Saturday, December 4, 2010
Oregon Ducks Fly To National Triumph
If you haven't discovered the brilliancy and dominance the Oregon Ducks have rendered all season, then you clearly must realize that this team is legit, described as the best program in the nation after it pummeled nearly every opponent in the second-half of each contest.
It apparently cajoles people to believe that the Ducks merits a national title bid, worthy of being honored with a prestigious BCS bowl game, and now, dictated by an undermined system, the University of Nike is fortunate to have the last word for their tenacious performance in a prevalent season. It's understandable to think that the Ducks likely secured a spot in the BCS title game, with a 37-20 win over inter-state rivals Oregon State in the annual Civil War battle on a late Saturday afternoon in Corvallis.
For most of this season, the optimism was eternally felt and has been rationalized in the final contest of the 12-game regular-season with the Ducks sending a statement, only to vindicate a sense of believability for rights to play for a gleaming crystal ball. As recently as a few seasons ago, Oregon was second-class in the Pac-10, always forgotten by USC's sheer dominance each season.
Mostly, as we accept this national perception that the Ducks exemplifies greatness and masters the fundamentals with a workable nucleus on all levels of the game, Oregon consists of a duel-threat in quarterback Darron Thomas and Heisman hopeful LaMichael James, a primary justification of why the Ducks are ideal to contend in the national landscape. All of this makes it seem transparent that the Ducks are inherently vigorous on the strength of a speedy, overmatched offense.
As of now, without much debate, the unbeaten Ducks are relevant of respectively boarding a plane and booking hotel reservations for a shot at the national title in Glendale, Arizona. If Oregon had lost to any team on its fair schedule, with the unique dilemma of the voting scenario, they wouldn't had survived this late in the season, let alone given a potential opportunity to represent its university in the title game as a championship-caliber team.
Judging from the Ducks' grueling tactics and relentless capacity to manhandle their opponent by bustling pass a baffled or an exhausted core of defenders in regards of the blistering ground attack, no team is remotely close to matching the assertiveness or agility of the Ducks. For the first time in a while, Oregon is a program vastly better than everybody in college football and they've treated each week as a national title game, aiming to rank as the top-notch program in the nation.
And for once, the stakes were immense in the Duck-Beaver rivalry event and finally the Civil War was distinguished as a purposeful clash and probably decided a national title berth. The Ducks, seemingly, couldn't afford a loss and prevailed in crucial moments by playing as if this was the final game of their lifetimes. This year, of course, there is no uncertainty that Oregon is well-deserving of rising into a premier program, finishing the season likely atop the rankings at 12-0, finally putting a cease to the disrespect and understatements that overshadowed the nation's most talented program as the Ducks were disapproved for being in an underestimated conference.
As for Chip Kelly, the man who resurrected a berated team which almost fell victim of mortality at one point, was given a $600,000 raise earlier this season. It wasn't what anyone had in mind, when he forged his signature to a six-year contract extension that will increase and pay him $20.5 million by the conclusion of his deal. And it now turns out he's guaranteed bonuses for wins in the season and a bowl game appearance, after the top-ranked Ducks punched their ticket to the BCS title game on January 10th.
"We're not going to play a national championship right now, we're going to prepare for one," said Oregon head coach Kelly. "And we'll play the game on the 10th (of January). But we got to this point we're at now by our preparation and we know we're going to have to go to work for the next month to show up on the 10th. And that's what these are all about, they understand the task at hand and they accept it heartily."
It was, to put it mildly, a magical scene for a team that finished an epic chapter unbeaten, now in pursuit of winning on the brightest stage in college football. The crowd erupted in roars, as majority of the sellout crowd came to support the Ducks, filled with seas of green and yellow at Reser Stadium. The heavy talk for the Ducks is squarely unique led by Kelly, who prepares for massive moments and relies on adjustments.
He brings a workable mentality to his players and has cultivated his players with his practical preparations and, as a result, he is 22-3 at Oregon with a 17-1 record in the Pac-10 Conference and has become the only coach in history to win the conference title as a first-year head coach. All of this has led to perfection in which the Ducks capped a miraculous season, and has finally become worthy of subtlety. At game's end, the players were speechless and celebrated in bliss, following a remarkable season and earned their school's first BCS National Championship Game berth.
"It's a big deal that we got to play in the national championship," said Thomas, "but we got to the Rose Bowl last year and we didn't finish it. It's important to finish."
In all likelihood, it's possible.
Thirty-seven days from now the Ducks will take the field again, to encounter a rigid challenge against Auburn University, after the team prevailed in the SEC title game and coasted to a 56-17 win over South Carolina to clinch a berth to play the Ducks in the championship. At this time, Oregon is imposing, fierce and untouchable, while Cam Newton conducts Auburn and its explosive offense in their improbable year.
On the way to the biggest night in school history next month, the Ducks are shrewd and have been considered the deepest threat in the nation, surrounded by tremendous talent. Logic is, the Ducks refuse to quit, groomed and well-coached. That could be why they are so resilient and trailed 7-6 against Oregon State at the end of the first quarter, the fifth consecutive game that Oregon was defeated in the opening quarter.
It wasn't long, as the Ducks continued to fight and remain composed, before they destroyed the Beavers. This is historical, particularly when the program won only one Pac-10 championship during the second-half of the 20th century, nationally recognized for outlandish uniforms and powerful offenses. James, the explosive tailback, shared carries with Kenjon Barner, and still rushed 28 times for 134 yards, while Barner had 15 carries for 133 yards to frustrate and override the 5-6 Beavers. Together, they combined for 169 yards in the first half.
"When we have to grind it out, we grind it out," said Oregon receiver Jeff Maehl. "We showed it against Cal and we showed it again today."
Certainly, they showed it.
At the beginning of the second-half, Kelly decided to call for the trickery and faked the punt. That forced a third-and-six, leading to Thomas' 19-yard touchdown pass to expand the lead to 23-7 with 8:39 remaining in the third. As the Ducks chase a national title, we'll now generate talk whether the Ducks merits the spotlight and whether Oregon will manhandle Auburn. Only time will tell.
Think of it as an everlasting debate. But in the meantime, the Quack Attack is untouchable and dynamic.
Let's just say 12 down, one to go.