Oregon football has done enough in eight games this season, including beating Ohio State in the second week of the year on the road, to earn a spot in the top four in the College Football Playoff.
Now, before everyone goes off the rails at being ranked fourth through eight weeks of the season there is some solid reasoning behind this. The Ducks beat Ohio State. Both were ranked highly at the time and Oregon has gone on, with injuries to mount a solid record in the Pac-12 North leading the conference, as well as being the lone representative ranked in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls entering this week.
At the start of the year, the Ducks had everything in front of them if they won their games. It had held true so far. Some teams ahead of them, other than Ohio State have one loss as well. Alabama is also ranked in the top four. Georgia is number one, Alabama is number two. Michigan State, who topped Michigan last weekend enters at three and Oregon is four. Ohio State, who lost to the Ducks in a head-to-head is fifth. Now, let’s take a step back for a moment and realize what we are looking at.
This is simply a barometer for the rest of the season. Just like the polls. There is roughly a quarter of the season to go for everyone involved and definitely room for some shuffling in either direction. We know that Penn State is out after losing to Ohio State. We also know that Ohio State still has to play both Michigan State and Michigan the last two weeks of the regular season. (that’ll be fun.)
Oregon faces Washington on the road this week, Washington State at home, Utah on the road and wraps up the regular season with Oregon State at Autzen which may end up being the best game in the conference this season if the Beavers can find their early-season winning momentum again.
Alabama and Georgia are on a collision course for the SEC Championship game. Enough said there.
We know who has a somewhat easier path entering November, but the Ducks need to take care of business: 1-0 each week and some — not a lot, but some style points might just help their cause toward the end of the year.
Oregon Football heads north this week to take on the Washington Huskies. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. Pacific time Saturday on ABC.