For the first time in three months, outside of a bye week, the Ducks do not have a game this weekend. Of course, they should have had one last night, but they did not. Last Saturday’s soul-crushing meltdown in Corvallis has left us gameless this first weekend in December. Personally, I do not like it. So, I’m going to ramble.
The Ducks went 7-2 in Pac-12 play. By most accounts, that is good; not great, not bad. The two losses came against Oregon’s greatest Northwest rivals, Washington and Oregon State. The Ducks barely escaped Pullman with a win, so it got me thinking. What if the Ducks had gone 6-3 in Pac-12 play and those three losses all came from the NW schools?
I will tell you what it would mean, it would mean: Failure
The Pac-12 is good this year. In most seasons, a 9-3 record while going 7-2 in league play would probably get you to the Alamo Bowl, the league’s second bowl game after the Rose Bowl. But, not this year. After losing to the Beavers, the Ducks have fallen to the league’s fourth or fifth bowl game in the Las Vegas or Sun Bowl.
Analytics? My Rear…
Did analytics cause the decision for Dan Lanning to go for it late in the game with a 4th and 1 from his own 29-yard line? He doubled down on his 4th down from his own territory call against the Huskies. He wanted to prove that going for it in your own territory is the right thing, and he failed.
Analytics essentially allows math nerds to make game-time decisions for you, and they shouldn’t. It is completely logic-driven, and football is a game played and coached by completely illogical humans. Analytics does not take this into consideration, and it does not take into account momentum, injuries, or emotion.
Math nerds should not be making football decisions any more than a head football coach should be making atmospheric re-entry calculations for NASA. End of story.
Dillingham to ASU
I think Dillingham made the right decision. He has nothing to lose by taking the job. He is from the area and just might become the Tempe version of Jonathan Smith. If it does not work, then he will get a job at a good program as an offensive coordinator and after a few years will get another good head coaching offer.
Go for it, Dilly!
The Utes won. Who would have thought? Now, just pray that USC is a complete flop in the B1G.
It is the first weekend in December. I should have been watching the Ducks last night, just like I should be out finishing raking the leaves, but the snowfall here in eastern Washington will not allow it. So, I guess the leaves, like the Ducks, will have to wait until this spring. After all, hope springs eternal.
Top photo credit: Craig Strobeck
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in SLC, Utah.
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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