even though Oregon lost to USC, beating the Beavers should be easy, and beating whichever team comes out of the South Division should be easy too. i'm happy that Oregon will be playing in another Rose Bowl, where they'll be favored to win (unlike the last two bowl games).
had Oregon beat USC the other night, i still think their best-case scenario would have been a Rose Bowl berth, because USC is not eligible for a ranking, and i just don't see Alabama losing in the Iron Bowl.
so why do i think Oregon might still come out as winners after this weekend?
Oregon invited some pretty major recruits to campus this weekend, and these recruits experienced Autzen Stadium in all of its glory. a night game in prime-time, a slick-looking uniform combination, a great game against a lot of NFL prospects, a sell-out crowd that was louder than any other stadium they've visited, and a celebrity sighting or two:
recent recruits and commits have admitted that the Oregon uniforms were a factor in their interest and decision, just like how USC recruits have admitted the appeal of playing in L.A. with celebrities on the sidelines. don't you think that some of the recruits that Oregon had in town this weekend like the thought of standing on a sideline with LeBron and D.Wade, wearing sweet uniforms, playing in an exciting game in front of a great crowd?
i think that the overall experience that these recruits got this weekend, despite Oregon losing the game, will probably be their most memorable visit. and if we get commitments from this weekend's recruits, then the four years of future on-field production from these talented young men makes the loss to USC much easier to swallow.
(unless you actually thought Oregon could make it back to the BCS title game)