Sports Desk: Does Oregon Need to Start Blowing Out Teams?


The Oregon Ducks have dominated opponents but let their second, third and fourth string subs play which let games look closer than they were. Case in point: Thursday night’s win over ASU. With the polls starting to let teams like Kansas State, Florida and Notre Dame into the BCS title picture, is there cause for concern in Eugene?

Remember how we were all so excited on Thursday when Oregon was up 43-7 and the game was already decided? Thoughts of “We’ve reclaimed our No. 2 spot!” and “Take that Florida!” were probably going through the minds of many Ducks fans. I mean, when you go on the road in your “first real test” and blowout a team like that, why wouldn’t you go up in the polls?

Unless there’s a team out there that had an equally impressive performance…

The Florida Gators (7-0, 6-0) have been one of several Cinderella teams in college football this year, far outperforming expectations. The popular Gators have been the focus of three College GameDay appearances, something that’s looking more and more likely that will not happen once for Oregon (7-0, 4-0).

Before the polls get released I’ll give you a breakdown of where we sit right now. Last week we were saying not to panic because Oregon controlled its own destiny. That might not be the case anymore.

Here’s where  the polls stood Week Eight

First: Notice that Oregon was actually closer to Kansas State (7-0, 5-0), last week, than they were to the No. 2 Gators. The Ducks’ No. 6 overall ranking in the computer poll was even behind rival Oregon State.

Second: Take a look at Florida and K State’s ranks in the computer polls. They rank No. 1 and No. 3 respectively. Now, Florida should easily remain No. 1 with the computers, but K. State has some room to move up. Don’t be surprised to see them at No. 3 or even No. 2.

Florida will be their at No. 2 overall in the BCS standings. That’s essentially a given, but the big surprise will be who is No. 3. Oregon or Kansas State?

The Wildcats absolutely destroyed then No. 13 West Virginia 55-14 in a contest that wasn’t even that close. And with wins over Oklahoma and Miami, this team is for real.

But I mean, come on? How can Oregon absolute crush a team like Arizona State on the road and fall in the polls? You can’t overlook that win, right? Take a look at the poll on the right. Looks like everyone isn’t as impressed with Ducks as Ducks fans are. In fact, Kansas State is proving to be the hot girl at the party.

Now I’ll be the first to say it, this is a fan poll on ESPN; a fan poll, not an expert poll. The media experts wouldn’t actually drop the Ducks, would they? Don’t be so certain.

Going back to that BCS standings poll up top, Oregon has a .9593 to .8828 lead (.0765) in the AP poll and a .9586 to .8861 lead (.0725) in the coaches’ poll. Oregon will not go up percentage wise in either poll. In fact, expect them to drop down to around .9400 in both. A lot of their second place votes will start going to Florida and Kansas State.

So the two polls that actually care about them, the human polls, might betray them too.

Now I ask the question, does Oregon need to run up the score on teams so their wins look as impressive as Florida and Kansas State?

Will it actually change anything? Not the computers, because they don’t factor in margin-of-victory. But what about the humans who might be starting to side with these other schools? Maybe. I’ll let you guys decide.

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