|Down in the Desert?
Now, the Ducks are 5th in the BCS standings and need just three of the remaining undefeateds to lose to get to the title game. That next domino could very well happen this weekend, with #4 Baylor at #10 Oklahoma State. The Bears haven't beaten a ranked team on the road in more than 20 years, that's 34 straight losses. The Cowboys have a much more than okay chance of making it 35.
The issue will come next week, when one-loss Auburn hosts #1 Alabama. A Tiger win over the Crimson Tide will push Auburn past 'Bama, and Oregon, too. Next week is also Florida State's last best chance to lose as well, as they are at Florida. Florida is terrible. We'll talk about that then, but it looks like FSU's road to Pasadena (where the BCS title game is the 2nd Rose Bowl of the year) is pretty clear, because they're going to play Duke in the ACC Title game. Yes, seriously.
Anyway, Oregon only remains in the BCS title game conversation, obviously, if they win out. And this week they're in Tucson, (12:30pm, ABC/ESPN2) where Oregon dreams die, or come awfully close.
I need only mention Dennis Dixon going down for good in 2007, ending Oregon's national championship game hopes, or the amazing overtime comeback in 2009 that kept the Rose Bowl a possibility, to remind Duck fans of recent history in Tucson. It is also worth noting as a counter-argument that the 2007 game is the last time Oregon lost in Southern Arizona.
In addition, this Arizona team has hit the skids in recent weeks. After barely beating Cal, the worst team in the league, the 'Cats made poor decisions in the 4th quarter against UCLA that ultimately cost them the game, (detailed here, in the Sam Wyche 2-point post) and then the next week made Washington State seem like the bowl eligible team by looking out of sorts until late in the contest, when the potential tying touchdown was caught out of bounds as time expired.
|Not worthy of trusting.
Arizona's only “toss-up” game this season (that's the game where you go well, this one could go either way) now appears to be the Utah victory. At the time, losing to USC looked bad, but that was the first game after Lane Kiffin was fired and nobody knew that Ed Orgeron would be the key to Trojan resurgence. The desert upset doesn't seem like that much of a possibility.
Now, if Marcus Mariota's knee injury, the severity of which has been kept under wraps (thank you, don't forget to tip your waitress) is similar to Dennis Dixon's and the Ducks know that Super Mariota could snap at any moment, well, then 2007 could very well happen again, and other weird dominoes could start to fall. We've all seen that happen before. Like, last week.
photos courtesy: azcentral.com and goducks.com