this point. They have recruited the best classes for so many years in a row that their 3rd string players could likely beat most of the rest of the teams.

Sad……but true. The real question is why do recruits keep choosing these teams? I wonder how many careers have been ended because good potential players choose Alabama, Clemson or Ohio State and just end up riding the pine causing them to miss a shot at an NFL career because they failed to develop any further outside of high school.

Jon Joseph

The Gators came close to taking a chomp out of the Tide’s hide.

30Duck

Go back to the end of the first half when the Gators could have worked the clock down. Instead, they glad fast as they can to score and give Alabama, with no timeouts, 1:09. Alabama gets the ball, scores a touchdown.

Jon Joseph

Butb get that onside kick that UF had a chance to get? THAT would have been interesting.

Annie

I guess I’m one of the few not looking for an extended playoff. The championship games have been pretty exciting, but so far the playoff games usually turn out to be pretty one-sided (though of course that’s exciting for the fans of the winning team, such as when the Ducks demolished FSU in the Rose Bowl playoff game).

However, $$ probably means eventually there will be an 8-team playoff.

Jon Joseph

Spot on Annie regarding the $. But another reason the PO field has to expand is that 4 teams, Bama, Clemson, Ohio St and OK, have taken over 70% of the playoff spots.

And keeping the field at 4 makes recruiting far more difficult for the non-elite teams.

IMO, a G5 rep should be in and all P5 conference champs should be in.

Today, this is an Invitational and not a Playoff.

duckcardinal

An invitational to (mostly) teams that ESPN has strong financial & programming ties to.

Shocking that the ‘rankings’ that ESPN puts out and hypes from season’s start ends up be a draft version of what the CFP posse comes up with?

jrw

Don’t forget Malibu Mustache Man, Henry Katleman. That 41-yard FG was true as an arrow.

BigDucksFan

Thats a good development to see. Much relieved.

CJ

First +40 FG for Oregon in over 3 seasons. Yeah, I would say that’s an unknown, unheralded player making a huge difference.

Fear the mustache!

olcodgerduck

Having rocked a most awesome mustache myself for the last 40 years, that’s the first thing I noticed as he turned to run off the field! LOL!! Pretty awesome ‘stache for a youngun! Looking forward to not having to take my ulcer meds right before a field goal try!

Go Ducks!!

Logger29

Good point . I have wondered for years why Oregon seems unable to find decent kickers. The new kid looks like the real deal.

30Duck

It’s strange with Oregon and kickers. Most have come in highly rated.

Jon Joseph

Jerry Palm Pac-12 Bowl Projections.

USC has opted out. Ditto Stanford + Utah.

Fiesta – Oregon vs Iowa State

Alamo – CU vs Texas

Quackanadian

Should be a good match up vs Iowa St. Looking forward to it, eh?

Jon Joseph

A perplexing pick by Palm? 3L IA ST with more games played or a 1L Indiana with its only L a close one on the road vs Ohio St?

It was early on but IA ST did take a home L vs Sun Belt squad, Louisiana.

Cheers, eh?

Charles Fischer

I don’t like it. No credit to the upside if we win, and a bad loss of prestige if we lose…and that team is good.

Annie

The upside would be another shiny Fiesta Bowl cup in the trophy case. :)

Jon Joseph

Interesting, if this projection of Palm’s holds it will be back to back 3L teams for Oregon in the $ bowls.

3L B1G runner up; 3L B12 runner up.

Notalot

Upside of winning: Recruiting; Momentum; Confidence; More respect from those who really understand; Large national audience = exposure.Another trophy and Title.

Downside of losing: Not much if we stay close; If not, then
the downside is earned; The Ducks open as underducks, so it gets better from there.

Lastly, these Ducks are NOT losing to ISU.

CJ

Texas vs. Colorado could be a fun game to watch as well. Still rooting for Beaverton dude Sam Noyer all the way!!!!!

Jon Joseph

CU without its starting stud LB is really hurting on D. The CU LB going down made a huge difference in the Utah game.

Hats off to the Pac-12! Send the conference’s 2nd or 3rd best team to San Antonio to play a solid B12 team.

BRILLIANT!

duckcardinal

Alamo Bowl will be great for CU recruiting as talented Texas high schoolers will see how early they could get playing time for the Buffs!

Jon Joseph

Based on last season it hasn’t been all that great for Longhorns recruiting.

Pm

GO DUCKS !!!!

BigDucksFan

I feel you have more to say and I would love to hear it.

CJ

Yes, but perhaps they are a man or woman of few words. If so at least they are good words :).

Jon Joseph

Thanks Joshua. A great team effort with lots of guys stepping up. Thanks for citing guys who emerged and help upset Troy.

Of course, one old friend decided to have himself his best game of the season and possibly, his Oregon career to date? That would be Mr. T. I pity the Trojan O line fools trying to block Mr. T.

Hope y’all got to watch a titanic defensive struggle like no other, when Bama played UF for THE SEC title. The Bama D that had been improving took a siesta. I picked the wrong champ game down south to go Over.

With Notre Dame being destroyed in the playoff quarterfinal by an all hands on deck Clemson team last night, what team gets the playoff 4 spot? Likely, Notre Dame, of course. Brian Kelly will not have to play in the Rose Bowl. Instead, his Irish will most likely play Bama in the Sugar Bowl. No team will be playing in Pasadena on 1/1/21; the Rose Bowl has been canceled with the semi-final moved to Jerry’s Place.

Instead of ND, how about 1L A+M? But ‘if every game matters’ haven’t we already seen A+M blown out by Bama this season? A+M played 3 teams with winning records going 2-1.One of these wins came against an Auburn team that fired its coach. LOL at those opining that A+M improved its chances with yesterday’s beat down of Tennessee. Tennessee? Come on Man! 8 wins in this season’s no OOC cupcake games that exposed the SEC for what it is; not deep.

How about this playoff committee, how about give 9-0 and AAC conference champ Cincinnati a chance?

Committee response: How about NO!

Ryan Day led a COVID ravaged Buckeyes team into the B1G champ game versus a highly motivated group of Northwestern kids. It took Day most of the day to check the rule book, only to find that a team is allowed to hand the ball off instead of being forced to pass to a COVID depleted group of WRs. Once Day unleashed a terrific O line, Trey preached a Sermon. But one has to ask, if Iowa was 6-0, is the Hawkeyes going to be invited to the playoff? Would Iowa pass The-All-Seeing Eye Test?

My guess: 1 Bama, 2 Clemson, 3 Ohio State, 4 Notre Dame. Hats off to the ACC for gaming the system. Unlike BYU, ND found a COVID place to play. And the ACC welcomed in the Domers with a dropping of divisions. And the ACC further helped the cause by calling off Clemson’s postponed game against FSU and ND’s postponed game against Wake last week. Meanwhile last week, Florida lost its make up game versus 3 win LSU.

And how about the SEC! Another year where the Seriously Everyone Cheats Conference will be picking up 4 NY6 bowl checks.

Is this a great system, or what? Why the B12, G5 and Pac-12 continue to support this Doc Soda Pop SEC Invitational is well beyond moi.

Nevertheless, we’re goin’ to party, Fiesta, all night long, all night long. Ducks fans, get ready for a Hair of the Dog, 1/2/21 $ bowl game. Most likely versus a 6-1, 1L Indiana. A Hoosiers team that will be playing without its outstanding Dennis Dixon-like first string QB, Michael Penix.

Thanks again Joshua and all the best in the midst of this CFB mess.

BigDucksFan

Is this a great system, or what? Why the B12, G5 and Pac-12 continue to support this Doc Soda Pop SEC Invitational is well beyond moi. you say. Can it be any worst than the Pac-12 holding on to Larry Scott ??

Jon Joseph

A choice between Brussel sprouts and stale cabbage?

CJ

A complete outrage. You are right, the non-ACC/SEC conferences should boycott and/or disband from the soda pop conferences and form their own playoff system. How would it be any different than what the soda pop conferences are already doing?

4 teams from the SEC in the NY6 bowls is just a complete outrage……..no other way to spin it. No way Georgia, Florida and A&M should all be in those games………. but by the end of today they will. Just like Florida was inserted last year over Wazzu, it looks like Indiana will receive the short end of it this year, as they get relegated to the Citrus Bowl and we play ISU in the Fiesta.

smith72

Good observations Joshua! Enjoyed your article. Looking forward to seeing more!

BigDucksFan

It beg’s three questions:

What motivation was missing prior to the USC game that all of a sudden showed up for the Pac-12 championship game ??

What was it that made this Oregon superpowers wake up and finally, show up at this time of the season ??

Can the formula be bottled ??

Haywarduck

I think it is brewed rather than just bottled, which might have been our problem. Now if we can just reproduce this ale, maybe even add some more hops?

Jon Joseph

Finally, the team found a saloon open on the road.

Charles Fischer

Made me smile, as your version could help the basketball teams too!

30Duck

Those certainly are the questions, BDF. Fortunately, Oregon had more answers than did USC. Oregon has been there before, just last season actually. Was the stage too big for the Trojans? I thought yesterday that USC had fallen in love with their Hollywood endings this season. But this time their was a script change.

We hope that Oregon can keep doing this. Become the truly dominant team that doesn’t care what week it is, where the game is. The Ducks need to take Chip’s, “Faceless Opponent” and add the toughness that Mario preaches.

Next season, crossing fingers, the Ducks have to go to Washington to get win #3 in a row over the Pups. What better way to send the message that the Ducks get it now, than to just crush their spirit. No silly finger pointing. Just another check in the box.

Jon Joseph

The 1st Ducks game next year is the Fiesta Bowl. THIS is a game where a W will have national significance; likely allow the Ducks to finish in top 12 of the final AP Poll?

For a lot of Saturday, it looked like the Ducks would play NW or even tOSU?

Jon Joseph

FIESTA or Shreveport? That’s a pretty good reason to show up. The game against Army on 12/26 would have been a ‘no win’ game. Beat a G5 team, you should have. Take the L, you stink!

Jon Joseph

No gumbo for the Pac-12. With all of the opt outs, Palm projects that Nebraska will play Army in the Independence Bowl.

And with the opt outs there probably will not be enough teams to fill all of the still to be played bowl games.

BTW – Hats off to Utah with a big come back W over Wazzu.

BigDucksFan

No matter what happens in the Fiesta bowl, just take the money and run.

CJ

Very good questions. Some of the answers likely lie in the COVID swirl. Many key missing players in the losses to Cal and OSU as we saw walk-ons getting significant playing time.

The Pac-12 champ game likely had the most complete line-up since the Stanford game.

If Shough doesn’t undergo a makeover though, then we will continue to see precarious play into the future……..unless someone else steps in and plays consistently and with confidence.

BigDucksFan

I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of Brown at QB, especially his run game. Very impressed with his first pass of the game.

Jon Joseph

I’m not sure I wouldn’t love to see Brown a lot more. Remember if he so desires, Brown is eligible in 2021.

I think Shough is doing his best, of course. But he is not a big time QB. He has neither the instincts nor the arm. Would Brown give the Ducks a better chance next season in Columbus? Brown has played in far more road games than has Shough.

The coaches are of course on the scene and I am not, but after what we saw Friday night I am surprised that Brown has not gotten more playing time. Especially, in the 2nd half against CAL.

BigDucksFan

We have coming in what is sapose to be a good QB in this years class, he could be the next big time one.

Brown and Shough could hold down the fort until he gets here and gets ready. Also we have a guy I would really like to see get some real play time, Butterfield. We have a barn full.

MC don’t seem to want to play backups at QB much and I can’t understand that about him.

Jon Joseph

Good points. But from Bama on down no team escaped the COVID menace this season. For Bama it was likely better to have Saint Nick miss a game rather than Mac Jones.

No Waddle? No problem.

Charles Fischer

Big Questions….Powerful Questions…and ones for us to ponder in the off-season. Certainly Cristobal needs to answer for it someday…

Watching how pathetic the Beavers were last night made me angry; we lost to them?

This was all about desire and the full effort, and in some respects….this team may have received the wrong lesson. That you can screw-up and you can still win the championship?

BigDucksFan

Or the right lesson, that you can go undefeated and still lose to a 2 loss team.

Jon Joseph

I have been trying to forget, which I frequently do at age 73, but giving up 22 points in the 4th Q to these guys?

Jon Sousa

Good questions. I tend to take people at their word. MC said after the USC game that the defense finally started turning a corner during the week leading up to the CAL game. Some on this board mentioned that they saw some improvement there. MC said that they saw huge strides forward for the defense during practice leading up to the Washington game… a game they never got to play and therefore, improvement that we never got to see. MC said that in the week leading up to the USC game, the defense continued to improve… and that is what we saw on Friday night.

OYT (Off Your Topic): I could hardly believe that on Friday night the announcers never mentioned, and no one has mentioned since, that Oregon was denied the opportunity to win the North straight up by playing Washington’s COVID problems. It would have been a miscarriage of justice if UW gets out of playing Oregon – thereby giving them the North – only to come back a week later to play in the championship game.

B0YT (Back On Your Topic): How do we know that we would not have seen Oregon “playing with their hair on fire” against UW the week before? Answer: we don’t and can’t. This season reminds me of the Duck’s men’s BB season two years ago, when the Ducks weren’t going to make March Madness because they didn’t win enough during the regular season, only to sweep through PAC 12 Tournament to get an automatic bid… which was followed by a deep run in the National Tournament. Football could have been the same this year, beating UW and then USC for the championship.

I, by the way, never considered the Ducks the underdogs on Friday night. It was theirs to loose, and they didn’t.

BigDucksFan

Good observations Jon, thanks for sharing them.

Jon Joseph

How many teams besides UW have won a division title with never playing a game on the road?

ZIP, ZERO, NADA.

And it took double OT yesterday but a Stanford team that has been ‘on the road’ for 19 days took down the Chippers.

Playing for a conference title was a massive break. Playing Stanford without Mills at QB, because Larry’s lads screwed up the COVID testing, was a very good break.