Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ranking Oregon's Biggest Rivals in 2013

Nuff Said

Before the start of last season I wrote about what rivalry currently means the most to Oregon as of 2012 (http://ranzsrants.blogspot.com/2012/09/what-rivalry-means-most-to-oregon.html), and ranked them USC, Washington, and Oregon state, in that order.  

After looking back on that my stance has changed on who Oregon's main rivals are, and where they rank.  So what has changed for 2013?  Let's take a look.

First let's remember that there are many things that go into the making of a rivalry, such as geography, culture, and the product of competition on the field.  That last reason is why you can take USC off the list and replace them with Stanford. 

Since 2009, no team has been in direct competition with Oregon more so than Stanford has.  The two programs have been the class of the Pac-12 in that time, with Oregon going 46-7 and Stanford 43-10.  And since 2009, no team has had a better record against Oregon than Stanford (2-2).

It's been a back-and-forth affair with one team playing the spoiler, the other team watching their conference and national title hopes go up in flames. 

LaMichael James rushed for 257 and 3 TD's in '10
vs. Stanford

In 2009, Stanford shocked #7 Oregon 51-42, ending their national title hopes.  In 2010, #9 Stanford blew a 21-3 1st quarter lead against #4 Oregon, and wound up losing 52-31.  In 2011, #4 Stanford was riding the nations longest winning streak at 17 games (their last loss came the previous year at Oregon) and had revenge on their mind, but it was #7 Oregon that went down to the farm and crushed the Cardinal for the second year in a row, 53-30.  And this past year #13 Stanford defeated #1 Oregon 17-14 in OT, ruining the Ducks' national title hopes.

In 2013 Oregon will be out for revenge, and the game will probably once again decide who plays for the Pac-12 championship, a Rose bowl, and maybe even more. 

Unlike the Stanford series, our two traditional rivals haven't been competitive at all.  But where it lacks in competitiveness, it makes up for with history, tradition, and genuine hate between the fanbases.   

The Washington Huskies...the team Oregon fans love to beat up the most.  Counting this years 52-21 win, the Ducks have won 9 straight in the series, and look to make it 10 this year.  Despite the lack of competition here, the second Washington ends the streak, we know their fans will be celebrating like they just won the super bowl, and will let Duck fans hear about it for a whole year.  We don't wanna see that happen.  So for that reason, the game is still big every year.  It's all about keeping the streak going.

And that leaves us with our little bro Oregon state.  More like our hillbilly in-laws.  The gap between the two programs couldn't be greater than what it is right nowThere was a time when Beaver fans liked to stick their chest out to Oregon fans, and claim their program was on par with the Ducks.  Funny how 5 straight seasons with 10+ wins and 4 bcs bowl games will change that.  Even the most delusional of beaver fan will admit that Oregon is on another level.

The Ducks have won 5 straight over the beavers and will make it 6 next year.  With such a talent gap between the two programs (as illustrated by Oregon's 5 game winning streak), you would think the game would lose some of its luster, but it doesn't.  It's still the civil war...one of the longest played rivalry games in the nation.  And putting beaver fan back in their place NEVER gets old.


1. Washington - from most Duck fans I talk to, there is more actual hate towards udub, than Oregon state.

2. Oregon State - there's still plenty of hate for them and the civil war will always be a big game for both teams, no matter how one-sided it is.

3. Stanford - if we were talking about biggest games in 2013, this would be #1.  But we're talking about rivalries here.  Its developed into a rivalry from a competitive standpoint, but it has no staying power.  Stanford won't be a football power forever, and when they fizzle out, so will the rivalry. 

What I've learned is that what really makes a rivalry special is when its built on tradition and the whole fan base gets into it, every year, regardless of records.  Temporary rivals like the one with Stanford or USC come and go, but Washington and Oregon state will always mean something.



Oregon Football 2012 Motivational

A nice little video of Oregon punkin the competition en route to another 12 win season last year.  Expect more of the same in 2013.


Monday, March 18, 2013

CBB Rant: Ducks Need To Just Play (And Win)

Tired of hearing people complain about Oregon receiving a #12 seed from the NCAA selection committee.  

Is it disrespectful that a team with 26 wins from a power 6 conference, who won their conference tournament, could only get a 12 spot?  Sure it is.  But there's no sense in complaining about it.  DO something about it.  Go out and win.  You lose and you just proved all the people that picked against you right anyway.

And it's not as if Oregon is gonna make a huge run anyway.  I mean let's be honest...every year it's the same teams, and the rest are just a bunch of turds. I love my Ducks and I wanna see them do well, but when they're out, I'll be out too. 

If I care enough to see who's cutting down the nets in April, I'll tune in to sportscenter. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keep Practice Closed

Mark Helfrich (center)

I was doing some reading on another site and came across a piece in which the writer (who I'm not mentioning because he's a fellow Duck) argued in favor of Oregon opening its practices to the public (Chip Kelly closed practices during his time as head coach).

I say keep them closed.  Under Kelly the Ducks were militant about their business: regimented, focused, and secretive.  The fans couldn't see what they were up to behind closed doors Monday-Friday, but it sure looked great when they came rolling out on Saturday's.

The formula worked pretty well for them: 46-7 in 3 years, 2-2 in BCS bowl games, and one appearance in the national title game (a couple missed field goals away from playing for 2 more).

Why does Mark Helfrich have to come in and make changes?  How does opening practice "put his stamp on the program?"  You wanna put your stamp on the program?  Keep winning.

The writer went on to say that, "having closed practices doesn't necessarily provide anything to the team aside from secrecy."  That's exactly why they should keep it closed.  

There's talk that Oregon's offense may look a little different next year under new offensive coordinator Scott Frost, and that they will be passing it more.  Just how different they look should remain an element of surprise.

Why should Oregon let the enemy know what they're doing?  Would the U.S. want a bunch of countries checking out their latest technology and watching how they train for battle?  Probably not.  It's no different here.  Why put it out there for other coaches to see what Oregon is working on for 2013?

And it's not like the fans would be clamoring up to watch Oregon practice, if it was open to the public. With the exception of a few nuts out there who have nothing better to do than watch 18-24's perform drills and scrimmage against each other, nobody really cares one way or another.  

As long as the product Helfrich puts out on the field Saturday's is good, and the Ducks keep winning 10, 11, 12 games a year...the fans will be happy.            

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A nice collection of Duck highlights doin what they do best...stompin the competition. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Trap Games For Oregon?

Rarely did Oregon have to worry about "trap games" under Chip Kelly.  In fact, Oregon handled business against everyone they were supposed to.  All seven of Oregon's loses under Chip came against quality opponents.

So herein lies my question that Mark Helfrich will have to answer:  will Oregon maintain their laser like focus and treat every opponent like it's their Superbowl like they did under Chip?

Bleacher report came out with their list of possible trap games for Oregon that you can read about here. I disagree with their first two but I am a little nervous about their third on the list (Washington).  

But even so, Oregon will be favored in almost every game next year. There aren't too many opponents on next year's schedule that I'm losing sleep over...yet. 

Don't Expect Oregon To Fall Off Without Kelly

With a talented roster that includes De'Anthony Thomas (6) and Josh Huff (1) Oregon will be just fine.

I know several jealous beaver and husky fans were rejoicing when Chip Kelly left, thinking it would hurt the program.  But if you think Oregon is gonna take a step back, you better think again.  Espn Pac-12 blogger Ted miller lays out why for you here.

The article addressed a lot of the questions I had about how the offense would look with a new head coach and OC, as well as the talent Oregon has coming back.  Here's a hint for you...it's gonna be the same explosive Oregon offense, with speed to burn at every position.