BCS

Why Oregon, Underdogs, and the Pac12 Need a Four-Round National Playoff

Vernon Adams is a ringer. NFL scouts are stalking DeForest Buckner. His defense is creating turn-overs now and gets the ball back to Adams. Does anyone really think that the 2015 Ducks aren’t a top 5 team if Adams had...

No Hate For Ohio State, The Old BCS, And Expanding The Playoffs

I can’t hate Ohio State University. I’ll admit, it was pretty easy with FSU — they gave Oregon fans, and college football in general, plenty of ammunition over the course of the 2014 season, but Ohio State? – naw. The...

FishDuck: Oregon’s Bitter Rival Delivers Another Blow

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One of the complaints of the modern shift in college football, with conference realignment and the addition of a playoff amongst other changes, is the end of annual matchups in many historical rivalries.  Yet it is Oregon’s biggest rival in recent years, the BCS, that the Ducks will happily say goodbye to as this era ends.  After four years of success in the rivalry, the BCS fired a parting shot on its way out the door.

The Pac-12 and SEC were nation’s two most competitive conferences this season.   On Sunday, they shared a distinction, the only two conferences in the country with a top ten team that was left out of the BCS.  But while these SEC’s schools (Missouri & South Carolina) were left out because the conference had reached its cap on teams that could be selected, the Pac-12, the most competitive conference in the nation this year, failed to put two teams in the BCS for the first time since 2009.

Why?  While I can offer my thoughts, Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples explained what happened with the Sugar Bowl far more succinctly in 140 characters than I ever could:

[tweet_embed id=146363598019637248]

It is understandable that everyone wants to get on their ragey high-horse, but before we do that, it is important to remember that Oregon didn’t get screwed by being left out of the BCS.  Chosen over?  Sure.  A victim of the process?  No doubt.  But this wasn’t a team that had any business complaining about where they landed.  In fact, this wouldn’t even qualify as a top-three BCS game screwjob against the Ducks in the last fifteen years.  That list being:

3) 2001 Rose Bowl

Despite beating eventual Rose Bowl representative Washington head-to-head and having identical 7-1 conference records, Oregon is the first team eliminated in the three-way tiebreaker between Washington, Oregon State and Oregon, based on its week two loss to Wisconsin, a game that should have had no bearing on the Pac-10 race whatsoever.  (Is it any wonder why programs are historically gun-shy about scheduling difficult games?)

Oregon's only loss in 2005 came to #1 USC.

Oregon’s only loss in 2005 came to No. 1 USC.

2) 2006 Fiesta Bowl

10-1 Oregon, whose sole loss was to No. 1 USC, is left out of the BCS, while two-loss Notre Dame, because they were Notre Dame, was selected as the final at-large spot.  The Irish would go on to lose to their eighth consecutive bowl game, falling 34-20 to Ohio State.

1) 2002 BCS Championship Game

This is where we remind everyone of a by-gone time where computers played such heavy role in determining the national championship participants that the system decided that the 10-1 Ducks should be ranked below a two-loss Colorado team and a Nebraska team that didn’t even win its own conference.  Both of those teams lost as Oregon finished the season ranked second in the nation.

Against Arizona

Against Arizona

Oregon’s second loss ushered its exodus out of the BCS lineup; not specifically because of its record, but because that loss put their fate in subjective hands.  When Ohio State’s loss took away the possible Orange Bowl spot that Oregon had politicked for all week, only the Sugar Bowl remained, a game with a poor recent history of choosing its participants based on bad intelligence gathering.

In 2011, the Sugar Bowl controversially picked Virginia Tech over highly-ranked teams Kansas State and Boise State for an at-large bid.  The Sugar Bowl used the argument that it chose Virginia Tech because of the Hokies reputation for travelling, only to be served the kind of karmic justice deserved of those who make decisions purely on greed when Virginia Tech only sold half of its initial allotment of tickets, while Kansas State’s pre-sale of tickets prior to season’s end exceeded Virginia Tech’s purchases.

Because the BCS uses computers and formulas to create the rankings, there is a false assumption amongst the public that there is any logic to the way decisions are made with regards to bowl games that decides matchups by quality rather than quantity ($).  While the title game pairing may be determined that way, when left to their own devices, the individual bowls are still going to choose their participants based on the most fallible of criteria: the antiquated knowledge of the executives running the game.  They used the “ticket sales” assumption with Virginia Tech, and they used it again yesterday with Oklahoma.

To them, Oregon is the same as Kansas State or even Boise State.  It is important to point out that the Sugar Bowl has never selected a team from the Pac-12 (Utah is the only current conference member to have ever played in the game, when they were forced upon the Sugar Bowl while a member of the Mountain West), and wasn’t going to make its first ever selection of a Pac-12 team over a little thing like ratings.  Besides, they already sold those games to ESPN, what do they care about ratings?

The main reason for the Sugar Bowl’s decision is they have a relationship with the Big 12 beginning next season, and as covered above, it’s all about protecting the relationships.  And while unfortunate as this may be, this is the ugly game Oregon became entangled in following its loss to Arizona.

The only way to guarantee a spot in the BCS is to get there on the field

The only way to guarantee a spot in the BCS is to get there on the field.

So what can be done?  First off, the Pac-12 has to start arranging better bowl matchups.  Not only did Oregon get left out of a BCS bowl because of politics, but there was a lot of work that went into securing spots for all the conference’s bowl-eligible teams.  This is a conference that has insisted in recent years that it is the most formidable challenger to the SEC for the best conference in college football.  Yet, while the SEC has no problem finding a place for its teams in the postseason, the Pac-12 needs to work to make sure its teams aren’t sweating out the final Sunday waiting to see if they will play in a bowl game.  Last but not least, would it kill the Pac-12 and the SEC to set up just one bowl game against each other?

Meanwhile, coaches always say that winning a bowl game is the best way to end a season.  In that regard, playing a mediocre Texas team rather than an Alabama buzzsaw that was the best team in the nation for its first 11 games could be the best thing for this team heading into 2014.  Beat Texas, a team that beat Oklahoma, the school that was picked over Oregon, and prove the Sugar Bowl wrong.

Duck fans may be disappointed that the BCS bowl streak has ended, but the BCS streaks are ending for everyone after this season, and not a moment too soon.  While the era itself was good to Oregon, the process was not, leaving the Ducks outside looking in on a BCS contest it had a case for four times in the 16 years of the system.

As the program that elevated itself the most during the BCS era, it really should make Oregon its best representation, as well.  That, no matter how much success a team tries to carve out for itself, the antiquated ugliness of the college football’s postseason structure still throws its weight around.  They chose bowl matchups like this, and then wonder why fans clamor for a playoff.

Big game matchups should be decided by the best teams, not the best relationships.  They are modern-day despots, denying people what they want for the interest of their pockets.  The sooner that ugliness can end, the better.

The Oregon Ducks Win Epic Civil War Showdown Against The Oregon State Beavers

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Overview:

The Oregon Ducks(10-2, 7-2) squeaked by the Oregon State Beavers(6-6, 4-5) 36-35 at Autzen Stadium in one of the most exciting Civil War games in recent memory. Led by the at times miraculous play of QB Marcus Mariota and WR Josh Huff, the Ducks were able to take the lead over the Beavers twice late in the second half and kept it as the clock struck midnight on OSU’s shot at its first Civil War victory since 2007.

Mariota threw for 285 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on the night. But the savior of the game and the Ducks season was Huff, who had 186 yards and caught three touchdown passes, including a clutch game winning catch with under a minute remaining. Thomas Tyner contributed the best game of his college career, rushing the ball 22 times for 153 yards and one TD.  With the win, the Ducks not only salvaged a season that was on a steep decline ever since the Stanford loss, but its slim shot at being selected to a BCS game. They also generated a storybook exit to the Pac-12 careers of Duck seniors on senior night.

117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris
The Beavers gave everything they had, but fell just short of the victory. 117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris

The Beavers may have fell short, but they gave the Ducks all they could handle. Despite having a relatively non-existent rushing attack for most of the season, the Beavs absolutely pounded the Ducks on the ground. Backup RB Terron Ward became the first Beaver of the season to eclipse the 100 yard mark, rushing the ball 17 times for 146 yards. Starter Storm Woods added 75 yards and OSU finished with 231 yards rushing. QB Sean Mannion had himself a day as well, throwing for 314 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.  WR Brandin Cooks continued his historic season, catching 10 balls for 110 yards and breaking the Pac-12 record for most receptions in a season with 120.

How the Civil War was won:  

On the first drive of the game, the Beavers swung for the fences on fourth and one from the Ducks 33, throwing it deep to Brandin Cooks on a post route. However, they struck out. Cooks was double covered and the ball wound up in the hands of CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

0-0

117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris
De’Anthony Thomas scoring the first TD of the game, 117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris

On the Ducks first play from scrimmage, Tyner exploded for a 40-yard run. RB De’Anthony Thomas finished off the drive by bouncing off his own blocker to the outside for a six yard score. Tyner scored a touchdown on the following drive from 12 yards out to cap a drive defined by screen passes to Huff and Braylon Addison.

14-0

At the 12 minute mark in the second quarter the Ducks forced a punt. But the ball fell through the grasp of Addison and was recovered by the Beavers at the UO 23. The Ducks D then put the clamps on the OSU offense, allowing only four yards in three plays. Though Beaver kicker Trevor Romaine missed the field goal, a Duck ran into the kicker, turning the missed field goal into a fourth and one opportunity. The Beavers converted on a slant-curl catch by Cooks. Then Woods stormed into the end zone on the final of three straight carries.

17-7

Oregon struck back with a 20-yard field goal by Matt Wogan, spearheaded by a 44-yard deep ball from Mariota to Huff.

After a 72-yard drive repeatedly pounding the ball to Woods and Ward, the Beavers easily converted an 18-yard field goal off the foot of Romaine. Mariota gave the ball right back to the Beavers after egregiously missing tight end Johnny Mundt to the right and into the hands of an OSU defensive back. On the Beavs next possession, lady luck struck the Ducks as Cooks caught a pass at the UO two yard line, but fumbled the ball into the end zone. Oregon retained possession.  But after Mariota turned the ball over again on another puzzling interception, Mannion threw a wide open TD pass to Ward on a play action pass to the flats.

17-17 at the half

The Ducks continued their lackluster play, turning the ball over on downs on the opening series of the second half. The Beavers took the lead via a Romaine 47-yard field goal. But Mariota wouldn’t let the Beavs lead for long. The Duck QB delivered a 21-yard scamper, nine yard throw after escaping pressure and a 29-yard TD pass to Huff.

24-20

The Beavs then missed out on another scoring opportunity after getting stuffed within the Ducks 5-yard line on fourth and one.  After a stalled UO drive, OSU made another FG on the second play of the fourth quarter. On the following Oregon drive, Thomas made his presence felt, delivering consecutive runs of 20 and 13 yards. However, Wogan missed a 43-yard FG.

24-23

On a drive highlighted by a sweet cutback by Ward that resulted in a 31-yard run, the Beavs finally found the end zone on a play action pass from Mannion to Tyler Anderson for a TD. After a two-point conversion run was halted by Taylor Hart, the score was 24-29 OSU.

24-29

Staring in the face of defeat, The Ducks rose to the challenge. On third and eight, Huff became the ninth player in UO history to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark after catching a timely 37-yard pass. Then on third and 13 the Ducks elected to run the ball up the middle with Tyner. It proved to be a wise decision as the RB ran for 25 yards.  Finally, on fourth and 11 Mariota threw a dart at the sidelines on an end zone out route to Huff for the TD.

30-29

After another 70-plus yard Beaver drive culminated by a reverse for a TD by Victor Bolden, OSU took the lead 35-30 with 1:38 remaining.

30-35

The Ducks were down, but Mariota made sure they weren’t out. The Duck QB put the team on his back and arguably delivered the most important drive of his career. The Ducks went 83 yards on 8 plays in 1:09 seconds. After a missed two-point conversion, the score was 36-35, Oregon. On the Beavs final drive, two potential 20 plus yard gain’s slipped through the hands of Cooks. On the final play the Beavs tried a Boise State-esque hook and ladder, but an OSU player fumbled as the clock ran out.

36-35 Final Score

117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris
Duck fans cheering their team to victory, 117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris

Postgame reaction:

Head coach Mark Helfrich proves prophetic: “We were talking about it at the beginning of the fourth quarter that it was going to be one that we were going to be talking about forever.”

Taylor Hart puts game into perspective: “To be able to do that with my seniors, with these great coaches, it’s something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris
Opposing fronts lining up for battle, 117th Civil War Ducks V. Beavers at Autzen Stadium Image | Sandy Harris

Hroniss Grasu on the epic battle: “Having that fight to never give up, they were punching us we were punching back to. “We had one chance to win the game and you can’t let that moment pass you by.”

Hart provides a look into the Ducks locker room post game: “They might be jumping around on couches, singing and having a good time.”  

Dior Mathis on Huff’s performance: “I couldn’t be more happy, excited, proud of that guy. We’ve built a bond for 4 years, that’s like my brother.”

Mariota’s mindset during the final drive: I just focus on not letting the moment affect me. I was raised to be calm, cool and collected.”

Brian Jackson’s feeling before the final drive: “I wouldn’t say that I was hopeless, but I couldn’t do anything else. it was not my turn anymore.”

Jackson’s feeling after the final drive: “We literally pulled it out on the last drive. It’s going to be a great story for me to tell.”

Huff breaks down the game winning TD: “It was a post route and I decided to cut it short because Marcus was in trouble and he found me”

Huff realizes a dream: “The game winning touchdown is something I have been dreaming about since I was a little kid, and it came true.”

Huff on Oregon State’s defense: “They were giving us a lot of tampa two. They weren’t in quarters for the whole game. We had a chance to make plays down the field.”

Huff on the way his Pac-12 career ended: “Surreal, I didn’t imagine my last game to come down like that.” It takes me back to practicing those situations in the backyard with my cousins.”

Huff on the Beavers and UO Seniors: “To go out on top against the Beavers, our rival, it felt amazing. I came in with most of those guys and built a connection with most of those guys. It’s a great feeling.”

Huff on his Rose Bowl comments and the negative reaction they generated: “I don’t regret anything I said. I know I had a lot of fans turn their back on me. I came out here to play for my teammates. Hopefully I gained everyone back on my side.”

Huff on UO football: “This program changed me, it changed my life in so many ways.”

Huff on recent criticism: “No matter what people say about me or my team, I know were gonna go out there and do our best to compete.”

Defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti on the win: “There are no ugly wins there are only good wins, this was a good win.”

Aliotti on the game as a whole: “Not so much as a coach, but as a fan that was a fantastic football game.”

Aliotti on UO football expectations: “I know we have great heights, but if a ten win season is never good enough than we are in a sad state of affairs.”

Aliotti on his defensive game plan: “We played a lot more nickel and we didn’t want them to run the ball as well as they did, but I’ll let them have all those yards as long as we have that one more point.”

Sting of November Losses Will Affect Oregon Ducks in 2014

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Since the beginning of the Bowl Championship Series both fans and coaches have said it is a flawed system. From the numbers in the AP Poll to number crunching what the computers have to say it has been a mess. Oregon last week was on the outside looking in with the BCS and Ranked 5th, now they have dropped to 13th and are pretty much out of any chance at a BCS Bowl. However, that is not the bigger story here. If you look at what teams at the top are doing that is the path you need to be on heading into next season. Both Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State will be setup nicely at the conclusion of the season heading into 2014 and a new beginning for College football.

BCS National Championship Trophy
BCS National Championship Trophy | (Gerald Herbert/AP)

The College Football Playoff era will begin. I know that at the beginning of every season everyone has a chance to be top dog, but with rankings and opinion that will never be the case. If you finish at the top this year there is a perception going into the following season. Over the past few years the Oregon Ducks have built a perception going into November – one of a solid team that has all the tools to make it to the top. However when the calendar turns to November the perception changes. The Ducks can’t finish. They crumble under the pressure. Regardless of whether those making those opinions watch the games or not THIS is the perception. It is not a good perception to have when next year the opinion of a team and their record will go to a committee who will choose the teams that will face off in the College Football Playoff.

Back to the rankings for a moment. Oregon has the talent to be a great team, but as far as being elite, that may have been broken on Saturday in the biggest win for Arizona in their history when they thumped the Ducks. In a season that had so much promise it is hard to believe they are simply playing for a mid tier bowl game and well, pride in the Civil War on Friday. Finishing the season in the Top 10 will greatly help this team get to where they want to be next year. Of course, they have to find a way to take care of business against Stanford, who will likely be ranked higher than the Ducks at the start of the season. Oregon also has the schedule on their side.

The Ducks will face off at Autzen with Big 10 opponent Michigan State, who is likely on their way to the Big 10 Championship game against Ohio State in a few weeks. The Spartans will end the season ranked in the Top 15 if they continue to win. For Oregon now is not a time to sulk in what might have been. It is a time to finish strong.

In the offseason it is a time to heal up, welcome new players that will continue to help this team, and perhaps wish well players moving on to the next level. The Ducks finish out the 2013 season on Friday evening in the Civil War against Oregon State. (4pm PT, Fox Sports 1)

BCS standings released: Stanford falls out of top 5, Oregon moves back in

One week after stunning the Ducks, Stanford was unable to continue its win streak, losing to USC over the weekend after a late field goal. The loss was reflected in the most recent BCS standings, which had the Cardinal drop to No. 9.

Four other Pac-12 members, No. 5 Oregon, No. 14 UCLA, No. 17 Arizona State and No. 23 USC, joined Stanford in the top 25. Oregon moved up after beating Utah 44-21 on Saturday. The Ducks are the highest-ranked one-loss team in the current standings.

Alabama and Florida State held onto the top two spots, while Ohio State barely stayed ahead of Baylor for No. 3.

Some controversy came at the bottom portion of the standings where Duke didn’t crack the top 25 after defeating Miami over the weekend.

After the standings were announced, there were a lot of reactions on Twitter about the BCS standings and the current Oregon ranking:

The BCS top 10:

1- Alabama .9914

2- Florida State .9661

3- Ohio State .8869

4- Baylor .8856

5- Oregon .7917

6- Auburn .7860

7- Clemson .7681

8- Missouri .7231

9- Stanford .6238

10- Oklahoma State .5890

For a complete list of the BCS standings click here.

Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

What the First BCS Standings Mean for the Oregon Ducks

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Dear Ducks Fans,

Take three deep breaths. Then maybe a few more. With it being week nine of the college football season, the first BCS standings are out and chants of “#$%& the BCS” are echoing around Eugene.

BCS Rankings: Week 9

BCS Standings
BCS Standings | (ESPN.com)

The Oregon Ducks come it at No. 3, just .0028 behind the Florida State Seminoles who gained ground following a 51-14 win over the Clemson Tigers.

Seeing the Ducks behind FSU should come as no surprise. Oregon’s two most impressive wins are over a Washington team spiraling out of control and Tennessee. The Volunteers, however, at 4-3 continue to make the Ducks’ win look more and more impressive after knocking off the South Carolina Gamecocks.

For the Seminoles, their last two weeks have been wins by a combined 114-14 over then No. 25 Maryland and then No. 3 Clemson. No team is as hot as FSU and with three first place votes in the human polls they’ve done enough to just pass the Ducks… by 24/1000ths of a point.

Oregon has back-to-back showdowns coming up against No. 12 UCLA and No. 6 Stanford with a bye between them. Should the Ducks beat the Bruins, they will surge back to No. 2 and could even jump to No. 1 after Stanford if the Crimson Tide struggle against Tennessee and/or LSU – assuming, of course, Oregon wins impressively in both contests.

Point is: Oregon still controls its own destiny. If the Ducks take care of business and win out, they will be in Pasadena the second week of January with a shot at redemption.

Unless you’re a fan of chaos, you can take solace remembering we only have one more year of this system before next year’s college football playoff.

[yop_poll id=”44″]

Comment below, vote, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @EDN_Sports

Hey, Chip! Bring Darron Thomas to Philadelphia

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With Chip Kelly now in the National Football League, all eyes will be on the man in the visor to see how he decides to implement his up-tempo style of offense to the pros. Will he stick with the system that has given him so much success? Does he tinker with it slightly? Or does he completely scrap it and use the tools he has around him to develop a new system? While I don’t have the answers to that question, I do however have a thought of what he should do.

Darron Thomas and Chip Kelly hugging on the sidelines (US Presswire)
Darron Thomas and Chip Kelly hugging on the sidelines (US Presswire)

BRING IN DARRON THOMAS TO RUN THE OFFENSE:

Yes, you read that correctly. If you believe in the old adage “if it aint broke, don’t fix it,” you should like the concept of Oregon’s most-succesful quarterback in the Kelly era to join the coach in Philadelphia for the ultimate reunion. While it’s true that Thomas received almost no attention from NFL scouts, only working out for a few teams, and ultimately signed with a Canadian football team, if there’s a football mastermind smart enough to find a home for DT it’s Kelly.

Who wouldn’t want to see these two back together? Thomas led the Ducks to its first ever national title game in his first season at the helm. In year two he brought the school its first Rose Bowl victory since 1917 and second in program history.

Thomas elected to leave school a year early to pursue a dream of an NFL career, and was unable to lead the program for a third-straight season. It’s obvious Thomas would have started over 2012 starter Marcus Mariota. I mean, why do you think Thomas started over the freshman standout in 2011 while he redshirted?

And Thomas was, in his mind, good enough to play in the highest of all leagues. Are you trying to tell me an NFL ready quarterback wasn’t good enough to beat out a freshman in a summer competition? Thomas is the most successful quarterback in the last decade of Oregon football(before you go off the rails, see the end of the article. –ed.)

Thomas, with his lanky build, is the perfect quarterback to run Chip’s read-option spread offense… even in the National Football League. Yes, the Eagles just signed Michael Vick to a monster $10 million contract. I get that. But you can never have too many quarterbacks.

And like I said a few weeks ago, the signing of Vick will turn out to be a huge mistake. Vick hasn’t stayed healthy for a full season in his 10-year career. Why would this year be any different? (I’m serious about THIS part ->) The Eagles need another quarterback to have WHEN Vick goes down again. They do have former Arizona Wildcats QB Nick Foles, but he’s no Darron Thomas. Foles went 0-3 in his career against the Ducks. Obviously Thomas was the better of the two quarterbacks and is more worthy of a shot in the NFL.

So, Chip. If you’re reading this, make sure to extend a warm hand to your old QB. You know, that guy who gave you the best two seasons of your career. It’s time to bring DT to Philly. And while you’re at it, maybe make a move for San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James. Do they really need that many backs? And make sure to get Kenjon Barner in the NFL Draft. Maybe Jeff Maehl from the Texans. Let’s just get the whole 2011 National Championship Game  gang of 2011 back! What do ya say?

One more thing:  Jets – you really need to extend Sanchez’s contract, insecurity is a bad thing in a quarterback.

NOTE: This piece is satire.

Sports Desk: National Signing Day First Showcase for New Coaching Regime

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The Oregon Ducks football program has furthered its tradition of hiring from within through the promotions of Mark Helfrich and Scott Frost as head coach and offensive coordinator respectively. Helfirch, the previous offensive coordinator, and Frost, the previous wide receiver coach, will have their first real test of measurement on Wednesday February 6th on National Signing Day.

NSD, as some college football fans and analysts will tell you, is when championships are decided. One look at the success that Alabama has had over the past half-decade shows just how important landing that talent actually is.

The Ducks sit with 17 commits right now (12 offense, 4 defense, 1 ST) and the No. 15 recruiting class according to Scout. Oregon has landed four players since the announcement of Helfrich as head coach. Those four include Devon Allen, Elijah George, Juwaan Williams and Damion Hobbs. It makes sense that the first commit was a 4-star WR.

But as is always the cases with college recruiting, nothing is finalized until that official paper is signed. Helfrich, Frost and the rest of the Oregon coaching staff still have their work cut out for them. Oregon still has a number of key prospects to either lock up or make one final push on in the final week.

Oregon’s Top Recruits to Watch on Signing Day:

Thomas Tyner – RB

(Aloha HS)
Beaverton, OR
5-starimages

Tyner, considered by many analysts as the No. 1 running back in the country, is the Ducks’ most important prospect. With the departure of running back Kenjon Barner to the NFL, Oregon is in strong demand for a feature back to take his place.

It’s safe to say that Byron Marshall and De’Anthony Thomas will share the load of reps in the backfield should Tyner not sign with the Ducks. Should Tyner sign, there is a strong possibility he starts opening week for the Ducks. Tyner’s strongest outing was a 643-yard 10 TD performance for Aloha this past season.

Tyner committed the Ducks then de-committed during the season. After a day of thinking it over, he re-committed to the program. Oregon is still the frontrunner for Tyner’s talents, but Cal and Washington could still make a move for his talents.

Oregon’s Chances: 90%

images-1Dontre Wilson – RB

(De Soto HS)
Desoto, TX
4-star

Wilson is another great running back prospect for the Ducks. Throughout Oregon’s run – yes, pun intended – to success, the team has featured a tandem of dominant running backs.

There was the tandem of LaMichael James and Barner from ’09-11, then Barner and Thomas in 2012. Next season is likely to be the Tyner and Thomas tandem. Wilson would likely redshirt next season before joining Tyner as the workhorses for the Ducks.

With Chip Kelly‘s departure to the NFL and Tyner’s likely commitment to the program, it’s questionable if Wilson will want to ride the bench for a few seasons. Wilson’s position would be similar to former Duck back Dontae Williams who transferred after redshirting with former Duck Lache Seastrunk. Also in competition for Wilson’s talents are the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Ohio State Buckeyes.

Oregon’s Chances: 65%

images-2Tyree and Tyrell Robinson – WR/OLB

(Lincoln Senior HS)
San Diego, CA
4-stars

The two Robinson twins are being suited by two different UO teams. Both of these athletes are looking to be two-sport athletes on the football and basketball teams.

There were some questions to whether or not the Robinson twins would keep their verbal commitments after Kelly’s departure. Helfrich and the remaining coaching staff visited these two southern California stars at their home to keep them.

In competition for these two athletes are USC and Notre Dame. Watch careful and follow EDN sports for complete coverage.

Oregon’s Chances: 70%

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