As Oregon Duck football fans woke up Sunday morning, most, if not all were left wondering what might have been after the Ducks crushed Oregon State 48-24 in the 116th Civil War.
What if, Alejandro Maldonado hits his overtime field goal last week against Stanford giving Oregon another opportunity to win the game.
Or, what if De’Anthony Thomas swivels his head to the left to make the block for teammate Marcus Mariota on his 77 yard run that would have allowed Mariota to reach the end zone.
And, what if the Oregon offense convert’s the 4th & 2 from inside the Stanford 10 and scores a touchdown,….or, worst case, the Ducks simply kick a field goal for an additional 3 points.
Looking back, there’s so many scenarios the Ducks could have taken advantage of in the Stanford game that most certainly would have made today ( Sunday ) a completely different day.
A win, and the Ducks are sitting at home on this Sunday No. 1 in the country and looking forward to a Top 20 match-up with UCLA and a possible fourth consecutive Pac-12 championship.
And the loss,….well, here the Ducks are with a fifth consecutive win over Oregon State in the Civil War and an 11-1 record with hopes of being selected to a BCS bowl with an at-large bid.
“It’s on us,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said after Saturday’s win over Oregon State. “We put it in someone else’s hands.”
Kelly of course was referring to the fate of his team which at the time was in their own hands.
Win and you’re closer to the prize,….lose and the prize is out of reach!
The question is,…who really is the Pac-12 champion?
UCLA, the south division winner, enters the championship game with three conference losses, while Stanford, the north division winner has two overall losses and one conference defeat.
Sure, UCLA and Stanford will fight for the 2012 crown next Friday in Palo Alto, but does anyone really believe the winner of that game is the true champion of the Pac-12 Conference.
It’s likely if college football experts around the country were polled, most believe Oregon would generate the most votes as the best overall team in the west.
With Notre Dame’s win over USC, the Fighting Irish assured themselves a slot in the BCS National Championship game January 7th against either Alabama or Georgia who will face off in the SEC championship game.
As for the Ducks, it’s likely they’ll receive an at-large bid to the Fiesta Bowl to take on the representative of the Big 12 which will either be Kansas State or Oklahoma.
On Sunday afternoon, the new BCS standings were released and as expected Notre Dame remained in the top slot followed by Alabama and Georgia to round out the top three.
With a solid win over Oregon State, a top 20 team, Oregon remained at No. 5 just 23 tenths of a point ( .863 ) behind Florida ( .888 ) who came in at No. 4.
As for Stanford and UCLA, the Cardinal were slotted in the No. 8 position and the Bruins were positioned at No. 16.
Although a fourth consecutive BCS bowl bid is nothing to sneer at, those who follow the Ducks can only sit and wonder what might have been.
“It’s on us,….We put it in someone else’s hands”
Oregon Head Coach