I wonder if the Penn St. scandal hadn’t broken, how much attention would Stanford v Oregon have gotten? I have some SEC friends and they essentially think of the Pac-12 as the same as the MWC (or the WAC for that matter). Its why that 9-6 abortion of a game involving Alabama-LSU was “great football” to them.
What shocked me was how stunningly unsophisticated those offenses were. It also sort of made me a Stanford and Boise fan. I’d love to see either of those teams with a month to prepare for a shot at the national title vs LSU. We saw what Kyle did to Alabama with some talent and a month to get ready. (oh I forgot, Alabama didn’t want to be there)
Which brings me to Oregon, or why I have no faith in Chip Kelly. Their offense is a gimmick, essentially an option attack with trampolines and trapeze installed. But Oregon has talent which is why their nonsense works alot and the Cirque du Crouton at BYU did not. However here is the deal, ever notice how Oregon always loses if they face a good team right off the bat (Boise, LSU) or a good team in a bowl game (Auburn, Ohio St).
If you have talent, and a month to prepare for Oregon, what they do isn’t surprising, because you’ve spent a month playing match-up defense and seeing all they do on film. When you see Oregon in the middle of the season, you have to stop everything you’re doing and have five days to prepare. As MWC fans know with Air Force, is a very tough deal. Top that with Oregon having vastly better talent and you can see why Oregon wins a lot weeks 2-12 but week one and a bowl game, not so much.
So we come to Oregon-Stanford. And I love Stanford. I love the way they play. I love that Harbaugh decided he was going to play to what Stanford could recruit best. I love that they play hard nosed disciplined football. And I love Andrew Luck almost as much as Mandi does. But Oregon is the exact team to cause them problems, quick, athletic and they do things no one else does.
If Stanford can make it their game, and control time of possession, keep that Oregon offense off the field and they score points, Stanford can win. But it will be interesting.