Oregon Football 2011: Ducks' 5 Biggest Games of the Season

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Oregon Football 2011:  Ducks' 5 Biggest Games of the Season
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Which games will give the Oregon Ducks the hardest time on their path to the BCS National Championship in 2011?

In a recent article on the University of Oregon football team, I made a bold prediction that the Ducks will beat LSU in their quest to contend for the National Championship.

While this might be the hardest game on the University of Oregon schedule, as it is only the third time that two Top-Five teams faced each other in their opening game, the road to the BCS National Championship requires a victory in more than just the season opener.

In fact, last season was their first appearance in the “Natty” because it was the first time that the team went undefeated. Perfection, or the closest thing to it, is important to the BCS and toward success in college football.

As Nike’s advertisement proclaimed after the Ducks lost their first game of the season to Auburn in January, “Everyone loses games,” the advertisement reads. “Few change them.”

In today’s column on Grantland.com, Michael Kruse examines how the University of Oregon is changing the game via style, innovation, creativity, capitalism, attention, Phil Knight and Nike.

The Ducks may have created a “football brand from nothing” in the middle of nowhere Oregon, but the team needs to do more than just create flashy jerseys to assert their dominance as a legitimate football dynasty.

Players like LeGarrette Blount and LaMichael James might be enchanted by the bright colors and flashy jerseys when they’re 18 years old, but in order to snag the top 5-star recruits, the Ducks need to continue to win first.

The 2010 season was a pretty confidently good example of how to do that, as they went on to win every conference and regular season game. It will of course be very hard to continue that same success for a second consecutive season.

With a nucleus of LaMichael James, Darron Thomas, Kenjon Barner and Cliff Harris still in tact for another run at the title, which teams do Ducks fans have to worry about the most for the 2011 season?

The slideshow is ordered in terms of when the game is played, as they need to “win the day” in each game if they want to make a run at the title. No game is more important than the other ones, because each win is a win.

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