Oregon Football: Why Ducks Deserve No. 1 Honor Following Alabama Loss

Steven Gerwel@Steve_GerContributor IIINovember 11, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 03:  Running back Kenjon Barner #24 and quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks celebrate after a 27 yard touchdown run by Barner in the second quarter against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 3, 2012  in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Through nine weeks of football, it was extremely difficult to find a single non-biased football mind willing to concede that any team deserved to be mentioned in the same breath as Alabama.

But now that the seemingly invincible juggernaut known as the Crimson Tide had a moment of weakness against Texas A&M, the SEC smugness will have to be put on hold for the time being.

For now, there are three teams hoping for the coveted No. 1 spot in the rankings—Notre Dame, Kansas State and Oregon—and none of them belong to the holier-than-thou conference known as the SEC.

A compelling argument could be made for each of the three teams, but the Oregon Ducks deserve the crown this week.


Why Oregon Deserves No. 1

Oregon entered the weekend as the No. 3 ranked team in football, but the No. 2 team in the country—the still undefeated Kansas State Wildcats—is hoping to be handed the honor.

Since the Wildcats were sitting at No. 2, common sense says they should replace Alabama at the top. But in reality, their No. 2 ranking was flawed to begin with.

Kansas State hasn't been light on opponents, but they haven't dominated in the same fashion the Oregon offense has.

The Ducks defeat their opponents by 32.5 points on average, while Kansas State's average margin of victory is a less impressive 24.6 points.

The Wildcats' top victory came against No. 6 Oklahoma, but they have not had a chance to face a ranked team outside of the watered-down Big 12.

Meanwhile, the Ducks have taken down three ranked opponents—Arizona, Washington and USC—with an average margin of victory of 30.3 points in those three games.

As for Notre Dame, it's hard to use average points scored as an argument against a defensive team like the Irish, but Oregon has held their ground in a more dominant fashion.

The Irish have allowed two games to reach overtime, including their matchup against unranked Pittsburgh, while they modestly beat opponents by just 16.6 points on average.

Notre Dame has exceeded 30 points just once this season. Even if their defense gave Oregon fits, it's hard to imagine a scenario where the Irish have the firepower to outscore the Ducks.

But for now, the rankings are in the hands of the voters.

If any of these three teams has a problem with the new BCS rankings, they'll have every opportunity to make their case over the final two weeks of the season.