Oregon Ducks Football: 3 Biggest Storylines Heading into LA


Sure, Oregon vs. USC wasn’t able to overtake Alabama vs. LSU as the biggest game of the season like we all predicted. That doesn’t mean that the importance is lost for Oregon. This marks the first time they’ll be completely tested on both sides of the ball, and potentially get some respect from the BCS computers.

October 27, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Ayele Forde (30) runs the ball against Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Jered Bell (21) and Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Marques Mosley (17) in the second half at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

1) Oregon continues to fall in the BCS, despite both human polls placing them second.

It’s the story that won’t go away. After each blowout, it doesn’t seem right at all that the Ducks continue to slide in the official BCS rankings. If it wasn’t for Florida losing to Georgia, Oregon would have dropped three spots in the first three weeks the BCS rankings came out. It’s ridiculous.

If you’re going to hold strength of schedule this critically, then margin of victory shouldn’t be thrown out of the formula. You’re putting the Ducks at a disadvantage. With no reason to impress people for four quarters when the games gets out of reach, Chip Kelly pulls the starters and until the game against Colorado, the B squad has usually been outplayed in the second half.

2) USC still comes in with a chance to reach the BCS bowls.

No, the Trojans don’t have a shot at the national title unless everyone starts to lose in the top 10, but they control their destiny to win the Pac-12 south division and reach the conference championship game. Having that 13th game gives so many more teams in this conference a chance to reach the biggest bowl games of the year, even if they are in existence for just two more years.

3) This will be the toughest team Oregon has faced all year.

Remember that while USC wasn’t able to take advantage of Marqise Lee’s big receiving day against Arizona, both him and Matt Barkley are still the best quarterback/wide receiver tandem the Ducks defense will face. That’s something Oregon lacks on offense coming in ranked 84th in passing offense.

But depth and the running game is where the Ducks have the advantage, and it’s obvious that Kelly has made his players take one game at a time and not having their minds on an upset from last year. It’s just another team; come in and do business, get out with a victory. In other words, win the day.

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.

Read his other work on the Iowa State blog, Clones Confidential, and Lacrosse the Web.