Arizona in 2018. Arizona State in 2019. Cal and the Beavers in 2020. All games in which the Ducks were the better team but did not show up to play and lost.
If ever there was a season to go undefeated in the Pac-12, this would be it. Quite simply, the conference stinks, while the Ducks are ascending into becoming one of college football’s premier powers. True, the Ohio State win probably affords the Ducks the right to lose one game and still make the College Football Playoff, but best not go that route.
While Fresno State is proving to be a quality opponent, it’s safe to say Oregon did not play near the level they are capable of playing in that game. And even though the Stony Brook game turned into a blowout, the sputtering the Ducks did in the first half could spell disaster against a better team.
Moving forward this season, the Ducks will possess the superior players and coaches in every game they play. Other teams cannot beat the Ducks. The Ducks can only beat themselves.
Therefore, I hereby declare that the next step in the evolution of Mario Cristobal as a head coach is to avoid The Big Letdown.
Top photo credit: Craig Strobeck
Andrew Mueller, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in higher education in Chicago, Illinois.
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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