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Monday, January 10, 2011
Multitude of plot lines as game approaches

By Ted Miller

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Oregon's Autzen Stadium is a tough place to play, and not just because of crowd noise. The Ducks are just better there.

The Ducks average 143 more yards, 19 more points and 131 more rushing yards at home than they do on the road.

Of course, Auburn also is better at home -- just about every team is. But the Tigers home-road spread is not nearly what the Ducks is: 43 yards, eight points and 80 rushing yards.

The Tostitos BCS National Championship Game is close at hand and it, obviously, won't be played at either Oregon or Auburn. University of Phoenix Stadium is a neutral site.

Or that's the theory. It will be interesting to see if either crowd is boisterous enough to disrupt the other team -- i.e., false starts, unnecessary timeouts, communication issues, etc. It doesn't appear one fan base or the other will have a huge advantage in terms of numbers.

That's another point to consider among the multitude as we head into the biggest game these two programs have played ... ever.

Some others.
Feel free to think of your own. A lot of times the so-called pundits completely whiff on what turns out to be most important.

What we can say without a doubt: Chip Kelly told his team all season that every week was a Super Bowl. This time, it's not a motivational ploy for maintaining focus. This time it's true.

The Ducks are about to play the biggest game in program history. They've never won a national title.

Will they be dancing in the streets of Portland, Salem and -- most particularly -- Eugene tonight?

We shall see.