I do not disagree with the new 2024 schedule set forth by the B1G.
But, in my dream scenario (I am sure I am not the only one who thought of this), the B1G plays 10 conference games in which the Ducks play USC, UCLA and Washington every season, on top of seven other conference foes one year, and the remaining seven the next year. This would assure the Ducks of playing all non-West Coast teams every other season while allowing other B1G teams to protect three of their rivalries. Not to mention it will help with reducing travel considerations.
Unfortunately, with the SEC only playing eight conference games, there is no way the B1G expands from its current nine conference games to 10. The B1G is already at a disadvantage as it is, and would not want that to be worse. But, if the SEC expands to nine conference games, which is a possibility starting in 2025, then I believe the B1G should go to 10 conference games.
Hence putting the “10” in B1G.
I have read from some Oregon faithful that they find it a disadvantage that Oregon will play even fewer games in southern California once the Ducks join the B1G. The Ducks played in SoCal every year in the Pac-10, then every other year in the Pac-12, and now it will be even less frequently starting in 2024.
But, I wonder if the whole “playing less in SoCal harms recruiting” is more myth than reality. After all, The Ducks have consistently out-recruited USC under Cristobal and Lanning. Oregon’s recruiting since 2018 has consistently been Top 15 if not Top 10 including all of the Ducks’ best classes ever.
Just as there was once a false belief that Oregon could not recruit elite linemen, I also believe that playing fewer games in LA, while not ideal, is not conclusively hurtful.
Mario the Menace
I am sure you have all heard, Mari-oh-no has struck again. His failure to have his quarterback take a knee with under a minute left cost Miami last Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech. I am not here to pile on Mario; he has had plenty of that. But, rather, to give him props for lifting Oregon into becoming a perennial Top-10 school in recruiting. Hence dispelling the aforementioned recruiting myths.
You can say what you want about his coaching ability, but the guy can recruit with the best of them.
“Fever” as in they make me sick. While it has been satisfying that Washington has stunk for much of the 2000s, which includes Oregon’s 13-game win streak, there is something terrific about them being good. The stakes and tension are as high as they may have ever been. As opposed to say, 2008, when the Huskies were God-awful and made for the easy and uneventful win.
Beating the Huskies on Saturday should amount to the most satisfying victory over them this century.
Top photo credit: Eugene Johnson
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in technology 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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