Was Oregon Softball Too Much Fun?

Mike Merrell Editorials 35 Comments

I don’t know. I wasn’t there. But I have to wonder. Let’s start with some facts. Under Mike White, Oregon Softball never won a national championship. His teams consistently got to the Women’s College World Series, where they consistently lost games they were favored to win. Last year, they beat Washington in its own kennel three games in a row, and …

Ducks Shouldn’t Stand a Chance Against Huskies

Mike Merrell Editorials 26 Comments

Saturday the Washington Huskies will march into Autzen Stadium with a fourth-year starting quarterback who guided his team to the College Football Playoff two years ago as a sophomore. In senior Myles Gaskin, they have the school’s all-time leading rusher. They are third in the nation in scoring defense, giving up a stingy 13.7 points per game. The Huskies were …

Why Coach Mario Cristobal Won’t Outsmart Anybody

Mike Merrell Editorials 50 Comments

Predicting the number of wins for Ducks football this year is a tough call. One thing I can’t buy is that there’s an issue of whether Oregon’s coaches can game-day coach or not. First of all, if you’ve got a Mario Cristobal-coached offensive line, a Jim Leavitt-coached defense, and a Heisman-candidate quarterback–you’ve got some options that can make you look …

The O-Line Relay: Cristobal’s New Weapon to Win the Pac-12?

Mike Merrell Editorials 19 Comments

Anyone who’s ever had to compete single-handedly against a relay can tell you that it’s not a level playing field. Could this concept be formulated into a strategy that Coach Mario Cristobal utilizes to win and, ultimately, dominate the Pac-12? Let’s look at some unknown aspects of the offensive line and see if we can determine the unique new tactic …

Flash in the Pan: Oregon or Chip Kelly?

Mike Merrell Editorials 51 Comments

It was only a year ago that Oregon fans might have just have had confidence in Rob Mullens‘ and Phil Knight‘s ability to deal with the challenges that were on the plate with the football program. After all, Mullens is one of the top athletic directors in the country. And Phil Knight is the most successful athletics-related businessman in the …

Oregon Football 6-6? No.

Mike Merrell Editorials 55 Comments

As a general rule, nobody likes to be wrong. There’s a growing consensus that the 2017 Ducks are looking at a 6-6 season. In the past week, both Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News and Andrew Greif of Oregonlive have joined our own Mr. FishDuck, Charles Fischer, in assessing the Ducks as the acme of mediocrity. If the …

Six Games to Define Ducks’ Season

Mike Merrell Editorials 18 Comments

The top and bottom of the food chain is fairly easy to predict. The shark eats the minnow every time. Predicting what happens in the middle of college football’s food chain, however, is another matter. And this is the first season in ages that Oregon fans are entering with general expectations to be somewhere in the middle. Not a minnow. …

Ducks Football 2017: How Many Wins?

Mike Merrell Editorials 11 Comments

In an upcoming season that combines equal portions of unknowns, shaken confidence and renewed optimism, it is difficult to come to reasonable expectations for the 2017 Oregon Ducks. There are those – possibly trolls – who claim that six wins would be a success. Then there’s Athlon Sports — possibly the premiere preseason pigskin prognosticator – that ranks the Ducks …

Can Taggart Out-Coach Petersen?

Mike Merrell Editorials 61 Comments

That’s really what it gets down to, isn’t it? Oregon State and Washington State will have a say in who dominates the Northwest from time to time. But it’s Oregon and Washington opening the pocketbooks to buy a camping spot at the top of the Pac, with aspirations for national titles. The Huskies believe they hired the perfect cure for …

In-State Recruits: Who Needs ‘Em?

Mike Merrell Editorials 20 Comments

The argument goes something like this: Since the state of Oregon produces so few elite athletes, when they do come along, they simply must become Ducks. Otherwise, the Ducks are in big trouble, with all of the huge recruiting disadvantages they have to try to overcome. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great when an in-state athlete works out well. I’m …

Oregon Football 2016: Chip’s Guys Quit

Mike Merrell Editorials 20 Comments

Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out Amid the controversy of why and how to fix it, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Oregon football 2016 sucks. “Why” is no doubt complicated. If we want to be simplistic, we can just blame the coaches and join the witch hunt. Reality, however, is more complicated than that. Personally, I subscribe to the “perfect …