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Ducks #7 in the BCS

The Ducks football team has moved into seventh place in the BCS rankings, putting them in a prime position to receive an at-large big. At-large bids are given to the best two teams who, despite their quality, did not win their respective conferences.

Unfortunately for the Ducks, there is still one week of football left to be played for a number of teams in the rankings. #5 Virginia Tech has yet to play UNC, a .500 team that has little chance of beating the tough Hokies. Both LSU and Texas still have tough conference championships to play in, and although there’s a chance that an LSU loss (against either Arkansas or Georgia) could put them below the Ducks it’s highly unlikely that Texas would drop much considering their overall record.

Notre Dame, which is ranked eighth, will play Stanford. One would presume that an Irish win would not affect their ranking in relation to UO, as the Ducks have also defeated the Tree (or whatever Stanford calls itself) and both teams share a loss to USC. But if Notre Dame does indeed finish ahead of the Ducks, there is a real question in my mind (and in the ODE‘s Luke Andrews’ mind) that they belong there. They are a quality team, there’s no doubt about that. In a head-to-head matchup with Oregon, the Ducks would likely lose. But the BCS is about matching up the teams with the best seasons, not the teams with the best players and coaches. And in that respect, it would be unconscionable for a team with a loss to 5-6 Michigan State to be given the at-large bid.

Lastly, there’s the possibility of USC losing to UCLA. My reading of the mechanics of PAC-10 tie-breakers seems to indicate that a three-way tie atop the PAC-10 would lead to a Trojans championship. The Bruins would be eliminated from the trifecta because their one loss is to a team that the other two schools beat and the Ducks would subsequently be eliminated in a two-way tie with USC due to their loss in the head-to-head matchup. The question then becomes if the Bruins would move ahead of Oregon in the BCS, the answer to which appears to be “no.”

  1. Phil says:

    It is all about the $$$$ boys! The BCS is a fouled up process. The Easten Biased Media controls it all. Notre Dame has a contract with the BCS that puts them in a BCS bowl game, if they are in the top 10. The only PAC 10 teams that will EVER get consideration are the California teams USC, UCLA, CAL, and Stanford, and the Uof W. Big cities, big $$$$.

  2. Tyler says:


    I’m wondering who this mysterious Notre Dame fan is too, considering your apparent hatred of the program. Was it Colin Sharkey of the CN? Because I can’t see Courtney turning into an ND fan simply because she is attending law school there.

  3. JohnH says:

    We know that it’s all about the money, but then again Oregon is known for ‘travelling well’ to bowl games… I would’t put ND-Oregon as beyond belief. It helps that it’s the Fiesta, which is close to us. If it was Orange or Sugar I would put us out of the running.

  4. Ian says:

    How is it “certain”?

    I’d like a source on this.
    Here’s your source for why it’s nearly certain:
    There are two at-large positions in the BCS that are open to any Division I-A team. This allows any Division I-A school in the nation the opportunity to play in a BCS bowl game, should it qualify to play in the National Championship game or be selected by one of the bowls.

    The BCS also notes the importance of traditional and regional considerations regarding team selection. Specifically, the four BCS Bowls will host the following conference champions in the years the national championship game is not played at their site.

    These consideration tie-ins include the ACC or Big East champion in the FedEx Orange Bowl, the SEC champion in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, the Big Ten and the Pac-10 champions in the Rose Bowl and the Big 12 champion in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. My emphasis. The bowl hosting the at-large game (in this case the Fiesta Bowl, as likely BIG XII champion and #2 Texas will be playing in the Rose Bowl) gets to select which teams play. Since both Ohio State and Notre Dame draw far higher attendance and tv revenues than Oregon, the Fiesta Bowl’s organizers would be illogical to choose the Ducks.

    What we ought to do is also schedule nonconference games against tough teams later on, when we’ve hit our stride — like USC playing Fresno State only last week.
    Now that’s not a bad idea at all.

  5. WWB says:

    Go Stanford! In this circumstance! Then again, I tend to root for Pac-10 teams against other conferences, at least when it doesn’t negatively affect us.

  6. Danimal says:

    What hurts the Ducks is that, as usual, we had a cupcake non-conference schedule. While Fresno State obviously isn’t a bad team, Montana and Houston are garbage programs.

    Yeah, but what would late summer be without a ridiculous trouncing of a shitty team on a perfect Saturday afternoon? I like the idea of playing shit teams as warm-ups at the start of the season. What we ought to do is also schedule nonconference games against tough teams later on, when we’ve hit our stride — like USC playing Fresno State only last week.

  7. How is it “certain”?

    I’d like a source on this.

  8. Ian says:

    My only mistake was listing Houston as Div. II-A. They are actually in Conference USA. I’ll stick by my “garbage” label, though:

    09/01 Oregon L 38-24
    09/10 Sam Houston W 31-10
    09/16 at UTEP L 44-41
    09/24 So Miss Postponed
    10/01 at Tulsa W 30-23
    10/08 at Tulane W 35-14
    10/15 Memphis L 35-20
    10/22 at Miss St W 28-16
    11/05 at C Florida L 31-29
    11/13 So Miss W 27-24
    11/19 SMU L 29-24

    Also, from what I’ve read this morning it’s clear that the Fiesta Bowl can choose which teams come to play, in which case it’s almost certain that they’ll pick Ohio State and Notre Dame due to the fans they’ll draw both on TV and to the stadium. At this point Ducks fans only hope may be an ND loss to Stanford.

  9. Timothy says:

    The ND fan was likely a former OCer who is in ND law school at the moment.

  10. nathaniel says:

    Ian you do realize that houston is 5-5 and a win will likely put them in a bowl game? They are not by any means good but are not garbage this year.

    Also, a Notre Dame fan emailed you. What do they go searching the web for any and all critical comments made about them?

  11. For me, it just reinforces the idea that there are still people that need to get their ass kicked.

  12. Ian says:

    Notre Dame is a really good team which, as an Irish fan who emailed me this morning pointed out, “has lost by all of 6 pts all season, both losses in the last seconds of a well-fought game.” They very nearly beat USC, and the Michigan State team they lost to early in the year was far better than the Spartan team which finished out the season.

    They have both a stifling defense and an explosive offense, a superb head coach, and (most importantly in the voters’ eyes) a glorious history and legion of fans. They are a quality team… I wouldn’t bet against them in a matchup with any team in the country.

    You will notice that they are ranked as low as 17th (and average 12th) in the BCS’ computer polls but that the human voters have them as high as fifth. The humans are what is keeping the Irish in contention, not the computers.

    With all of that being said, though, I’ll say again that they aren’t deserving of the at-large bid. Their victories over Michigan and Purdue seemed impressive at the time, but both programs fizzled out as the year went on. Michigan State was, as I said earlier, a pretty good team at the beginning of the season, but they were unranked and certainly not a powerhouse team. They obviously played USC very tough, but so did Fresno State and Arizona State, two teams far out of the top ten.

    What hurts the Ducks is that, as usual, we had a cupcake non-conference schedule. While Fresno State obviously isn’t a bad team, Montana and Houston are garbage programs. Voters would likely rather see Oregon play good teams from major conferences and suffer an occassional close loss than see a 38-24 win over Division II-A Houston.

    Anyways, this was entirely too long and I should be working on two papers, so I’m out.

  13. O Great Oracle of BCS BS, Can you please tell me what the hell Notre Dame is doing considering it lost a game against unranked Michigan State?

  14. Ian says:

    The official reasons given:A playoff system would interfere with the student athlete’s rigorous academic schedule. (No, I’m not joking.)
    Additionally, as it is every game counts. A loss, particularly to a bad team, almost certainly removes a team from contention for a championship. Adding a playoff system would diminish the importance of each game.

    The real reasons:
    A reasonable playoff system could include no more than eight teams. That’s seven games total. I believe that there are currently more than 18 bowl games played every year. While the top eight schools would receive a bonanza of revenue, teams that are not within the top eight would no longer receive any postseason revenues. This is important to smaller schools in smaller conferences that are generally unable to get BCS bids. In other words, the only schools that would benefit from a playoff system regularly are the ones which consistently field top eight teams.
    The main conferences want to maintain absolute control over the postseason process. A playoff system takes control out of their hands to a certain extent. Plus, as mentioned above, the bowl system keeps more schools within a conference happy.

  15. Timothy says:

    O, BCS Oracle, can you explain why on earth the damn BCS exists in the first place and we can’t just have playoffs in NCAA football like a normal fucking sport?

  16. Ian says:

    I believe the at-large game will likely be the Fiesta Bowl in Tucson. Otherwise, expect to see the Ducks at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

  17. WWB says:

    O, oracle of the BCS, can you tell me which bowl games these indicators lead you to believe the Ducks have a shot of making?

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