Oregon Football: Can the Ducks Still Sneak into the Title Game?
At 9-2 and ranked No. 10 in the BCS standings, it would take a miracle for the Oregon Ducks to climb their way into the championship picture. Last weekend was one of the biggest weekends for top-10 upsets ever this far into the season.
It started on Friday with Oklahoma State falling to Iowa State, then Clemson on Saturday morning plus Oregon and Oklahoma to end the night.
While the odds are about 10 million to one, there still is a chance the Ducks can make it to New Orleans for a rematch against LSU.
In order for that nearly impossible scenario to come true, each of the following things MUST happen.
Houston Loses to Tulsa
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images
The Houston Cougars are greatly benefitting from their pitiful 115th strength of schedule. At 11-0, there is only one more opportunity for the Cougars to lose and that is this Friday Nov. 25 against the Tulsa Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes are just outside the top 25 at 8-3, with those losses coming to top 10 teams (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Boise State). With Tulsa being at home, it has a chance to pull off the huge upset.
Houston can’t be undefeated to end the season.
Stanford Loses to Notre Dame
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
This seems like it would hurt the Ducks because it’s a Pac-12 team, but the Cardinal are ranked ahead of the Ducks because they only have one loss on the season. A one-loss Stanford Cardinal team is almost certainly going to be ahead of the Ducks in both the human and computer polls.
The Ducks need the Cardinal to fall to the 8-3 Irish. At No. 22, the Irish have the talent to hang in with Stanford.
It would greatly increase the Ducks’ chances if the Irish could beat Stanford.
Virginia Tech Loses to Virginia/Clemson
Ned Dishman/Getty Images
I think it’s safe to say that the Virginia Tech Hokies are the most unproven top 10 team in the BCS. At No. 5, Virginia Tech has had a terrible 85th SOS, and with only one impressive win (Georgia Tech).
The Hokies lost to Clemson earlier in the season, 23-3, and it would not be surprising at all if Virginia Tech were to fall to rival Virginia this weekend or in the ACC Title Game against Clemson.
Virginia Tech needs another loss for the Ducks to have any chance.
Oklahoma State Loses to Oklahoma
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
It’s hard to really figure out what happened that the Cowboys lost on the road to Iowa State. I know Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads has a nice history of taking down top-tier teams, but really?
It seemed like the Oklahoma State Cowboys and LSU Tigers were destined to meet in the BCS title game, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen. The main reason they won’t make it is because they won’t beat rival Oklahoma.
The Sooners must go to Stillwater, but I don’t see the Cowboys having any chance.
Arkansas Loses to LSU
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
This one is the most likely loss of all the ones listed. It’s not that Arkansas is a bad team, it’s that LSU is really good.
Anyone who has watched LSU this season knows that the Tigers can play ball. Add in the fact that it’s an LSU home game and the Razorbacks have zero chance of winning.
The Ducks need the Tigers to give Arkansas its second loss.
Alabama Loses to Auburn
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Besides Houston losing to Tulsa, this scenario is the least likely to happen. Even with Auburn hosting the game, it would take a miracle for the Tigers to pull out the upset.
The defending national champions have exceeded most analysts’ expectations, but have their second-biggest test of the season (LSU as their biggest).
Ducks fans better be chanting “War Eagle.”
Voters Hate Boise
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images
This seems to be what has to happen each season. With a 36-35 loss to No. 20 TCU, Boise State’s BCS dreams appeared to have been dashed.
Like the Ducks, the Broncos have a small dream of playing in the title game. With just one loss, Wyoming and New Mexico left on the schedule, it’s likely that Boise will finish around where the Ducks are.
Boise State will almost certainly finish the season at 11-1, so the Ducks need to hope voters vote a two-loss Oregon team ahead of a one-loss Bronco team.
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Arkansas @ LSU
Alabama @ Auburn
Virginia @ Virginia Tech
Notre Dame @ Stanford
Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State
Virginia Tech VS Clemson (ACC Title Game)
The Ducks are almost certainly not going to make it to the title game—only a fool would think they would—but it’s still possible. Playing for the Rose Bowl is still a great accomplishment.