If you’re an Oregon Ducks fan, think about why you call yourself that before you read on and get all offended. I’m betting most of you began rooting for them when Chip Kelly got there and won a Pac-12 title in 2009. Spare me.
You had to know that stretch of success would come to an end. When did you realize it was over? Was it that bulldozing you took from Ohio State? Or, maybe it was before that when Chip Kelly took off for the NFL and left you with Mark Helfrich. Either way, you’re done. It’s over. I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.
Power in college football is cyclical. There are no exceptions. Oregon thrived over the better part of the past decade because a lot of things started going well. Nike took over uniform design and ran with it. At the time, it was impossible to know this was the first layer of a new strategy that would go on to revolutionize the sportswear and college recruiting industries.
I don’t think Nike wants to create a whole new Oregon football uniform for every single game, but the expectation is there now. This one here is my personal all-time favorite, by the way. To roll out something the Ducks have already worn would be to disappoint those checking in to see what they’re wearing. That’s all many of us will be doing this weekend. Seeing the score, we’ll either turn it right back to the inevitably closer game we’re watching or stay tuned to enjoy the duck hunt.
Breaking news: Dakota Prukop is not Vernon Adams, who was not Marcus Mariota. I smell a couple picks. If he even starts, that is. Really, it won’t matter who starts behind center. The Washington Huskies are going to make sure there are no smiling Ducks this weekend.
Did you see what Washington did to a good team last Friday? Now imagine what’ll happen Saturday against an Oregon team that’s lost to Nebraska, Colorado and Washington State its last three times out. I mean, the Huskies laid a beatdown on Stanford the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2014. That was the last time this game was played in Eugene, when the Ducks blew out the Cardinal, 45-16, on their way to that lopsided national championship duel with the Buckeyes. More breaking news: this isn’t 2014 and the Huskies aren’t pushovers anymore.
If there is a bright spot for the Ducks this weekend, it’s that they’ll be remembered as the second-best road win on Washington’s Playoff resume. The Autzen Stadium crowd brings the noise and it’ll be fun for them to have at least this one big game this fall, but there’s only so much you can do when you’re so clearly overmatched on the field.
There’s a new top dog in the Pac-12 North and you’ll get your double confirmation when the Huskies wipe the turf with the Ducks, no matter what they’re wearing. I hope you like Chinese turkey.
E-mail Mitch at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Great Gatzke