Chip Kelly doesn’t look ahead on the schedule. That’s fans, bloggers (like us), and ESPN’s job to do so we can create hype and previews for an upcoming season. Kelly continues to preach every that every week is a “faceless opponent,” and unlike any other team in college football his team has put up the same amount of consistency in every game. Now there’s no more looking ahead for anyone, and what became just a circle on November 3rd became the entire month for the Oregon Ducks.
Even after defeating Arizona and Washington handily in Eugene when those teams were ranked in the top 25, the BCS computers are not impressed. They have Oregon ranked fifth, making it hard for both the Coaches and Harris polls to bolster them even putting them at second. It’s a razor-thin average difference below Notre Dame, and Kansas State is not even .3 percentage points away. What’s clear is the top four teams are in another league than the rest of the nation.
So many college football programs and any sports talk radio that dabbles into the collegiate ranks will have various opinions on what will happen if “so-and-so” team runs the table. At the end of the season those computers will look at the entire schedule all four teams played. If the computers already have Oregon fifth with what everybody calls a weak schedule, then as long as they continue to look impressive and win the rest of their slate, they will make the championship game.
It all begins and could end with USC. Despite losing to Arizona, the team is still one of four potentially ranked programs the Ducks could face. The addition of a conference championship game in this case, which Kansas State and Notre Dame don’t benefit from, could boost the computers’ interest in Oregon as well as sway more human voters.
This is the week we’ve all been waiting for. Instead of being just one big event, it’s become the start of Oregon’s opportunity to show the nation that these teams are nothing but “faceless opponents” and their method of business will continue to be the same as it was in September and October.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.