It seems every analyst I listen to has a take or an angle on the LSU-Oregon game on September 3rd. It also seems that every analyst believes that LSU is just going to impose its will upon the weakling Ducks, and only if Les Myles decides, should he be so kind, to call off the dogs, the defensive line of LSU is going annihilate the entire backfield of the Ducks and end all their careers. One sided analysis such as "If the Ducks can stop the onslaught, they may have a slight edge." Or perhaps "Jordan Jefferson is the key, if he shows, count the Ducks out."
The East Coast bias is alive and well folks. There's no reason to believe anything they tell you about it's absence. With all due respect to the cloud of uncertainty that looms above Eugene (and trust me, there's not much due) I think I speak for the vast majority of Duck fans when I say: "Time to strap up and set ALL the talk on the sideline until February."
Am I wrong or is Oregon currently the higher ranked team? I know that pre-season polls are jacked and stupid and they merely give voracious and unrelenting fans such as myself something to bitch about. But the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, and since I have just done so, on to the bitching.
The Ducks went into Knoxville last year to play a middling Tennessee team. A team that would have handed LSU a loss should the refs have bothered to kick PCP for a night. The doubts ran rampant as to whether the speedy "gimmicky" (which is a farce all its own) Ducks could handle the size of the SEC. After watching LaMike look like LaMarcus Allen and CH3 lock some stuff down, the Ducks trotted out of SEC country with even more orange on their spikes than they'd become used to. Ducks win 48-13.
However the media (read: ESPN) can't seem to pull their heads from the tightly wound sphincter which keeps them perennially in the dark about any west coast team aside from USC. The Ducks earned a bid to play for the national title last year, yet all the "experts" believe that a hot and cold QB and sheer size difference are the keys to the game. No one bothers to mention the blistering pace these Peterbuilt sized trolls are going to have to keep. Nor the fact that the Ducks' QB threw 31 TDs and only 9 picks last year. I almost forgot about the nations #1 backfield with a Doak Walker Award winner back there just twiddling his thumbs hoping the big scary LSU linemen let him come out to play with his friend, the other guy who would start for any team in the conference... ... And their two friends the blue-chip recruits.
The bottom line here is that while Oregon might not be favored, it's worth considering that the Ducks may not be the team that is subject to their opponent's will and game plan. The Ducks have, on a very consistent basis, out-schemed and out-smarted some of the best defenses in the country in recent years. They have forced teams to adjust to the way they play, not the other way around. Does a few unresolved offseason issues really change the make-up of an entire organization? I think not. I think CK has a plan, and I think it will be LSU that will be looking for ways to adjust.
September 3rd cannot come soon enough.