Monday, January 12, 2015

Good Luck Ducks: It's Only Everything

Oregon faces Ohio State in the inaugural CFP National Championship game.

Wow. A season (and a half, it feels like) of exciting college football has culminated in a final meeting between two teams that won actual playoff games for the right to face each other for the ultimate prize. Had the abomination that was the BCS existed this season, we would have seen Oregon and Ohio State facing off in a big bowl game that nevertheless would have been a consolation prize while Alabama and Florida State duked it out for the title. Instead, the Ducks and the Buckeyes get to play for a national title.

The Rose Bowl followed the script of a number of big Oregon games over the years. The Ducks battled FSU closely for more than two quarters until a key play broke Oregon's way and the thing just kind of had a snowball effect on last year's champs. Several rather comedic turnovers that led to touchdowns later, and suddenly Oregon was breaking Rose Bowl scoring records en route to a blowout win.

The long road to this game hasn't been easy on Oregon. More injuries have taken their toll. The Ducks lost one of their top receivers in Devon Allen on the opening kickoff in the Rose Bowl. On top of that and all of the other missing players, redshirt freshman sensation Darren Carrington got suspended for tonight's game after failing a drug test for marijuana, something that has been decriminalized (if not legalized) in most places but is still apparently very much on the NCAA's naughty list. I can't even begin to tell you how much I hate this ruling, but there's nothing that can be done at this point.

Ohio State is a very good football team, and it's more than a little worrisome to think that they are playing this game without a lot of pressure and expectations. Not much was expected of the Buckeyes coming out of a conference that's perceived to be rather weak these days, and virtually no one was talking about them as a contender before the playoff selection committee made their picks. A win over the behemoth that is Alabama has to count for something, and it seems doubtful that they'll be intimidated by the team with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

Even without Carrington, Allen, Ekpre-Olomu, Brown, Addison, and countless others that should be around to contribute tonight, Oregon still has the talent and the discipline to win today. I am nervous because the Ducks have never done this before. I am uncertain because no Oregon based sports team that I root for has gone all the way to the top prize since I was in diapers and far too young to remember. But in Marcus Mariota, the Ducks have a leader that seems to repel failure.


Candy apple green laying the quack down.

Game time is 5:30 PST with national TV coverage on ESPN. Go Ducks!

1 comment :

Comments are highly encouraged, but then again, so is eating your fruits and vegetables.