The Revenge of Mark Helfrich

Brian Libby Editorials 52 Comments

Remember the Chicago Bears? They’re that team that’s been to the playoffs once in the last decade, right? You know, the guys who haven’t had a Pro Bowl quarterback since Jim McMahon in 1985? Well, this year you can also call the Chicago Bears one of the most improved teams in the NFL. In particular, you may notice a host …

Oregon’s New Uniforms: Best in a Generation?

Brian Libby Editorials 31 Comments

When Oregon unveiled its 2018 uniforms a few days ago, it was not just a fresh look to christen the Mario Cristobal era. It was coming full circle. Which, if you think about it, is appropriate for a team with an O logo. Oregon’s uniform odyssey began twenty years ago this December. On a beach in Honolulu a few days …

Turning Point: Whether Oregon finishes with Five, Six or Seven wins IS Historically Significant

Brian Libby Editorials 17 Comments

If you look at Oregon’s current 5-5 record this season under Willie Taggart and think the results of last two games on the schedule don’t really matter, think again. Better yet, think back to a fateful moment in Oregon football history: December 16, 1989. Playing in the Poulan Weed Eater Independence Bowl that cold evening in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Ducks …

Oregon vs. Football Elites: The Empires Strike Back

Brian Libby Editorials 9 Comments

Watching this college football season play out, be it Oregon‘s collapse or the rise of teams like Washington and Nebraska, I was reminded that there have always been two ways of looking at the world. In the west, where monotheistic religions (Christianity and Judaism) are the most common, we traditionally believe that time is linear: a one-way progression of history. …

Firing Mark Helfrich Is Fool’s Gold

Brian Libby Editorials 63 Comments

Imagine the horror: your team has patiently built itself from its historically-mediocre origins to become one of the nation’s elite, with a succession of conference titles and high NFL draft picks, when one year suddenly everything falls apart. Your genius coach is gone and his successor is suddenly, after years of riding the coattails, struggling just to post a winning …

Oregon’s New Uniforms: Are We Still Innovating?

Brian Libby Editorials 24 Comments

Seventeen years ago, the Ducks football team changed its identity. With a new uniform redesign courtesy of Nike, head coach Mike Bellotti’s troops began the 1999 season looking very different from Duck teams of seasons past. Gone was the interlocking “UO” logo on the helmet in favor of the elegant “O” insignia that remains today. Gone were the yellow pants …

Is Oregon’s Football Preseason Ranking Too Low?

Brian Libby Editorials 16 Comments

Handicapping the 21st-ranked Ducks’ chances of proving prognosticators wrong. This August, preseason polls have been unkind to Oregon compared to recent years, with the Ducks ranked No. 24 in the first Associated Press poll and No. 21 by Sports Illustrated. In 2015, by comparison, the Ducks were ranked No. 7 by the AP going into the season, and in 2014 were ranked …

A Case for Keeping it Simple

Brian Libby Editorials 1 Comment

Although Oregon has now been a winning program for more than 25 years (dating to the 1989 Independence Bowl season), and much of that success has been due to the continuity of its coaching staff — with assistants like Don Pellum, Steve Greatwood and John Neal‘s tenures stretching across multiple head coaching regimes — there have always been necessary course …

Despite Lopsided Score, Georgia State “Never Stopped Believing”

Brian Libby FishWrap, FishWrap Archive 0 Comments

When Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston said after last year’s Rose Bowl that the blowout game could have gone either way, it was laughable. When Georgia State’s players and head coach talked after today’s game about having an opportunity in the second half to make a comeback against the Ducks, it was hard to deny. Though undone by four turnovers, …

Oregon Football’s 25 Greatest Teams (Top 10)

Brian Libby History 4 Comments

In yesterday’s article, we began the process of ranking Oregon’s 25 greatest teams. Today, we look at the best of the best: the top 10. Debate online about which Ducks football team is the greatest has been, as one might expect, mixed. In an Oregonian poll last month before the national title game, an overwhelming majority (65 percent) picked 2014 …

Oregon Football’s 25 Greatest Teams

Brian Libby History 1 Comment

We live in an era of lists. Go to almost any website and you’ll find a top 10 of something. In a random search just now, within seconds I came across lists of the top snipers in history, a list chronicling examples of confusing etiquette in other countries, a list of Church of Satan facts that “may surprise you,” and …

Learning from Oregon’s Championship Fashion Fail

Brian Libby FishWrap, FishWrap Archive 10 Comments

We don’t just love our school colors—we win in them When Oregon underwent a radical Nike-designed uniform change beginning with the 1999 season, the message was clear: what you wear says something important about you. The Ducks, save for the occasional Rose Bowl every few decades, had never been a traditional powerhouse. Why not claim the future with innovative, constantly changing …