Oregon Fans: Just How Far CAN We Go?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials 33 Comments

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It is really two questions I am asking, and the first is a realistic assessment of the 2021 Ducks, (the good and the questions) and what you think is a reasonable goal for Our Beloved Ducks in this upcoming season? Are the Ducks really ready to challenge for the Playoffs, or is the Rose Bowl the ceiling? Count me in the latter group, because while Oregon returns a ton of experience–not all of it is among the most talented.

If Oregon could win the conference and a Rose Bowl … I am a very happy Duck this next January.

The negative to my choice? It is a ton to ask, to three-peat (see trophies above) and act as though it is almost routine. Road games at Washington, Utah and UCLA are not going to be easy at all. Thoughts?

Pac-12 Network Video

Yogi Roth is telling Oregon fans that we have it all right now!

How GOOD can the Fans be at FishDuck Compared to Other Sites?

The short answer thus far, is pretty good. Since we came back to comments under the articles in March–this site is approaching 500 comments and even with our strict posting rules, I have not had to delete a single one! That is amazing and unheard of in today’s web environment, and I am grateful that everyone enjoys spirited discussion that stays on topic and does not get personal.

Think about it; even with a normal low deletion percentage of 1% that we experienced before–that would normally be four or five deletions, but none?

Ruthless Moderating: No Strikes, No Warnings and No Slack

Moderation policy has been changed in the Posting Rules page, and will be in the Terms of Service as well. The three-strike set of rules are no longer in place, as I have to work during the day, so I cannot hover over the site and delete an offending post immediately. In fact a nasty insult or political comment could sit all day and do the damage to the community before I see and act on it. Thus why when I do find the violation–the FishDuck member will be immediately Blacklisted/Banned. We all know the rules and the proof is the current perfect record over the last two months. If someone has no impulse control, or breaks the rules intentionally and tries to poison our Green Refuge–I will have no sympathy.

I’ve already lost friends over this and I’m not changing the rules now for anyone. If you cannot operate as everybody else does, then you’re gone; I am here to serve the 99% who want a safe and peaceful Oregon Sports Community. So FishDuck members–I have your back.

How long would you be Blacklisted/Banned? It depends upon how torqued off you made me. (A crude, but accurate answer) I just reinstated a couple of people who probably thought the ban was forever, and if you like to post often–it would feel that way.

Kevin Cline

Make it easier to read for our Greybeard-age FishDuck members please!

Remember the Greybeards!

We have a ton of people over age 50 who read and post comments, so as a courtesy to all of us–please create a paragraph space after every three sentences in your comments. Just hit the enter/return key on your keyboard twice after every third sentence and make it easier on fellow Ducks fans in the unique community. (Mr. FishDuck especially thanks you for this!)

Will You do YOUR Part?

There is no revenue from the site, only expenses and hours of work for me. I wish to evolve this site into something similar to what is at another school where they simply post a current topic or question each day and tons of fans write their responses and feelings. We will still have occasional full articles at FishDuck, but articles like this one are effectively meant to begin the Duck Discussion. These conversation starter articles are quite short–only two or three paragraphs.

Can you volunteer to put one up a week to help this special community? It won’t take long, and I’d love to have an article/conversation-starter every day of the week. Contact me at charles@fishduck.com and we’ll get you started.  It would only be a half-hour to an hour at most per week (or every two weeks if you like) and it is fun to do a little writing. Why? Because…

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo from Pac-12 Video

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For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!

I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)

I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.

Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:

Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua WhittedMr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric BolesAlex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram

A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.

Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!

Our 33 rules at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

FishDuck members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!

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This Duck team is very talented and will have a great P12 season. But it will take a win against tOSU to get to the playoffs and that’s unlikely.

If they beat tOSU they can drop a game in conference play and still make the playoffs. My heart says the can do it, but my mind says otherwise.

I’m just glad they have a tough out of conference game against a great program.

Go Ducks!

David Marsh

Oregon has the depth … Or the depth is at least developing… That is one of the biggest keys to making it to a National Championship Game… Let alone winning it.

In 2014 Oregon had the depth needed to reach the championship game but lacked the depth to actually win it. Remember the massive list of pass catchers out during that game? Devon Allen, Darren Carrington, and Pharaoh Brown… Also Bralon Addison was out the entire season.

Mariota didn’t have enough targets to throw to that game. It was not a pretty sight.

There are potentially 8 receivers of starting quality or have already started a game.

The rest of the team is shaping up to look much the same way. Depth is what will allow Oregon to win it all.

Now…. We do need the offense and the defense to play at a high level but depth is by far the hardest thing to acquire for a team as it takes years of recruiting to establish.

David Marsh

Now… That’s an article idea…


Pac 12 title is the bare minimum at this point. Oregon is the most talented team across the board. I think oregon has the best ‘overall staff’.
I honestly think many teams in conference have taken dropoffs. Osu has lost some high talent and they can’t replace them through recruiting, same can be said for Cal, wsu and Stan. Uw makes some of the worst coaching decisions and their last recruiting class was poor(except Huard)

For the south, asu has no line depth(or talent). Usc has the worst coach in conference. I don’t understand what chip is doing at ucla. AZ is bad and just hired a coach with no college experience. I don’t know what to make of Colorado.

The only team I actually have confidence in is utah. Which our team should be rolling come November.

Steven A

I’m going with a Pac 12 title. Whether that means a RB trip or playoff will obviously depend on the record. 1 loss and we will be playoff bound.

So, we circle back to whether a RB win vs playoff loss is better. I’m on board with the loss since it at least means a playoff bid, PLUS, that puts us in 1 more playoff than you-know-who up north. Although we are still the only Pac 12 team with a playoff W!

And who is to say that getting in the playoffs guarantees an L? Ah, koolaid on a warm CA Mother’s Day is the best and Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers in the Duck community, not counting those “mothers” up north.

Steven A

I’m just thinking chaos will prevail in at least one other power 5, and we get the haven’t-made-it-in-5-year pity card. Plus, I think the brand will carry some wait with the hype the current ascension of the program IMHO.

I don’t agree on this one. If Oregon loses a close game at the shoe, and the nuts prove to be an elite team, then one loss on the road won’t keep us out.

We do have to win the rest which means not lay an egg and get better as the season progresses. Showing up to win every game will be enough for me. The program needs to move past playing under their skill level. That one step will be a huge leap for the program, and Cristobal’s coaching progression.


I agree, while i don’t have any insight into what cfb players are thinking getting trashed in the playoffs hasn’t seemed to hurt Oklahoma… i’d rather see Oregon lose year after year than not get invited at all.


We should win the Pac-12, I’ll be disappointed if we don’t. Beyond that, we’re really going to need two things to happen if we want to climb to the next level. The D has to be dominant like two years ago. The QB, most likely Anthony Brown, will have to carry the team in the fourth quarter for two or three close games. I agree playing on the road at UW, UCLA, and Utah are likely the toughest challenges during the conference season. Can Brown make big plays down the stretch? I’m more convinced the D will step up but not sure if Brown can play beyond just being a game manager. I really hope he shows his moxie against Ohio State. If not, it could get ugly.


Looking at it thru my green and yellow tinted Duck fan glasses (since it is May, and we do love our Ducks) I am feeling confident that we have as good a shot as ever to run the table.

If MC can let JM run his offense and let TD run his defense I I think (hope and pray) that the Ducks can not only win the Rose Bowl, but get to compete in the Natty as well.

As has been mentioned already, there is a lot riding on 9/11/21 in the horseshoe. If we can get the W there, I think we can win our road games this year.

My gut feeling is that we Duck fans are going to be pleasantly surprised to have an O that puts up 35 + points per game, and a D that allows less than 20 points per game.

Go Ducks!

Jon Sousa

The guys who want to go to the NFL after this season are saying that they WANT to win a national championship. They can’t wait until next year or two years down the road.

If those juniors and seniors (and third year sophomores) take it upon themselves to cast that vision to the younger talent; if the coaches coach to their abilities and to the strengths of their personnel, their is no reason that the Ducks can’t make the playoffs.

The only way they don’t make the playoffs is if they lose 2 or more games. Two losses are certainly possible. I wouldn’t call them probable. Anyone who wins a championship not only needs to have great players and great coaches… they also need the pointy ball to bounce their way a few times throughout the year. If it bounces the wrong way too many times during the year, dreams are smashed.

I have always said that the goal for the Ducks should always be win a Rose Bowl. Win the conference enough times, you cannot help but make the playoffs now and then. The more times you are in, the more your chances of winning it all.


Real tough schedule this coming year with the road games you mentioned (Utah, UCLA and UW) and at tOSU. After losing what seemed like relatively easy games to the Beavers and the Bears last year my confidence is a bit shaken. I think we lose 4 games this year, though I won’t be surprised if it’s not all these road games specifically.

My main concern continues to be with in-game coaching and the adjustments that need to be made on the fly. Haven’t seen it to standard yet.

Other big concern is a QB carousel syndrome continuing to occur. I really wish they would just go with the 5 star talent Thompson and never look back. They got him for a reason and they need to show future 5 stars they can come in and play right away.

From what I saw in the spring game he has the arm and the intuition and looks the part more than any other guys. He will likely make some mistakes but they will just result in a better, more refined and polished effort in 22 and 23…with 23 being THE year.

Jon Sousa

We can also say that we also got Butterfield and Ashford for a reason. We got Brown for a reason.

I think it was yesterday that someone pointed out that that last year’s Heisman winner didn’t get much playing time as a freshman. That’s the way it is in the programs that have a ton of 4 and 5 stars. Talent goes to the top programs knowing that they have to wait their turn… but they also know that if they work hard and learn everything they can from the people in front of them, they will get their turn and have a good shot at greatness and the NFL.

If Oregon wants to join the elite, they have to convince incoming talent that this is the plan.


The reason we got those guys is to back up 5 star talent. That’s what they should be doing. They didn’t pass the eye test to me the way Thompson did.

Look at the trajectory of his throws, the tight spiral and zip. Watch the way he moves in the pocket. He is a much better investment for the longer term. The investment will pay dividends, but not in this season.

The tough part for the coaches and most duck fans is resigning yourself to the realization that we still don’t have the team to make the playoffs in 2021. It makes it even tougher realizing Thibodeaux is in his last year.


Also with a truncated season last year we have basically 3 freshman vying for the starting role. The other guy, who is our number 1 right now, has been in college since 2016.

What we could see is all the freshman continuing to compete, develop to see who takes over the program next year, or until our senior falters, or it just becomes obvious who ‘the guy’ is. Maybe we will have a Herbert type situation? Back then, if I remember correctly, the rumor was Herbert was ‘the guy’ as a freshman without even spring ball to get ready.

We do need to remember Marcus was our number 3 guy as a freshman. The next year he came out and lit it up as a redshirt freshman and then went on to win the Heisman. A couple other guys went on to win the Heisman as redshirt freshman, but nobody has lit it up as a freshman and won it all.

With all this said I pick Butterfield or maybe Ashford to take over and lead the team sometime during the season. Brown, like Shough has too many weaknesses to hold off this talented group. Somebody is going to rise up and lead us to glory!


I think Butterfield will transfer out regardless as he still won’t be getting playing time if they go with Brown, which looks inevitable at this point. Brown wouldn’t transfer as he doesn’t have time left, so he would be the back up. I don’t think Ashford transfers either as he will be starting on the diamond in the next year or two.


I agree on the a Rose win as a great season. Naturally that could change as the season progresses. A win at Ohio St would 100% change my goal line.
Last year was too fluky to really get a feel for this team. This years team will be much more prepared and in better physical condition.

I think obviously the teams outcome is dependent on the QB. I just don’t have 100% faith in Brown. If Brown gets demoted and one of the young guns takes over can the new kid get the Ducks to the CFP?

OT a little but I sure hope all P12 schools start allowing fans to games.


I hope fans will be allowed to attend games too–but my first concern is my decision come fall whether to attend or not. Will I want to sit in a stadium with however-many thousand cheering fans? Will I want to stand in line for the restroom or concession stand? And most importantly, will I want to sit on possibly packed standing-room-only shuttle bus? In four months I suppose the situation and my feelings might be more clear.


While I hate the pundits picking the Notre Dame’s and Washington’s to win big every year, as a fan I have to pick my Ducks to finish better than they likely will.

We have two coordinators who haven’t had a chance to coach the amount of talent we have right now, for Oregon. At Penn State Moorhead help lead the Lions to two top ten finishes. I expect the same type of outcome with Moorhead given time to put his offense into practice.

With DeRuyter I expect our best defense ever. The wealth of talent on the defensive side of the ball is something we have never seen. We have had individual talent, a Ngata, but never across the board with 5* talent backing up 4* talent. DeRuyter will put a defense on the field which will put fear into every team we face!

I say we win at the shoe and run the schedule. A lot will have to go right, but it is May and we are talking about the Ducks with Duck fans, aren’t we? We have the perfect amount of youth, who are too naive to realize how hard this will be, and experience that wants to win it all. I expect a magical season, but will be happy to see the team build into something special, just get better as the season progressses!