Last week I talked about how the games of Week 10 gave Oregon football the best opportunity to make a move closer to the top of the College Football Playoff rankings. When the dust settled three of the top six teams lost including Alabama who fell in overtime to LSU.
Clemson went into South Bend and got embarrassed by a Notre Dame team who was ready for a fight, and Tennessee went between the hedges in Athens and watched their undefeated season come to an end as the Bulldogs’ defense shut down one of the best offenses the Vols have had in years. Not only did Georgia do it in convincing fashion, but they also put plenty of points on the board in the process mounting a 24-6 halftime lead that would not be overcome.
What does this mean for an Oregon team that remains undefeated in Pac-12 play and has won two straight conference games on the road, which in all honesty is not always as easy as it looks regardless of the opponent? On Tuesday night we got our answer as Oregon moved up from 8 to 6 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. With key games coming up that will help Oregon’s strength of schedule with wins, the Ducks are in the perfect spot.
Tennessee is just ahead of Oregon at 5 after losing to Georgia. The Bulldogs are in the top spot followed by Ohio State, Michigan, and an undefeated Power-5 team in TCU. If TCU wins out and remains undefeated, they will make the playoff this season. The Ducks have some work to do in the coming weeks.
While Tennessee does not have much that will help their strength of schedule numbers, the Ducks have opportunities abound. It starts this week with 25th-ranked Washington coming to Eugene. Next week it will be a top 15 ranked Utah team (if they win this week), followed by a trip to Oregon State and likely a Pac-12 Championship game against what could easily be a top ten USC or UCLA team at the end of November.
The Pac-12 remains strongly represented this week with Oregon at 6, USC at 8, UCLA at 12, Utah at 13, and Washington coming in this week at 25.
Oregon hosts back-to-back home games with Washington and Utah before finishing the season on the road in Corvallis against Oregon State. The Ducks and Huskies will meet on Saturday at 4 pm Pacific Time on FOX.
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