Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Poll: Will someone knock off Oregon?
By Kevin Gemmell
Oregon's path is clear. Win out, and there is a (fictitiously estimated) 94.393 percent chance the Ducks go to the national championship. (You never know with computers, so I'm leaving a margin for error).
However, one slip-up could be disastrous. A loss would plummet them out of No. 2 spot contention, paving the way for either an undefeated Kansas State or Notre Dame to fill the void.
Is there an upset in Oregon's future? And if so, which team has the best shot at it?
California: Say this for the Bears, they do know how to play the Ducks close at home. The 2010 meeting was 15-13 Oregon, and '08 was 26-16 Ducks. With the possibility of a different quarterback and the emotion of playing for their coach, could the Bears shock the world?
Stanford: This year's Cardinal defense is stronger than the 2011 version. But can the offense score enough points to keep up with the Ducks? And do it on the road, where they haven't won since 2001?
Oregon State: As the Beavers keep winning, the Civil War is starting to look more and more exciting. Pending the outcome of this weekend's game between Oregon State and Stanford, the Civil War could decide the North champion. Not unlike 2008, this game could carry similar importance.
UCLA or USC: While there are scenarios involving other teams, the most likely at this point is that either USC or UCLA will be in the conference title game. We know USC can put up points against the Ducks. And an upstart UCLA team -- which played Oregon in the conference title game last year -- is playing confident football. Confident enough to pull off an upset?
None of the above: Bah. Only the Ducks can beat themselves. And even they'd have a hard time doing that.