BCS Rankings: With Their Defense, Is Oregon the Team To Watch Out For?

Georgia ByrdContributor INovember 13, 2011

Oregon's defense played with heart in last night's win over Stanford.
Oregon's defense played with heart in last night's win over Stanford.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The recurring nightmares have passed.

Wiped from memory is Auburn quarterback Cam Newton skipping around Phoenix Stadium celebrating the Tigers’ win over the Ducks last year. 

The horrendous dream from last year’s national championship game that has haunted the Oregon Ducks for the past year was wiped away last night.  The score over Stanford (53-30) was just the anti-depressant they needed.

Oregon is officially back in the hunt for a return trip to the BCS National Championship and last night, this team’s amazing defense earned them the national spotlight and comeback chatter today.  They stopped Stanford’s offense with consistency and a massive show of dominance.  Goliath couldn’t have performed any better.

The Ducks played their best defensive game and put an abrupt end to Stanford’s 17-game winning streak.  They also jeopardized Andrew Luck’s Heisman quest. 

There were five ugly turnovers for Stanford and Luck was sacked five times.  In short, the lows were really low for Stanford, thanks to Oregon’s defense.  Oregon's defensive superiority last night resulted in Stanford’s worst offensive statistics of the year.  It was easily the worst game for Andrew Luck, and the 30 points scored by the Cardinal was their lowest point total this year. 

So Oregon is convincing enough to put a whopping on Stanford and the Land of Oz now seems like miles away, as opposed to continents away.  Left on the Ducks' “to do” list is to overcome the season-opening loss to LSU (40-27) with a possible rematch.  Oklahoma State would have to lose, but these Ducks believe in miracles. 

There's one other obstacle.  One team stands in their way.  That team is Alabama.  Both Oregon and Bama have been beaten by LSU: Oregon, 40-27; Alabama, 9-6.  Comparing apples to apples against LSU’s one-loss opponents, Oregon ranks No. 33 in team scoring defense.  Alabama ranks No. 1 and LSU holds its own at No. 2.  In total defense, Alabama ranks No. 1, followed by LSU at No. 2, and Oregon at No. 63.

If the rematch were held today, Oregon would lose the battle based on defensive stats.  But that argument is just a thought right now, not worth the worry at least for a week or two.