Monday, January 1, 2024

Good Luck Ducks: Fiesta Bowl Edition

The Ducks fly to Arizona to take on the Conference USA champion Liberty Flames. 
Now that transfer portal season is over (or is it?) and most of the subpar bowl games are out of the way, we've finally arrived at college football's showcase day. Of course, Oregon is not taking part in the playoffs this year, but with a couple of highly touted quarterbacks on the way and an expanded field next season, we could be singing a different tune this time next year.

But really: who knows? In fact, that seems to be the theme of bowl game season. In the midst of transfer, opt outs and probably even a few suspensions, it's never easy to tell who is going to win these games. I have been running a contest to pick the winners of these games each year for the past decade and a half and I don't think I've ever finished in the top three. (To be fair, there are some good prognosticators out there, but I am just not one of them.)

Bo Nix is back for one last hurrah, making a statement to opt in to this game and maybe even take down a few more records in the process. Bucky Irving, easily my favorite Duck of the past couple of seasons, is headed to the NFL after forgoing his final season of eligibility, but he too is planning on playing today. While it was certainly a let down to fall from a possible playoff berth to a New Year's Six game, it doesn't sound like that let down is getting through to some of the key players on the team. With a strong coach who doesn't seem to have one foot out the door (that we know of!) and a bright future, a match today against a private Christian school from Virginia doesn't really feel like a disappointment after all. (I was about to call Liberty a small private school until I checked the enrollment numbers, where they have something like four times as many students as UO.)

Notes and other things:
  • I'm writing this a full eleven days before the actual game, so it's possible that someone mentioned above will have a change of heart and won't be at the game. Or, you know, a giant hole could form in the earth and devour us all.
  • Where Are They Headed? Well, Liberty isn't going anywhere, but Kennesaw State will be joining C-USA next year with Delware joining a little further down the road.
  • Ducks Ranking This Week: Oregon landed at #8 in the final rankings. Next year, there will be 12 playoff teams.
  • Bo Nix Heisman Watch: Nix finished a very respectable third place in the Heisman voting, with Jayden Daniels taking home the top honors.
  • Game time is 10:00 AM PST on ESPN in Glendale. Go Ducks!

1 comment :

  1. Congratulations on the big win over Liberty! I struggled with my picks this year... but did have the Ducks winning this game :D


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