Oregon football has won seven straight games following their season opening loss to Georgia, which can now be put in the rear-view mirror. The Ducks jumped to 8th in the AP poll, their highest rank of the season so far.
The Pac-12 fared well last week as the teams that were expected to win outside the top ten, did. USC moved up to 10th, Utah comes in this week in 12th. Despite the loss to the Ducks, a one-loss UCLA team is still impressive and dropped to 14th.
There are some possibilities that could play out that may put the Ducks on the cusp of the College Football Playoff if the wins continue. The first CFP rankings will be released on Nov. 1, and it will be interesting to see where the committee puts the Ducks. While a loss to the No. 1 team in the nation isn’t usually harmful in terms of how the committee views a team, a loss as lopsided as Oregon’s may prove otherwise.
Bottom line, the Ducks may need a little help.
The ranked teams of the Pac-12 will also need to continue to improve their respective seasons. The biggest game remaining on the schedule for Oregon is a home game against Utah. The game is roughly a month away and could be another top-ten matchup for both teams. The Ducks have a road game at Colorado and a home game against Washington before the Utes come to Eugene.
Having a ranked Utah team come to Eugene and fall to the Ducks will be a key in the committee looking at Oregon’s strength of schedule.
As far as the eye test, there’s a lot to like for the committee, aside from Oregon bouncing back from a demoralizing opening-week loss.
The most impressive statistic that Oregon football has for the 2022 season, aside from the play from Bo Nix, is the offensive line. The Ducks have allowed just a single sack on their QB in seven games. They’ve fostered a balanced attack on offense, and the defense has improved every week it seems.
Their ability to keep Nix clean has allowed him to find receivers downfield on key plays this season. It has also allowed the Ducks QB to show off his footwork as a dual threat finding holes and picking up yards with his feet as well as his arm.
All things considered, the Ducks shouldn’t be ranked any lower than they are in the AP Poll by the committee, and possibly move up a spot or two in the CFP rankings.
The first College Football Playoff rankings of the season will be broadcast on ESPN at 7 pm ET on Tuesday, November 1. We’ll have a reaction to where the Ducks and other teams land after the show.
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