For years, Oregon Ducks fans have been told, “next year will be the year”. If they can just remain patient and trust the process, the results will soon follow.
To a degree, that has come to fruition. When Mario Cristobal took over for Willie Taggart as head coach, Oregon was a good-not-great team that showed flashes of brilliance, but was still a ways off from contending for the conference title, let alone the College Football Playoff. Just two years after his hiring, Cristobal and the Ducks have earned back-to-back Pac-12 Championships, and are now borderline Playoff contenders.
But progress never sleeps.
There was a time not too long ago when conference championships were merely stepping stones for the Ducks. They had their sights set on nothing short of winning it all. Through the down years, fans stayed the course, waiting and watching as the program steadily built itself back up. But make no mistake, despite its endurance, the Oregon fanbase is eager for their Ducks to emerge as a national threat once again.
Is it fair to hold the 2021 Oregon Ducks to the same championship-or-bust standard that Chip Kelly‘s Ducks were held to? Cristobal has assembled a more talented roster on paper than even Kelly’s best teams, after all. There’s no overwhelming threat in the conference. And aside from a daunting trip to the Horseshoe (a game Oregon can afford to lose and still make the Playoff, by the way), the Ducks should be sizable favorites in every game on their schedule.
Is the time for “waiting and seeing” finally over, or is it still too premature to declare Oregon “back?”
Morgantown, West Virginia
Top Photo by UO Athletics
Joshua is an adopted Duck fanatic, originally hailing from southwestern Pennsylvania. His love for the University of Oregon began as a young child when he became mesmerized by the flashy uniforms and explosive offenses of the Chip Kelly era, and now, he follows the team religiously. His fondest memory of the team is seeing De’Anthony Thomas race past Wisconsin defenders back in the 2012 Rose Bowl. A true football enthusiast, Joshua loves studying the intricacies of the game, and he aspires to become a professional sports journalist. Joshua now resides in Morgantown, West Virginia where he works in customer service. When he’s not watching Oregon replays, Joshua loves reading, writing, and spending time with his family. Contact: email@example.com
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