Oregon Ducks Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Oregon season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Oregon Ducks Preview
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Oregon Ducks Preview 2022
So what’s missing?
There was the 4-8 clunker in 2016, and there were a few other disappointing runs, but for the most part Oregon has been a Pac-12 player since 1994, when it was still the Pac-10.
There have been two national championship appearances in the last 12 years – no one else in the Pac-12 has any over that span, including USC. Since 1994 there have been five Rose Bowls, seven conference championships, and five Pac-12 Championship appearances including three in a row.
The talent is rolling into Eugene, money isn’t a problem, there are plenty of pretty little uniform changes, and overall, this is a super-cool program that’s perfectly positioned for the new world of college athletics and all the craziness that’s coming with it.
So really. What’s missing?
Oregon has to stop losing to teams it shouldn’t lose to.
What’s the difference between Alabama, whatever the SEC team of the moment is that’s not Alabama, and when they’re rocking, Ohio State, Clemson, and Oklahoma?
They might lose a game, but when they’re great, they don’t lose two. And if they do lose two, it sure as shoot isn’t to 2021 Stanford. Or 2020 Cal. Or 2018 Arizona. Or 2017 UCLA. Or 2016 Oregon State.
Ever since 2015, Oregon has had one loss to a team that finished with a losing record in every year but 2019, and even that powerhouse lost because it didn’t show up at Arizona State until it was too late.
When was the last time Clemson lost to a team that finished with a losing record? 2009.
2018 Ohio State brain-cramped against a Purdue team that ended up going 6-7, but it also finished 13-1 with a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl win. Before that – like Clemson – you have to go back to 2009.
And now Oregon has to fix that.
So what does the program do after losing Mario Cristobal to Miami? It hires a 36-year-old who has never been a head coach before, and made his name by coaching a Georgia defense that had as much NFL talent as any in college football history.
It’s a bold move, but it’s also taking a monster shot for the stars considering the team in place is good enough to make a serious push for the College Football Playoff.
It’s the first time since the program hired Rich Brooks in 1977 that the focus is on the defensive side.
From Bellotti to Kelly, Helfrich to Taggart to Cristobal, Oregon has been about the snazz. It’s made its name and reputation with a breathtaking offensive style, and along the way made Duck offensive linemen and defensive stars bristle at the idea of being sort of a finesse, gimmicky team.
But Oregon can have it all.
It can have a high-octane offense, a nasty defense, and as it’s about to show off this year, it can have one of the most powerful offensive lines in college football.
Make no mistake about it, there is no learning curve for the new guy. This has the potential to be one bad-ass physical team that should set the bar at nothing lower than a Pac-12 Championship and a massive season.
It just has to watch out for Colorado.