Oregon had a disappointing start to the season after faltering down the stretch against Auburn in a game they controlled for three quarters. It seemed like a typical Pac-12 showing against an SEC opponent, but in reality, it was the writing on the wall for Oregon’s possible validity given how great the Auburn defense has been.
One of the realizations as a fan of college football this year is that no team truly looks invincible. There is no collectively elite conference, so why should the Pac-12 be discounted when it comes to College Football Playoff consideration?
Heading into the last three games of the season, Oregon is sporting an 8-1 record with three remaining games against Arizona, Arizona State, and Oregon State. There are two home games and the teams have a combined record of 13-12. The game against Arizona State will be the primary one that’ll cause Duck fans to sweat. After a hot start, Herm Edwards’ team has fallen into a two-game losing streak, but given the talent level, the Ducks should take care of business.
So, after they finish the year 11-1, what’s the ideal scenario that lands them in the playoffs?
We’ll start with the SEC winner. Many believe that they could possibly have two representatives, and the LSU vs. Alabama game will go a long way in determining that. For Oregon, the best bet is for Alabama to win. If history is any indicator, Alabama is the only team that could possibly not win their conference and still get a bid into the CFP.
The winner of the Penn State vs. Ohio State game will be the Big Ten representative.
Clemson has played Junior College teams the entire season and there’s no way they’ll lose; they’re the third team.
There lies the fourth spot that’ll go to the winner of the Big 12 or Pac-12. As it currently stands, it looks like we’ll get a double dosage of Baylor vs. Oklahoma, and in a perfect Duck world, they’d split the two matchups.
Oregon has to hold up its end of the deal. They’ll meet the Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Championship and control the line of scrimmage to expose the suspect secondary on their defense.
The crowning of them as Pac-12 champs and their AP transferring over to the college football rankings or higher practically makes them a shoo-in if they win out.