The Oregon Ducks jumped the lowly Boise State Broncos this weekend in the most recent AP Polls. This is perfect for the Oregon Ducks and their rise to national attention and possibly replacing USC as the PAC 10 front-runner. Now that by itself is a controversy but over the weekend multiple rumors started when it was heard that since Ohio State played poorly against Illinois that Oregon would jump Ohio State. But let's face it for a point in time the Buckeyes were playing without the centerpiece of that offense Terrell Pryor. Regardless, they won and still remain at number 2. So now the question is, is Oregon a dark horse at the national championship? Unfortunately, yes they are.
I say yes because Ohio States schedule does not favor them. They play at Wisconsin and at Iowa. Both those teams currently have one loss but both have the ability to undo the Buckeyes perfect season with the Hawkeyes dominant defensive line and the power running of John Clay and James White with the Badgers. To go along with those two games they also have to play Penn State and Michigan. But those games should not pose a threat to Ohio State. Penn State is young and inexperienced and Michigan is all hype on offense and no defense by giving up 25 points a game to very average and sub par teams.
Now I say unfortunately for a couple of reasons. Alabama has gotten through the “rough” part of its schedule and will probably coast through the rest including the SEC Championship. They return 4 starters to their dominant defense but trust me all those starters this year got plenty of playing time last year when they played Florida International, North Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Tennessee-Chattanooga. 6 games with at least a full quarter of playing time, not to mention when players were winded, is sufficient playing time to gain experience. That goes along with the fact that they play a 3-4 defense in which they have a defensive line that averages 6'-3" 300 lbs and are freakishly quick and can collapse a pocket. And lets not forget the main weakness of the Ducks; the defensive line. With Mark Ingram Jr. and Trent Richardson. Something tells me that this game will look like Super Bowl 8 where Miami Quarterback Bob Griese only threw 7 passes, and the ground game ate up over half the game.
Now Ohio State has a difficult schedule, but very manageable. Now if the National Championship game were a repeat of the 2010 Rose Bowl, the Ducks might have the upper hand. At least that is what I thought last year. The two main things in that game that decided the outcome was the defensive game plan of the Buckeyes and the muffed hand off to LaGarrette Blount. But the main thing was the defensive scheme.With the Buckeyes running the 4-3 "Hero" scheme, they stopped the potent Ducks offense.
Boise State. Could one college be hated by so many people and one entire state (Oregon). I pray to the Lord of Heaven and Hell that they never see the National Championship Stage. But they beat the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers fair and square. But I will give them credit for doing so. They are the Butler Bulldogs of Football. Every guy there redshirts, has 2-3 years to learn the playbook. So when 18 year old true freshmen play 22 year old red shirt seniors, there may be some discrepancy. But by and large, Chris Peterson has done a fabulous job and hopefully he can translate that to the somewhat depleted Mountain West.
With the season barely 1/3 of the way over these speculations will change and probably never ring true, especially since I am an Oregon Duck fan and hope if we do go to the NCG, we do not see any of these teams and if we do, theres a positive out come