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NCAAF: Will the Oregon Ducks play for the BCS title

Oregon, a national champion, some would never fathom that a Pac-12 team with little or no defense could be mentioned in the same sentence. This year, the Oregon Ducks might just prove naysayers wrong. Of course, other teams out there would have something to say such as Alabama, Notre Dame and Kansas State.

Doubters ask how many points have the Ducks allowed this week? How many yards did the opposing offense rack up? Oregon coach Chip Kelly does not really care what others say about his program or how he runs it.

The Ducks team this season is the best the school has ever had by far. It is better than the 2011 team that beat the Wisconsin Badgers in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl and better than the 2010 teams that lost the BCS title game to Auburn on a field goal in the last second. This team is fantastic and has put up incredible numbers all season.

Many feel that the Ducks play without a defense, and for those people it is best to talk about how great the Oregon offense really is. Last week, the Ducks amassed 730 yards of total offense against the USC Trojans. No other team has ever gained that many total yards against USC. Kenjon Barner had 325 on the ground and no other player has ever done that against USC.

Marcus Mariota, the redshirt freshman QB completed 20 of his 23 passes for 303 yards including four for touchdowns. He did not throw an interception in the game. Oh, he also had 119 yards rushing as well. On the night, the Oregon offense ran 83 plays, with 37 first downs that included 9 drives for touchdowns and just one punt. Their drives averaged 72 yards and 2:30 of time on the clock.

The Oregon offense is much better than Notre Dame, Kansas State or Alabama. There is not any question that the offense is the biggest reason the Ducks are a threat to the other top four teams in the nation.

If the chance comes and they get to play Alabama for the national title, they will score more points than the 17 LSU managed Saturday at home in a loss to the Crimson Tide.

This team is also the best defensively since Coach Kelly took over. They are not the best nationally, but they are better than three years ago when they faced Ohio State at the Rose Bowl. At that time, the Ducks defense was fast and this season they are fast as well but much bigger and stronger. Its secondary is stronger it has defensive lineman who are 6-foot-7 and block passes. The linebackers are quick, cover a larger portion of the field and do not miss tackles.

One factor often missed when talking about Oregon is Head Coach Kelly. He manages a game like the Oakland A’s front office picks their team. He looks at the numbers, the percentages and plays them all the time. He has gone on fourth down more times than any other team and it does not matter if he is on his own 30-yard line or on the opposing team’s 10-yard line.

The percentages tell Kelly that going on fourth down is to his advantage and he does just that. Thus far it has worked. Seeing him pull it off against Alabama in the BCS title game would make eyes roll throughout the NCAA. Do not be surprised if you see that happen in January.

I like the Ducks chances of being national champion.

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