2010 College Football Predictions: Oregon Ducks' Worst-Case Scenario
(To preface this article I would just like you to know that I will also be doing a best-case scenario and a piece on what I believe will actually transpire for the Oregon Ducks in this upcoming season. I know many of you will not enjoy what I have to say here, but I feel like it is necessary to understand that bad things can and have happened to teams that are projected to be very good.)
-The Oregon Ducks have become the hip, flashy, and most electrifying team in Pac-10 recently because of their tremendous success as of late. The Ducks have ridden that wave of winning and publicity to a Rose Bowl berth last season and now a preseason ranking of 11th in both the AP and USA Today polls.
-Oregon’s football future seems to have no ceiling. These Ducks are supposed to squash many of their Pac-10 foes without lifting a finger. Oregon is already favored to win the conference and contend for the Rose Bowl, or dare we say it…the National Title.
-But what if the Ducks season goes the other way? What if this group of Ducks lets the attention get to their heads? What if the quarterback situation is not situated by the beginning of the season?
-This may not be a fun place to go for Duck fans, but what if everything that can go wrong does go wrong? If the Ducks do not keep their eyes on the prize and are unable to fulfill their expectations, this season may get ugly.
-Without further ado, here is the Oregon Ducks worst-case scenario for 2010:
-Chip Kelly appoints Darron Thomas quarterback one week before the season opens.
-On September fourth, the season kicks-off against the Rebecca Lobos of New Mexico. Now if you thought that the worst-case scenario actually meant that the Ducks would lose every game in 2010 then you’re crazy. Oregon beats the Rebecca Lobos up to the tune of 57-13 in the whooping of the decade, which excites Duck Nation very, very much. Thomas excels against a weak opponent and begins practicing Heisman Trophy poses.
-Oregon rides their wave of confidence into Knoxville, Tennessee and through the gates of Neyland Stadium. Stunned by the gargantuan proportions and pure insanity surrounding them, the Ducks collectively crap their pants. Although the Ducks play a decent game and make it interesting near the end, their early jitters along with inconsistent and mistake-laden quarterback play overcome any chance at winning. Ducks lose 28-20.
-The media crushes the Ducks and their young QB.
-However, the Ducks get another gimme game! Portland State makes the journey to Eugene in order to get crushed for three hours by the Ducks and then head back to Portland. Thomas is lauded once again and is said to be ready for the Pac-10 schedule. Oregon wins 53-14.
-In the following weeks, the Ducks face Arizona State, Stanford, Washington State and UCLA. In each of the games the offense is shaky, but because of LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner the Ducks are able to put up just enough points to stay in front. The Ducks defense plays well enough to ensure the victories for Oregon. The Ducks win 23-17, 38-30, 31-17, 24-21.
-The Ducks sit at 6-1 and are back to being ranked No. 11, which is where they started the season. Some of you may be saying this isn’t too bad for a worst case scenario. Like the life of Tony Montana, the Ducks have reached their apex and are now beginning the long, dark and unwatchable fall into oblivion.
-Oregon marches into USC needing to prove that they can win on the road at a big venue. Their last attempt did not go so well at Tennessee, so this game can act as an elixir for their early season defeat. However, the Trojans have other things in mind. Oregon hadn’t won at USC since 2001 and the Trojans made sure the streak continued. USC concentrated solely on Oregon’s run game and put the game into the hands of Darron Thomas. Thomas had been looking a little better through the last four games, but it all came crumbling down for him at the Coliseum. With multiple turnovers and the inability to jump-start the running game, the Ducks fall to the Trojans 34-13.
-Reeling from the loss at USC, Oregon finds themselves facing a dangerous Washington team. But Oregon has yet to lose at Autzen Stadium during the season and are able to curb the tailspin for one more week. Oregon puts the Huskies down in a lackluster performance 24-13.
-Oregon’s remaining schedule has the Ducks going to Cal, home against Arizona, and away for the Civil War. The final three games of the season prove to be too much to handle for this Ducks team and their young quarterback. The Oregon defense does their best to keep the opponents in check, but with a struggling, one-dimensional offense, the Ducks cannot keep up with the quality teams of Pac-10. Oregon’s worst and most embarrassing loss of the season comes at the hands of the Beavers. The Ducks go out in a blaze of non-glory losing 28-20, 33-21, 48-20.
-Oregon’s final regular season record: 7-5
-Bowl game: Sun Bowl
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