Shouldn't Oregon Have to Beat a Top 10 Team to Gain Access to BCS Championship?
To answer the question posed: no.
Heading to a title appearance is about your team, how you play and how you finish the season. You can only beat the schedule you play, and as it stands right now, the Ducks are deserving of their projected BCS Championship spot.
At a mere 18 days from the big BCS Selection Show, we're just over two weeks from the final say in where every team will end up. Three teams are tracking toward an unbeaten finish, and all three sides are lining up to defend themselves. My man, Tom Fornelli, at CBS Sports' Eye on College Football, did a blind resume test that saw many folks pick Kansas State and Notre Dame when they didn't know who was who.
There's an issue there, though: We do know who is who.
That's the most critical element of college football, yet it remains one that many people try to get rid of on a routine basis. You know, the part where you actually watch the games. If resume was the only ingredient in determining they quality of a team, then why not just have computers spit out numbers and go from there?
Because the games themselves actually matter, that's why.
Watching games is how you evaluate teams and players. Watching games is how you know going into the 2010 Sugar Bowl that "Computer 4" Florida was set up to slaughter "Computer 2" Cincinnati. Actual evals are how we knew Michigan was ripe to be hammered by the Crimson Tide.
Evaluation of teams is a cornerstone of determining quality of the squad.
Do upsets happen? Sure. Do teams play poor games or get out of character? Absolutely.
However, if blind resumes were all that was needed to assess teams, then coaches, general managers and the like would just read stats and box scores instead of watching film.
After all, there isn't much difference between using a teams record, average yards per game or defensive ranking in a coach determining how good the opponent is, and what's going on right now.
Ultimately, the resume becomes a tool of the folks who are looking to make a case the best way they can for their team. If you're Notre Dame? Thump your resume. Tout it hard. Mention where teams were ranked when you beat them and how your resume is solid.
Use it to sell the Fighting Irish over Kansas State and/or Oregon.
Do you think Oregon needs a Top 10 win to deserve a title shot?
The same goes for you, Kansas State.
If you are Oregon, sell what really matters: football. The Ducks have been an offensive machine all year and save for their disappointing performance against USC, the defense has shown up in a big way. That certainly puts them in the conversation as a Top Two team, and given Alabama's recent loss, a claim for the Top Spot.
It's not the Oregon Ducks' fault that the Trojans have been terrible after starting the season with high expectations. Nor did they cause Stanford to tank it against Washington, on the road with the now replaced Josh Nunes still at quarterback.
All the Ducks can do is take care of business against the teams who step on to the field against them.
That means beating a Top 15 Stanford and a Top 15 Oregon State. Those wins, over two schools that also played quite the ball game against one another, are fairly noteworthy themselves—especially if the Ducks get another Top 20 game against UCLA or USC to close out the season.
Resume voting, resume grading and resume evaluation is nice, but, ultimately it is about how you perform on the real test, on the field. Oregon's passed those tests with flying colors, and for that reason, should it continue to excel on the actual test, it has every right to play for a BCS Championship.
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