Tennessee finally heads to Eugene to complete the home-and-home.
The SEC is coming! The SEC is coming! SEC. S-E-C. You'd think the conference was in a level all of its own, where its members only feared relegation to other, vastly inferior conferences like the ACC or whatever the Big 12 is now if they didn't gloriously smash 85% of their opponents to pieces. This is also the conference that likes to schedule directional cow colleges for non-conference games in the middle of November while other schools are tallying up casualties and wondering how they'll make it to a bowl game without burning some punk's redshirt.
The truth is, the SEC is still the best conference around and their worst teams are still superior in talent to most winning schools out there. Today's opponent, the Tennessee Volunteers, have been on losing side of the ledger more often that not of late, but they have a storied history and they are a living, breathing SEC team in the flesh. Oregon has taken a page from some of these schools and scheduled some pretty puzzlingly awful schools recently as well, but here we finally have a major conference vs. major conference September battle that should provide some intrigue. No matter where the Vols are at in terms of being "back", this should be the biggest test of the young season for the second ranked Ducks. Another blowout could earn them a couple more first place votes. A close game would certainly provide valuable lessons and good experiences for their young players. A loss, even to an S-E-C team would be a huge M-I-S-S-T-E-P.
While LaMichael James is not around to provide the post-lightning delay heroics this time around (the first game in this series was back in 2010!), I think the Ducks will be fired up in front of the home crowd to put up a healthy amount of points early. I do think that Tennessee will be able to hang with them for awhile, but I think the tide will turn by the the time third quarter rolls around to give Oregon a comfortable lead to work with.
Oregon's last meeting with Tennessee went very well after the weather intervened. Skip ahead to about the 5:00 minute mark if you want to get goosebumps.
Game time is 12:30 PDT with national coverage on ABC. Go Ducks!