Oregon’s No. 3 BCS Ranking Exactly Where Ducks Want to Be
In the first BCS rankings of the season, the Oregon Ducks come in at No. 3, behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida. Despite being ranked No. 2 in the AP and coaches poll, Oregon’s weak schedule hurt them in the rankings, as the Ducks were ranked as low as 10th in one of the computer polls.
To date, Oregon has played only two ranked teams (No. 22 Arizona and No. 23 Washington), while their other opponents could be described as diversions at best. Meanwhile, Florida recently took down LSU, ranked No. 4 at the time. The Gators also defeated Tennessee on the road at a hostile Neyland Stadium. Oregon’s only road game to date was versus Washington State, and that game was played in Seattle, which is technically closer to Eugene than Pullman.
The Ducks are actually closer to No. 4 Kansas State than the Gators. Florida’s BCS average is .9092. Oregon’s is .8993 and Kansas State’s is .8963.
Despite being on the outside looking in, Oregon fans have no reason to panic. Oregon will play four of their final six games on the road, with three of those games against teams currently ranked in the top 20. On November 3rd, Oregon travels to Los Angeles to take on No. 10 USC. The next week, Oregon will face California in Berkley.
While Cal may seem like an easy opponent, the Bears have the Ducks’ number away from Autzen. In the last decade, Oregon has beat Cal in Berkley just once, a 15-13 win in 2010, which was Oregon’s sloppiest win of the year during their BCS title game run that season. The Ducks will end their regular season with the annual Civil War against Oregon State, who have become something of a Cinderella story this season. The Beavers came in at No. 8 in the BCS polls, their highest ranking in over a decade.
Despite many Oregon fans’ being upset about being leapfrogged by an SEC team, this is exactly where the Ducks want to be. Let Florida handle the pressure of trying to hang on to the No. 2 spot. One look at the Gators schedule should calm Oregon’s fans down. This weekend, Florida faces No. 7 South Carolina while Oregon faces an unranked Arizona State. Next week, the Gators take on No. 11 Georgia as Oregon faces Colorado, one of the nation’s worst teams. Florida also will have to take on No. 14 Florida State on the road in Tallahassee. Even if Florida makes it to the SEC title game, they will have to face a tough opponent, most likely No. 1 Alabama.
So at the end of the day, despite being ranked behind Florida, the Ducks’ path to the BCS championship is much clearer than Florida’s. Oregon controls their own destiny. Wins over USC, Oregon State, and the Pac-12 south champion (most likely USC) should earn themselves a trip to Miami.
Oregon fans just need to sit back and let the season play itself out. Florida will lose at least once, and when they do, the Ducks will be waiting, ready to take the Gators’ spot in this year’s BCS championship.
Around the Pac-12:
In addition to Oregon’s No. 3 ranking, the Pac-12 claimed three additional spots in the top 20, including two more in the top 10. Oregon State came in at No. 8 in the initial BCS rankings while USC came in at No. 10. Stanford, who sits in third place in the Pac-12 North behind Oregon and Oregon State, came in ranked No. 20.