Photo by Andrew Giesemann
Oregon Football

The Morning After

October 15, 2017

Admit it, many of you went to bed, angry and upset. Some of you went to bed and then got back up to drink some more.

Some of you (east coasters) probably didn't watch the game, woke up, saw the score and said 'yeah I'll go mow the yard instead.'

I don't know what to tell you. Except that is my job so I guess I do know what to tell you.

And here is what I'm going to say.

Normally I write an instant reaction piece to the game. Truth be told, it was midnight, I was beyond tired and I had a few friends crashing so I found them a spot to sleep. Including my main man Ryan Bartow who worked with me at 247.

Anyways I didn't write it. Not because of the above factors mainly, but I didn't want to go on a rampage and rile up the board. Instead I decided to sleep on it. And I have.

Here's my thoughts.

We knew Stanford was good. Maybe not that good, but good. AND, after last night, they just might be the best team in the conference. Today.

As I've said a few times, I just don't think the Pac-12 has a serious national contender. I think we have some good teams, but I'm not sure we have some great ones. 

Although who knows what is great anymore with Clemson falling to Syracuse Friday night.

We also know this, and pay attention here. Without Justin Herbert, this team is in trouble. No matter how we all tried to band-aid tha fact we knew well before the season started, deep down we knew.

This is a quarterback league, an offensive conference, and right now Oregon is stuck in neutral. We can sugar-coat it all we want. I'm not going to pick on Burmeister, but there is a reason he wasn't 'the dude' as a recruit. He was a solid quarterback and he has some tools. But he also has some areas to work on and ultimately is playing like a true freshman would be if he was thrown into the mix mid-season.

He didn't get hardly any reps with the 1's until the last two weeks. So effectively, to a degree, he's on his second week of Fall camp and being asked to lead a team. As a freshman.

If you think Taylor Alie is a better option there probably isn't much more to discuss.

Next point.

Washington, with it's starting quarterback and most of it's starting team, scored, wait for it.....7 points. Against Arizona State. That's right, the Huskies, the No. 5 team in the country scored the same amount of points as Oregon WITH its starting quarterback.

Secondly, Washington State, once again at full health, inlcuding a 10-year quarterback (feels like it) scored a MONSTER 3 points against Cal. AGAINST CAL.

So look here's the point. Whatever you think about this Oregon team, they were never, EVER going to win 8 or 9 games without Justin Herbert. And even then, that was a stretch. This was really not an 8 win team to start with. It was probably about a 6, and that's just assuming they improved from last year.

Any injury is a massive blow to this team that lacks any real depth at just about every single position. If you're starting 12 true freshman, you are waving the white flag and saying 'at least we'll be better in 2-3 years.'

Now I'm not saying this coaching staff is perfect and it's all sunshine and rainbows. It's not. I hate seeing penalty after penalty, but the more I look at it, Oregon is being targeted for calls. They are being singled out by referees before the game even starts. Fair or not, it's the truth.

The play-calling has been what it is. At times it's pretty ideal. Others it's questionable. But I will give them the benefit of the doubt they are trying to figure something out that works with what they have. With Herbert healthy, we know they can roll up some points.

So far Oregon has lost to Stanford, Washington State and ASU. Who for now, look like quality opponents. And don't forget, just because Oregon won 4 games last year doesn't mean these guys aren't pissed about being dominated for a decade. Oregon still gets their best game.

Oregon has 5 tough games ahead. Let's just assume we don't see Herbert back, they might beat UCLA and Oregon State and that's it. Maybe they get lucky against a Utah or Arizona. I don't know.

Let's assume we do see Herbert back for Utah or maybe Washington. IF that's the case, we could see wins over Arizona and Oregon State, and potentially still beat UCLA with Burmeister. I don't know.

Point is this, temper your expectations accordingly. 

At the beginning of the season most of us said we would be happy with a competitive team that shows improvement. Check and check.

As long as we continue to see that, that's the grading curve. At least in my mind.

Here's my next point, take a deep breath. Inhale, exhale, hug your spouse or children, or both. Go do something fun today and let's reconvene tonight or tomorrow.

No seriously. I'm only going to write 1 maybe 2 more updates today and not let this loss spoil a beautiful Sunday in Southern Oregon.

I love that we are fans. That's what makes college football so special. That's why I have this site.

But right now we all need some levity and nothing cures that like a nice Sunday off. 

Just remember, you're still a Duck, win or lose. 

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.