We've been pretty quiet over the past week, even with a big game coming up this weekend. I guess the reason for that I just don't have much of an opinion on this Duck team. At this point in the season, what do we really know?
If you take a look at just today's articles from the Register-Guard and the Oregonian, there is an article on uncertainty at the running back position, one on uncertainty on the offensive line, and another on the growth we must see in terms of defensive tackling. Without a doubt, this Duck team is filled with questions.
None of this inconsistency should really come as any shock. As much as I believed that Oregon was going to be in the upper third of the Pac-10, I vastly underestimated the impact that the youth of this team would have on performance, especially early in the season. As Nick from OffThePond.net pointed out earlier this week, only 7 of the 44 players in Oregon's two-deep are seniors. On the offense, Ed Dickson is the only senior on the entire 22 player two-deep. After the first two games, it only makes sense that we would reevaluate where this team can end up.
I believe this team still has the talent to compete with any team it faces, and Ed Dickson seems to share this view, stating earlier this week, "We can beat every team we play." While that may be true, I don't believe this scenario to be very likely. There is simply too much inconsistency in this team to believe realistically that such things are possible.
However, I don't view this as a bad thing, and am very very excited for the rest of the season. We may not know a lot about this team, but over the next few months, we will hopefully watch them grow into a better team. We've seen definite improvements in each half of the first two games, and I hope to see that continue.
But watching this team will be very different from years past. In recent years, we've seen Oregon teams jump out to a roaring start and this has led to heightened expectations early in the season. While some of these seasons may not have ended like we'd hoped, they were filled with a good deal of hype. This season is different. We have no expectations now. Many national pundits have already written off the Ducks. Watching this young team come together, the leaders step up, and the coaching staff do it's job will be a different kind of excitement that what we are used to.
And I'm just fine with that. While this team has many questions, I'm greatly looking forward to the rest of the season, to watching just what this team can become, because, let's face it, we have no idea how this season is going to turn out. Almost every game could go either way. We're sure to see some football that will make us cheer one moment, and pull our hair out the next. Hopefully this will lead to a good number of wins, but at this point, I'm just excited to see how this season unfolds.