Go Ducks!

Oregon Ducks Facing Off Against The Wildcats

For all of you Oregon Duck fans getting ready to watch them square off against Arizona for our first conference game tonight, here’s a preview of what you can expect. The Ducks (10) face off against the Wildcats tonight, September 24th, at 7:15 PM in Tucson, Arizona.You can watch the game tonight on ESPN 2. The Wildcats are coming into this game with one win and a conference loss. Let’s see what the PAC-12 has in store tonight.

Go Ducks!

Update: Watching the game with Kelly.


Oregon Ducks Sweep Non-Football Headlines… Again & Always.

Photo Credits: Bryan Longoria

Oregon Ducks Sweep Non-Football Headlines… Again & Always.

Here’s the round up…

The Oregon Ducks have been very busy these last couple of weeks, and I’m not talking about on the field. I noticed a propagation of local and national news pieces flare up in the last couple of weeks from stories as trivial to duckbill shaped whistles to potentially offensive celebration gestures – Not to mention the ever-a-buzz happenings of the Duck’s infinite Nike wardrobe.

The Oregon ‘O’…

Big news comes from Fox Sport’s Mike Pereira’s backing down on his call to investigate the moral implications of throwing the ‘O’, which of course is the Ducks players’ salute to their university and fans. This witch hunt was called off; although, I will admit that Pereira’s request was well intentioned and sincere – albeit, not well thought out. After conferring with the Pac-12′s coordinator of officiating, Pereira called Chip Kelly to let him know it’s “okay” for them to “quickly flash” the “O” sign, so long as the sign is not “prolonged” and never “directed at an opponent.” I’m glad we cleared that up. It looks like Texas can keep hooken’ them horns too.

Actually, this isn’t the first time an Oregon “O” has been called into question. In the spring of 2009, the Autzen Stadium O was called under a zoning complaint by a Oregon School of Education teacher and Eugene resident. She later retracted her complaint and an exemption was offered to the university. I can only speculate that the amount of green, not the school colors by the way, that the football team funnels into the school might have something to do with it.

Duck Lips…

No, you read it correctly. DUCK LIPS. Besides residing on the top of a “Top Ten Things I Refuse To Eat” list, Duck lips are banned from Autzen Stadium. Apparently excessive noise has kept some teams from traveling to play at Autzen, and this move was to curtail some noise from the “Loudest Stadium” in college sports. Like Paris Hilton always said, “If you can’t be the best, be the loudest.” Apparently the PAC 12 finally decided to enforce the PAC 10′s previous regulations against artificial noise makers. Yes, these yellow plastic duck shaped lips, coincidentally my college band name, have seen their last days at Autzen. I find it humorous because, if they really wanted to put a dent in the noise at the stadium, they should have just installed breathalyzers at the gates.

Fashion Contest…

Oregon’s ensamble of infinite uniforms hits the spotlight once again as other teams jump into the attention war with even more oddly designed uniforms. Oregon’s uniforms, only outnumbered by the amount of minutes of press time the Duck mascot receives, made the NYTimes article covering the sweeping epidemic of college uniform trends. Of course, the buzz was all about the University of Maryland’s state flag uniform worn last weekend. Not to be outdone, Arizona State, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Army and the Navy teams have all jumped in this year with new annual, special game event and throwback variations ranging from Candy Apple to Fiery Orange. All of these changes come from sponsorship endorsements to recruiting incentive to prominent coverage (like this). At this rate, the Lingerie Football League going to have to do something insane to compete.

The PAC 12+ and revenue…

No it’s not some new NCAA social network, it’s the ever changing landscape of the BCS league system. I say 12+ because the last time I checked we were 12 and counting. After Utah and Colorado and expanded the PAC-12 faster than the universe, Texas and Oklahoma U expressed interest in expanding to a PAC-16 super-conference. Maybe they can try and match up the ACCs acceptance of Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Ultimately, if these leagues gets any bigger geographically, we may have to invade them and start pumping oil out of them.

All of this is obviously driven by television markets and advertising revenues. Naturally, lines are being drawn and conferences are moving to shore up monetary compensation for lost revenue. Essentially, it’s befuddled the NCAA, a group now loosely associated by “education”, to the shameless level of professional sports. All of these profit-margin expanding and mongering is leading people to consider compensating players on the massive profits they are bringing into networks and the colleges. An AP article written by Frederic J. Frommer estimates that these poverty-level athletes could be looking to make $121,000 a year for their contributions to the schools, but don’t go scurrying to get into the college football teams yet; Frommer adds that basketball could get you double.

For those of you who think your kids and nephews are immune to this because they don’t play sports, guess what? They are.

Update: Iand with the PAC 12 stating that they have “affirmed their decision to remain a 12-team conference.”

Last Year’s Headlines…

And all this comes after last year, when ducks swept the headlines in other ways that only Oregon could. There was the punch heard around the NCAA that leGarrett Blount delivered to a Boise State player after a devastating preseason loss. This, of course, is not to be confused with the punch he threw in the Tenesse Titan’s training camp last month. Naturally, we can’t mention debauchery without remembering Jeremiah Masoli’s defection to Ole’ Miss for “graduate studies,” after stealing and drug possession allegations.

Yet, not all of Oregon’s off-the-field press was so bad last year. There was a rash of Oregon songs and the emergence of a Duck-hop genre. Wow, there really aren’t any losers at the Grammys anymore. “In the category of best all white, college football themed rap group under the age of thirty, the award goes to…” Actually, probably still Jimmy Fallon’s Oregon Power Ballad.

Unprecedented Ducks. U of O Football Ranks 3rd

Oregon Duck's 2011 Spring Game

Photo: Bryan Longoria's iPhone

University of Oregon Ducks Rank 3rd

The University of Oregon’s football program ranked No. 3 in the USA Today coaches poll released yesterday. This is the highest preseason ranking ever in Ducks’ history. The Ducks, generally known for their 1,280 possible uniform selections (not including throwbacks), received a lot of attention last year when a couple of students and avid Duck enthusiast, titled Supwitchugurl, achieved local pop stardom with catchy Duck Football songs.

Previously, Oregon’s highest ranking was that of 8th place in 2001. Oregon’s recent jettison into NCAA prominence comes after a back-to-back bowl games, one for the BCS title, and a 12-0 regular season where the Ducks held the number one spot for eight consecutive weeks.

Oklahoma came in with a commanding 42 ’1st ranked’ votes out of the 59 coaches, with AlabamaRoll Tide – taking 13 of the votes. Oregon, ranked 3rd, and LSU, ranked 4th, took two votes each. Coincidentally, Oregon will have a chance to battle it out with LSU in their week 1 season opener. That game will take place on Saturday, Sept. 3rd in Arlington, Texas.(Also, it is notable that the Ducks have already included the Pac-12 Championship Game on their 2011 football schedule with a location “TBD”)

Stanford takes a notable No. 6 ranking as the only other Pac10 team of the top-25 listed.  Other PAC 10 mentions include Arizona State with 158 votes, Arizona with 28, Oregon State with 4 and Washington with 3. This is certainly going to be another exciting season for Duck fans. I’m interested in seeing how Stanford does, they were a real sleeper last year… Beep.