university of Oregon

The End of Oregon’s Golden Era

“Success comprises in itself the seeds of its own decline and sport is not spared by this law” Pierre de Coubertin

Oregon Football use to be the toast of the college football universe. The program had great facilities, incredible boosters, and an avid fan base. With Nike’s backing, the team had unlimited uniform combinations and tons of media coverage.

However, success is fueled by wins, and when losses mount…well…college football can be a fickle lover.

Following a disastrous Alamo Bowl loss, in which Oregon once lead by more than 30-points, and a 2016 campaign that finished with an abysmal four wins. The once proud program finished at the bottom of its conference and division.

Something needed to be done, so the University of Oregon’s Athletic Department made a drastic move. A maneuver that hadn’t been done since the 1970s. Fire its head coach.

The last firing of an Oregon Football Head Coach occurred in 1976, when Don Reid was dismissed. During the last 40-years, the program has hired head coaches from within its system. A strategy that’s created a continuity unrivaled in college football; however, that streak ended in 2016 with the termination of Mark Helfrich.

Why? Coach Helfrich took over a program that was souring. His tenure as head coach saw a decline in recruiting, a breakdown in discipline, and slippage in fan enthusiasm.

The decline in Oregon’s play prompted an interesting piece by AlmostDailyBrett, which attempts to explain ” The End of Oregon’s Golden Era.”

Oregon alumni and fans can only hope that Oregon’s decline is short lived. Perhaps, the UO’s Athletic Department has taken a step in the right direction by hiring its new head coach: Willie Taggart.

Duck Nation will soon see if Coach Taggart and his new coaching staff corrects Oregon’s woes. Just maybe, he is the shot in the arm that is needed to right the ship and return the Ducks to their Golden Era.

 

 

Mariota Wins The Heisman!

A new day dawned for fans of the Oregon Ducks. A decade and a half of building a winning program culminated in the schools first Heisman trophy winner.

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Marcus Mariota’s talent has been no secret at Oregon, and now the world knows just how talented the Hawaiian native is. This year’s Heisman winner received the second highest vote totals (90.9%) in the trophy’s 80-year history.

Another first for Mariota is that he is the first man from Hawaii, and the first Polynesian, to win the Heisman trophy.

The next step in Oregon’s history will be to bring home a national championship, but for now. Duck fans should all be celebrating this historic moment because years of hard work and sacrifice have paid off.

Congratulations to Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks.

More information on the vote and the trophy’s history can be found at the official Heisman website:

http://heisman.com/index.aspx

http://www.heismancentral.com/#!the-vote/c2b1

CFB Playoffs: A Quagmire In The Making

Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it’s so incredible, it’s unbelievable­–Tom Landry

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 1.57.25 PMCollege football’s new playoff system is only a year away. I was excited to see this development finally come to about, until I read about the framework that is in place to decide the teams. Now I’m hesitant because the structure that is in place will undoubtedly bring chaos, perplexity, and disenchantment.

During the BCS era, controversy was the rule, not the exception, when it came to the BCS championship. I give the BCS some credit because it was a huge step in the right direction compared to the old system. Under the pre-BCS system sport’s writers and pundits would vote for a national champion following the bowl season. This format obviously left a lot to be desired because the best teams may never play one another. In fact, in many cases this system left the championship in dispute.

The BCS promised to fix this major oversight by giving college football fans an undisputed national champion, and for a little bit it did provide a nice alternative to the old system. However, it did not take long for the BCS system’s subjectivity and bias to rear it ugly head. As stated above, “during the BCS era controversy was the rule, not the exception….” This is seen in a number of championship selection controversies that ran throughout the 16-year existence of the BCS.

Now, a playoff is set to debut in 2014. Oddly enough, the executive director of the college football playoff committee is Bill Hancock; a man who happens to chair the BCS and was a long time critic of a collegiate playoff. This raises a huge red flag, to me. A man who spent years disparaging a playoff is now set to run the entire system. It seems to me that the establishment really doesn’t want a playoff.

Evidence of the establishment’s aversion to a playoff is apparent in how teams get into the postseason and the number of teams included. First, teams don’t go to the playoffs by winning conference titles or attaining a high ranking. Instead a committee will select the teams. Second, only a field of four will make the playoffs, not a collection of six or eight elite teams. It’s a sure bet that some great teams will be overlooked by the selection committee.

There is a myriad of ways a playoff system could have been set up. I would wager that a group of fans from “Any Bar, USA” could have came up with a more compelling playoff structure than what the establishment “experts” did.

The system announced by Mr. Hancock doesn’t let the gridiron decided which teams are in the playoffs. It turns the decision over to “powerbrokers”. This makes no sense; it would have been easier, and wiser, to build upon what is in place. Design a playoff that allows teams to control their own destiny. If teams win their respective conferences; then they will go to a BCS bowl based on existing tie-ins. For non-automatic qualifying conferences, there are BCS at-large berths available that allows those teams from weaker conference a shot at reaching the BCS ( or the new playoff system).

Simply put, reach a BCS bowl and you play for a playoff spot. Win your bowl game, plus one, and earn an opportunity to play for the Coaches’ Trophy. What Bill Hancock and the NCAA gave us is a system that will cause problems and unquestionably shutout viable teams.

I foresee this system being a fiasco that will spiral to a dilemma. Instead of consistently having a clear and incontrovertible champion, we will have teams crowned in the miasma of controversy because the selection committee overlooked a top-notch contender. It’s clear the “powers-that-be” missed a golden opportunity to–once and for all–terminate any dispute surrounding a college football national champion. The new playoff system is a quagmire in the making.

http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowl_Championship_Series

http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2013/4/24/4259874/college-football-playoff-bill-hancock-quotes

UO Veteran Center Opens

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The University of Oregon (UO) announced the opening of the UO Veterans Center Saturday, April 20. This long awaited moment is way over due for our men and women of our armed forces. The fact that a US Senator, Congressman, and the Mayors of Eugene and Springfield were present along with the Student Veterans of America’s Executive Director Michael Dakduk shows the importance of this event.

Mr. Dakduk flew out from Washington D.C. for the ribbon cutting ceremony and to served as the keynote speaker for the grand opening.

In the coming years this facility will serve veterans as they transition from military to civilian life.It was good to see the UO and community supporters step up and bring this center online.

Cheers to those who made this day possible.

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Ann Curry speaks at the University of Oregon

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Ann Curry a University of Oregon graduate (’78) spoke to a crowd of journalism students and alumni on February 28. After the lecture, she took questions from the audience and even found time to get photographed with attendees.

The event was sponsored by the Ruhl Lecture Series and the Ford Alumni Center. Miss Curry spoke for about an hour. During her speech, an active Twitter board was projected overhead that allowed fans to tweet their favorite quotes or share their thoughts in real time.

The popularity of this event will be a tough act to follow for upcoming speakers, but the dedicated alumni association and students will surely succeed in stellar fashion for the next lecture.