Could Oregon Football Finish Among 10 Best Offenses in College Football History?

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IOctober 7, 2010

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 2: Running back LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates as he scores a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

If they continue this way, there's no question in my mind that they can be.

Say what you want about the conference in which they play, and you can say what you want about the opponents that they've faced. But let's be honest: If Alabama, Florida, Georgia, or any other SEC team played the same schedule and put up the same amount of points, you'd have the same answer as I do for Oregon.

The Ducks lead the nation in points (56.6), total yards (569.2), and are second in rushing yards per game (331.0).

Besides their game against Arizona Statea game they had to come from behind, but did so thanks to seven Sun Devil turnoversthe Ducks are yet to be challenged.

Sure, you can say that they haven't played anyone, or you could say that they wouldn't put up that many points per game against a "real conference" or "real teams." That's all well and good, but it's unproven this season.

When they lost quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who was kicked off the team and eventually transferred to Ole Miss, a lot of "experts" thought Oregon was doomed in the Pac-10. However, they forgot all about running back LaMichael James, who thought he made enough of an impact as a freshman after the trouble LeGarrette Blount got into on and off the field.

James has been that much better his sophomore season, averaging 178 yards per game and holding an astounding eight yards-per-carry average so far.

Replacing Masoli was quarterback Darron Thomas, who has been head-and-shoulders above what Masoli was last season.

Thomas is averaging 212 yards per game through the air, with 13 touchdowns to five interceptions. He's also added 219 yards on the ground (43.8 ypg) and two more touchdowns.

He's been the leader this team had looked for, especially considering all the off-the-field trouble that head coach Chip Kelly had to deal with during the offseason.

There have been great offenses through the years in college football.

You can point to some of the teams that Bobby Bowden has had at Florida State, Joe Paterno at Penn State, Jimmy Johnson at Miami, Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, Steve Spurrier during his years at Florida, or even Pete Carroll during his days with Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.

But this Oregon team has a different feel to it. They have a different way of doing things, and they have an excitement about them that I haven't seen in quite some time.

While there will be plenty of people who will disagree with me, the Ducks have a chance at being known as the greatest college football offense of all time. They'll have a chance to go down in history and have their names forever remembered.

The only thing that will derail that venture is to not go unbeaten in their own conference, or have a week that they score less than 20 points against the likes of a Cal or Washington State. No offense to either school.

If you want to be remembered, you have to give fans a reason to remember you. Why do you think Steve Spurrier was so well-known during his days at Florida?

It's because he put his foot on the gas and didn't let up until the final zeros came up on the game clock. His teams would have 60 points in the fourth quarter, yet we knew there was another score or two coming.

So here's a final word to Oregon themselves: Put your foot on the gas and don't let up. Prove, week in and week out, that no one is safe when they're on the field with the Ducks. Put your stamp on history and run the table in the Pac-10.

Do all that, and watch the records begin to pile up as the season progresses. Watch the accolades roll in, and watch the opinions begin to file themselves into Oregon's folder.

The way the Ducks are going about their business through five games has me believing that we're not done seeing just what this team can do. With seven games to go, we've only seen the start of what's to come.

I'm a believer. How long will it take before you're on the bandwagon?