Oregon Football: Ducks Preseason Is Over; Arizona Is Next Up

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent ISeptember 18, 2012

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 15:  The Oregon Ducks run onto the field against of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on September 15, 2012 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Let's be completely honest. During the first three weeks of the season, the Ducks took on Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech. While each team certainly gave their all, the Ducks were forced into two of these games due to late cancelations and these three games were hardly a test.

Now that the Ducks have rolled to three straight wins, the "preseason" is over and the conference slate begins with Arizona leading off.

The first few games have allowed the Ducks to ease into the schedule and get some of the younger players plenty of time to get comfortable on the field should they be called upon in much more difficult games. 

The downside to these first three games is that coach Chip Kelly kept the offense fairly vanilla and we still have no idea what this years Oregon team is all about. 

With Arizona coming into town this week; the Wildcats already have a huge win over Oklahoma State and with new coach Rich Rodriguez, they appear to be much farther ahead of where many believed they would be.

One of the most interesting aspects of this game is Oregon can either justify their current No. 3 ranking, or prove to be a bit overrated like USC. 

On the other hand, Arizona has the opportunity to come into Autzen Stadium and prove they are for real and deserve more hype themselves. If things go the other way, people may forget about the solid win over Oklahoma State. 

For now, Oregon can thank Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech for the warm up. The time that Oregon had to get comfortable is invaluable but this Saturday night, the Ducks, their fans and the nation will see what this team is all about and if they are capable of making a run at a fourth straight conference title and possibly a birth in the national championship. 

Joe Penkala is a B/R National Featured Columnist who covers college football. You can contact him @joepenkala.