Is Oregon Doing the Right Thing?

After a thrilling Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, and a Stanford loss in the Fiesta Bowl, the Oregon Ducks (who beat Stanford earlier) will probably finish third in the football polls next week.

For the past few seasons, they have been playing the strongest teams possible at the beginning of the season. Sometimes it has worked out; this year it didn’t.

From what I was reading even before they lost to USC, they were already out of the national championship game because of their loss to LSU in their first game of the 2011 season, even though they put up more points against them than anybody, and even though the loss was arguably due to critical turnovers by freshmen in their very first college game. In other words, if they had played LSU when Alabama did, it probably would have been a much better game.

Woulda coulda shoulda. But the new Pac-12 schedule has been released, and the Ducks seem to be taking a different tack this year, playing weak teams in their non-conference games in the hopes of going undefeated.

I’m disappointed in them. What do you guys think — is it just smart scheduling to go undefeated and hope the other top teams have at least one loss, or is it a cheap way to get a high ranking?

We’ll see how they finish. If Alabama wins, there’s no way Oregon jumps either Oklahoma State or LSU in the final rankings. And 'Bama may hold onto a #3, even in the case of a loss.

I’m not sure they’ve got better options. Many schools’ non-conference schedules are set years in advance. It’s likely this year’s non-conference opponents were decided a couple years ago. Of course, it’s always possible to break those contracts, but there’s not a lot of reason to forfeit millions of dollars to do so.

Also, it takes two to tango. Even if Oregon was open to games against top 25 schools, how many of those schools would be open to that kind of challenge? It worked for LSU and Boise State, but it bit Georgia in the ass.

Besides, those teams aren’t complete scrubs, except Tennessee Tech.

Arkansas State finished a good year (10-2) with losses only to Illinois and VA Tech with a bowl game to come and they’ve got Gus Malzahn coming in as a head coach. Malzahn alone would be a reason to put this on national TV, especially since he was the OC for the Auburn team that beat Oregon last year. They’ll still probably lose, but Malzahn may put up some interesting wrinkles.

Fresno State has certainly seen better days, but they’re also not complete losers. They’d be competitive against some of the worse members of the Pac 12. Unfortunately, they’ve just fired their coach, so it’s not likely this will be a good game.

If Oregon goes undefeated, the only way they aren’t in the championship game is if there are at least two undefeated teams from the Big 10/Big 12/SEC with better schedules. That usually does not happen.

Good strategy.

Stuff like this is part of the problem with college football and the reliance on polls.
A few years ago USC opened the season ranked in the top 5 and played the number 22 or 23 ranked, at the time, Arkansas Razorbacks. USC won the game and were penalized in polls at the end of the year, because Arkansas ‘wasn’t a good team’.

Also, I don’t remember if it is Kansas or Iowa who does play a really soft OOC schedule in an attempt to get a great record. It almost always backfires when they have to face a good team.

Texas almost always has a soft OOC schedule, but then again virtually every school in the state wants to play them. I would guess that the same is true in places like Ohio, Michigan and Florida as well.

Good football teams will seek out the best competition they can find. Rolling over softies isn’t the best thing a team can do. Of course it would help if the 12Pac could have more than 3 good teams at a time.

Correct, except that I would add a couple of teams from the ACC if they happened to go undefeated. FSU, Clemson, and Va Tech.

I have not seen the entire ACC schedule but I do know Clemson’s OOC 2012 schedule includes to SEC schools, FSU always plays a tough OOC schedule, and hopefully Va Tech plays some tougher schools this year.

One third of the BCS formula is Strength of Schedule, and Oregon will be behind the 8-ball with no contenders in their OOC schedule.

If Oregon goes undefeated, only an undefeated SEC team could be realistically ranked ahead of them.

Disagree, if a team team such as Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State, Miami, Texas, Ok State are undefeated, and they beat a top 20 team OOC, they will be ranked ahead of Oregon.

I guess the Big 12 is back to being the Big 12 again, and will be playing a championship game. which help the SoS.

I’m going to split the difference between **garygnu **and **notfrommensa ** and say that only an undefeated SEC or Big 12 school could finish ahead of Oregon in this scenario. Maybe Ohio State or Michigan if they’re utterly and absolutely dominant, but even then I’d say it’s pretty much a toss-up. (And besides, OSU is under a 1-year bowl ban, right?)

As a fan, I think it’s lame and I’m glad my team (Washington) generally doesn’t do that. I want to see a good competitive OOC game against a team we don’t normally play each year, it’s exciting.

Unfortunately for us, next year is LSU.

FSU plays West Virginia, Florida, @South Florida and Murray State OOC

If they go undefeated, they will be ahead of an undefeated Oregon IMO.

Clemson plays Auburn (Atlanta) and South Carolina (and two cremepuffs). I think they an undefeated Clemson has a good chance of being ahead of undefeated.
Notable OOC games:

Va Tech plays Cincinnati and Pittsburth
Wisconsin plays @Oregon State
Michigan plays @Notre Dame, Alabama (at Dallas)

and of course an undefeated Notre Dame would be ahead of Oregon. 10 BCS teams and BYU and Navy.

2012 Schedule

Notables include Michigan, Stanford, Oklahoma, and USC

If they happen to get through that schedule undefeated, they will be ranked ahead of undefeated Oregon.

Pssht. Cal played * Presbyterian * and now Big Game is on Oct 20! Oregon will be punished.

Oregon didn’t win the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin lost the Rose Bowl. For the second time in a row. Remove Bielama’s stupid decisions and the result of both games would have been different.

Saying what teams would be ahead of Oregon is they go undeafeated is missing a huge part of the equation, namely the chance of them going undefeated.

I’m not going to look it up, but I think it’s exceedingly rare for there to be 3 undefeated teams from BCS conferences + Notre Dame in a single season. That’s what would have to happen for Oregon to be out of the national championship if they go undefeated, even with a creampuff OOC schedule.

It’s lame, but I don’t particularly blame Oregon, or every other football school who also do this. I blame the idiotic poll voters (and even more idiotic commentators and the public who buy it), who think that beating SouthEast Iowa Teachers College by 10 points somehow demonstrates more football ability than losing to LSU in the third overtime.

OK, maybe some of the voters aren’t so much idiotic as far too lazy to bother checking anything other than win-loss record (God forbid a professional do anything more difficult than open the newspaper). And, I suppose some of the coaches who vote may well be both smart and hard-working, but understand that their lives are easier with creampuff scheduling, so they’re going to go along with it. Undoubtedly many alumni /fans feel the same way: they understand exactly how the current process works, and they don’t want schedules that really challenge the athletes and give them the best competition; they want schedules that give cheap wins for their school so the alumni can feel all he-manly.

So yeah, there’s plenty of blame, but the athletic directors who do the scheduling are just doing what the system tells them to do.

The problem with the OP is the assumption that there is a criteria for the top 2 teams other than what teams the pollsters want in there.

If you’re a mid-major, its about who you beat so the deck is stacked against you even if you go undefeated. But between Oklahoma St and Alabama, that was thrown out the window and it was about who you lost to and Alabama lost to a better team than OSU. I guaranty that is Oregon had the exact same loss to a Big10 #1 ranked team the loss would have been less serious because in college football right now, it’s all about justifying how ass-kicking the SEC is. If the current LSU/Alabama scenerio were in any other conference, you would be hearing more about “They didn’t play in the conference championship” or “They had their chance.”

And this is not a knock on the SEC, but rather the media and their flavor-of-the-day hyping of conferences every ear. This year the SEC. Next year may be the SEC or Big-10 or Mountain West. I remember a few years ago it was USC and the Pac-10 and no one cared about the SEC and they were the odd one out of a few championship game selections.
So the bottom line is let’s say Oregon plays creampuffs and goes undefeated. If the pollster want Oregon in the championship game then 13-0 helps them and if the pollsters do not want Oregon in the championship schedule then the weak SOS hurts them.

This year, I think Oregon with only a loss to LSU, but a victory over USC would have been ranked above OSU in the polls, but I’m not positive there.


Both sides had fuck-all for defense. Given that, Oregon made better offensive decisions and came out on top. How is that not ‘winning’? Better than the win was the very large and bitter pill that Masoli had to swallow after watching the game. How do you feel now, moron?

Well, I guess it’s moot now. LaMichael James, Oregon’s best player, just announced he’s skipping his senior year and entering the draft.