Oregon Football: Are the Ducks Tough Enough to Succeed on the National Stage?

Matt VelureContributor IISeptember 9, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03:  Lavasier Tuinei #80 of the Oregon Ducks is tackled by Brandon Taylor #18 and Ron Brooks #13 of the LSU Tigers at Cowboys Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Fresh off of the thumping the Ducks received from LSU, one question was sticking in my head more than any other: Are we too pretty?

It’s great to have all this support from Nike and have all these different uniforms, etc.

However, perhaps the Ducks are focusing a bit too much on how they look coming out of the tunnel and not enough on the scoreboard.

For years many Duck fans decried that we lacked tradition. I believe that our loyalty to the cutting edge and ugly uniforms is our tradition.

Not every school can have the card tricks in the stands, the classic “run through” banner and an alma mater to sing after every game. This is Oregon and we are different. That’s tradition.

Instead, we have a Duck on a Harley and the loudest stadium in the country. I like it.

The last two games the Ducks have played have been against opponents from the SEC.

What beat the Ducks was a combination of themselves and the superior defenses of both Auburn and LSU.

When you take a step back and look at what really makes an SEC football team great, it’s defense. The success of a Pac-12 team is dependent upon a great offense.

It was clear that Oregon just hasn’t delivered blows at the required level of violence to dominate an SEC team.

I don’t think anyone will question Oregon’s desire to win and that is certainly not what I’m doing.

The simple fact is that the Ducks aren’t used to seeing that much talent on one team is the difference between the SEC and the Pac-12.

Oregon eventually will be able to compete with the SEC, but it may take time.

Once the conference realignment is complete the Pac-12 could have greater access to recruiting talent across the country, hopefully steering that talent west.

So can the Ducks succeed on the national stage?

I believe scheduling games like LSU in Dallas or traveling to Knoxville last season will eventually have that impact and help Oregon rise to the challenge.

The Ducks have the speed and athleticism equal or superior to any opponent in the country. Anyone who has ever spent time in the south can tell that football is a different animal than what we have on the west coast.

Oregon probably wishes that success against the upper echelons of the SEC would hurry up, because it hasn’t happened yet.