Oregon football is in a prime position to finish the season within the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings, and this week’s games can impact that climb.
The initial rankings for the College Football Playoff came out on Tuesday and the Conference of Champions was well represented. There are a total of five Pac-12 teams with Oregon being the highest at 8 and Oregon State coming off a bye week coming in at 23rd.
Oregon is deserving of their spot after reeling off 7 straight wins. Bo Nix has worked himself into the Heisman conversation with his consistent play and the Ducks lead the nation, giving up just one sack on their quarterback all season. The USC Trojans are right behind Oregon at 9, UCLA is ranked 12th, Utah is 14th, and the Beavers are 23rd.
There are some key conference matchups to watch over the next few weeks including a game between USC and UCLA along with the Ducks game on November 19th at Autzen Stadium against Utah which could be a top-ten matchup.
If this is the case, the Ducks will have faced three top ten teams this season, which should be a boost to their overall body of work. If the Ducks win out, they will also have a place in the Pac-12 Championship game which may be another top-ten or top-15 matchup.
With strength of schedule being one of the key components of the College Football Playoff rankings, the Ducks will take a hit this week facing a 1-7 Colorado Buffaloes team on the road, unless they find a way to show they are the better team.
It will be the second straight road game after facing California last week, but the style points were left on the field in the first quarter with several dropped passes and missed opportunities. The Ducks were able to put it together for a 42-24 win over the Golden Bears but left points on the field.
While Oregon faces Colorado this week, there are other games from around the country that will have an impact on where the Ducks will be next week in the rankings. There is a big matchup between 1st ranked Tennessee and 3rd ranked Georgia. 4th ranked Clemson will play a dangerous Notre Dame team that started the season ranked in the top five of the AP poll, and 6th ranked Alabama will take on 10th ranked LSU.
There is also a game in the Pac-12 that will have an impact. Both Oregon State and Washington are 6-2 and play on Friday night (7:30 pm PT, ESPN2). The Huskies are not ranked, but a win over 23rd ranked Oregon State may put them just inside the top 25 making their game at Autzen Stadium next weekend another opportunity with a victory for the Ducks to add to their body of work this season.
The 2022 season just got a little more intriguing, and if Oregon football continues to win may find themselves right in the thick of the conversation sooner rather than later.
Oregon hits the road for the second straight week to face Colorado on Saturday on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 12:30 pm Pacific Time.
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