Oregon Ducks Flying in Rarefied Air with Unprecedented Road Success

Brandon Oliver@@BOatBRContributor IOctober 15, 2013

The Oregon Ducks have many streaks going, but winning 18 straight road contests is the most impressive of them all.
The Oregon Ducks have many streaks going, but winning 18 straight road contests is the most impressive of them all.Steve Dykes/Getty Images

With 18 straight wins on the road, the Oregon Ducks are flying in rarefied air. It is the longest road winning streak in program history and could become the longest in the history of the Pac-12.

It used to be that the Ducks were close to unbeatable only in the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium. Dating back to the 2008 season, Oregon has won 32 of its last 34 home games. Taking down the Ducks in Eugene is still a difficult task, but many teams win a lot at home. 

What makes Oregon's success even more impressive is that the Ducks have had even more success on the road. Over the past three-and-a-half seasons, it has been easier to beat the Ducks at home than on the road.

In 2009, the Ducks lost at Boise State to kick off the Chip Kelly era and, later that season, lost to a red-hot Stanford team that featured Andrew Luck and Toby Gerhart. Since then, the Ducks have not lost on the road.

Oregon has lost three of its past five games played on a neutral field. At the end of the 2009 season, the Ducks lost to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. During the 2010 season, the Ducks' only loss came in the BCS National Championship Game against AuburnTo kick off the 2011 campaign, the Ducks lost a neutral-site game to LSU at Cowboys Stadium.

*Includes game versus Washington State in Seattle.

According to Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich, the focus the Ducks show every week is even greater on the road. 

ESPN.com's Kyle Bonagura writes that Helfrich believes playing on the road offers some advantages because it eliminates some of the distractions that come with playing at home: 

I think there is a certain element of less distractions on the road. Less guys are worried about tickets and who's coming and sleeping in their bed or whatever those things [are] that go along with playing at home.

To put the Oregon road streak in perspective, here is how its streak stacks up against college football's most dominant dynasties of the last 30 years.

Miami (Fla.) has enjoyed its share of impressive win streaks. The Hurricanes won 58 straight games at home from 1985-1994, but even the great Miami teams never managed more than 20 wins in a row on the road. 

The Hurricanes lost at Michigan early in the 1984 season and didn't lose another road game until they traveled to Notre Dame in 1988. During the streak, the Hurricanes defeated eight ranked teams on the road.

Tom Osborne's Nebraska Cornhuskers went an astonishing 60-3 from 1993-1997 but never won more than 14 straight on the road.

This excerpt from Yahoo! contributor Mark Albracht tells you everything you need to know about how good those Nebraska teams were:

The five seasons of the Osborne dynasty featured 60 wins, just 3 losses and four National Title berths with three crowns won. Nebraska's offense racked up 2,694 points over that run while the Blackshirts held opponents to 918 for a 43-14 per-game average. The Cornhuskers played 13 Top 10 teams between 1993 and 1997 and beat 11 of them by a mean score of 40-18, while spending all 85 weeks of the dynasty ranked in the AP Top 9, with 64 weeks in the Top 5 and 16 weeks residing at the very top. 

During its dominant run under Pete CarrollUSC went 97-19 over nine seasons before vacating 14 of the wins. From 2003-2005, Carroll led the Trojans to 34 straight wins, including 18 straight on the road, a streak that ended with a loss at Oregon State.

Until now, that run was unprecedented in recent Pac-10/12 history.

Alabama has been dominant of late, winning three of the past four BCS National Championships. Its current streak of 11 consecutive road wins is the longest the Crimson Tide have put together during their recent dominance. 

Northern Illinois holds the second-longest current road win streak with 12 straight, but the Huskies haven't faced a ranked opponent during that time.

The Ducks have defeated five ranked teams on the road during the win streak. In order to match Miami's feat of 20 consecutive road wins, the Ducks will need to beat Stanford on Nov. 7 and Arizona on Nov. 23.

If that happens, the Ducks would only need to win their first road game in 2014 to make it 21 in a row. If the Ducks get past the Cardinal, they will be in a class by themselves in terms of Pac-12 road success.