Oregon football could have landed anywhere in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the year but found a good place at No. 8 with four games to go in the season.
In a surprise by some, the Tennessee Volunteers are the top team followed by Ohio State at 2, Georgia at 3, and Clemson at 4. Michigan and Alabama are 5th and 6th respectively.
Wins by the Ducks moving forward will be key, but one area that may be of concern is strength of schedule, which is a key component in the CFP rankings.
Oregon has a road game with one of the worst teams in college football. While Bo Nix is gaining Heisman attention as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, the Buffaloes have three QBs nearing the bottom of the Pac-12, with their best option in JT Shrout who has played the most hitting just 43 percent of his passes this season.
While Nix and the Ducks tried to get some style points in a 42-24 win last weekend at Cal, they will be a must against the worst team in the Pac-12 Conference with just one win this season. The Ducks are putting up better than 40 points per game after their season-opening loss vs Georgia. Colorado is averaging just over 16 points per game.
Oregon could receive some help the rest of the way starting this week as Tennessee and Georgia meet. Michigan will meet Ohio State on Thanksgiving weekend in their annual game of the year. Some of these teams will also play again in their respective conference championship games as the last opportunity to make an impression.
Following this weekend, Oregon football faces Washington and Utah at home and Oregon State on the road. Despite Washington not being ranked, the Ducks cannot be caught looking ahead to a potential top-ten matchup against Utah (the Utes are 14th in the opening CFP rankings) on November 19th.
Wins the rest of the way along with some help could see Oregon with two top twenty-five matchups before the end of the regular season, which could go a long way in landing in the top four.
Oregon will have an opportunity this week on national tv on ESPN to show off their number 8 ranking. They will need to impress and with Bo Nix and his consistency over the last seven games for the Ducks, I fully expect them to show what they are about.
The Ducks and Buffaloes kick off at 12:30 pm Pacific Time Saturday.
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