Exactly what the Ducks need
The Oregon Ducks began last year with one of the most anticipated season openers in program history. The hype was there, but following a devastating loss to the LSU Tigers, the team was out of national championship contention after just one week of competition.
This time around, the Ducks will open their season against the Arkansas State Red Wolves, and while it might not be the big-time game that fans and media both drooled over a year ago, it could be just what the team needs to jumpstart another run at a BCS title.
We all know that a team’s strength of schedule can boost them into dominance by the end of a season, but what happens if your team is already dominant?
Coming off their Rose Bowl victory in January, Oregon finished the year ranked No. 5 in the BCS and will likely be considered a top-five team as the season begins on Sept. 1.
A team that is already touted as one of the best in the nation doesn’t need validation—it needs wins.
The Nov. 3 road game against the USC Trojans is arguably the only tough game on the Ducks’ 2012 schedule, meaning the entire season could come down to one game late in the year.
For a roster that’s going to have a different look this season, that’s not a bad thing.
The Ducks will be bringing in a new quarterback this time around, but don’t forget that the team’s first national championship appearance took place in Darron Thomas’ first season as a starter.
In 2010, head coach Chip Kelly handed the team over to Thomas and the year began against the New Mexico Lobos. An incredible season kicked off with a 72-0 victory, as the Ducks finished the year 12-0 in their run toward a BCS National Championship.
While it was a miraculous season by almost all accounts, you don’t have to remind Oregon fans who won the title that year.
What you might want to think back on, though, is who the Auburn Tigers opened their season against in their championship run of two seasons ago.
A victory against Arkansas State wasn’t sexy, but it’s exactly what the Tigers needed to begin a perfect season en route to the team’s first BCS National Championship in 53 years.