Tako Tuesdays: Final musings on the 2011 college football season

The Badger fans screamed, "HE JUST TASED OUR SAFETY! THAT'S GOT TO BE A PENALTY!" But the referee did nothing. He stood back, put his hands in his pockets, and smiled the tiniest smile.

One of the teams in the BCS National Championship game made exactly one first down in an entire half. And that's the undefeated and more highly ranked team. Call me crazy, but I think a prerequisite for playing for a national championship should be an offense with the ability to make more than one first down in a half hour. Is Alabama's defense very, very good? Yes. But this is not good football. No way.

Two weeks ago, washington's defense gave up 777 yards of offense and 65 points. Not to be outdone, Clemson gave up 70 points in a BCS bowl. Is this good football? Absolutely not.

It makes me happy to be an Oregon fan. More specifically, it makes me happy that our bowl game happened to be the best bowl of the season, a game between the two best offenses in college football playing at their highest level, and two opportunistic defenses that buckled down in the second half and turned a track meet into a heavyweight slugfest. In the Rose Bowl, there was a 91 yard touchdown run by De'Anthony Thomas. LSU's offense, in the entire national championship game, had 92 yards. Passing and running combined. Eight players in the Rose Bowl amassed more yards than LSU's entire offense. Eight. So congratulations to Alabama. You may not have won your conference, and you may have already lost to LSU in your home stadium. But you beat the living crap out of the Tigers, and left us all doubting your national title legitimacy.

More thoughts on the Ducks' 2011 campaign, and a look ahead to next season, after the jump...

TOUCHDOWN LIST!

In 2010, I waited until after the NC game to compile the best touchdowns of the year. Against Auburn, the Ducks found the endzone twice, and neither were all that remarkable. In 2011, I put the list together before the Rose Bowl (available HERE HERE HERE); the Ducks put up six TDs, and they were all highlight material. So, the (addended) 2011-12 Top 25 Oregon touchdowns:

1. De'Anthony Thomas 91 yard run vs. Wisconsin: "10.2" - It's not as flashy as The Slalom (now #3 on this list) or The Black Mamba Strikes (#6). But it had the same WOW factor, it came in the Rose Bowl, at a time when every other head coach in the country lets the quarter run out, and De'Anthony Thomas goes 91 yards, in pads and a helmet, holding a football, in 10.2 seconds. I'm going to say that again, because it's worth saying again. De'Anthony Thomas can run 91 yards in full pads in 10.2 seconds. And he made a couple cuts, too. And he definitely wasn't running in a totally straight line. Dude be fast. Stupid fast. And that's why it's #1.

2. "Don't Call it a Comeback"

3. "The Slalom"

4. "The Hands" - After much lobbying and rousing of rabbles, I'm switching this with Huff's TD against Stanford for two reasons: First, it was a bigger game situation. Second, I undervalued the throw by DT, which is one of his two or three best of the season.

5. "Can't Touch This"

6. "Black Mamba Strikes"

7a and 7b. "From Nothing to Everything"

8. "Look Out, He's Gone"

9. Darron Thomas to Kenjon Barner vs. Wisconsin: "And Just LIke That..." - What a playcall. The replay shows how sucked in the Wisconsin D was to the zone read. The best part of this play: Thomas could have thrown it to Paulson instead, and it STILL would've been a touchdown. My favorite playcall of the season, excepting the fake field goal screen pass from Jackson Rice to Darrion Weems to beat USC at the end of regulation that may have happened in a dream I had after eating too much Mexican food.

10. "Baiting the Trap"

11. "You Gotta Wrap Him Up"

12. "Yeah, he's a true freshman too."

13. "Nail in the Coffin"

14. Darron Thomas to Lavasier Tuinei vs. Wisconsin: "The Game-Winner" - A nice throw by Darron Thomas, and a great sliding catch by Tuinei. But more importantly, this touchdown gave the Ducks the lead in the Rose Bowl, a lead they would not relinquish.

15. De'Anthony Thomas 64 yard run vs. Wisconsin: "The Second Fiddle" - Can we all take a second and reflect on this one more time? De'Anthony Thomas received two handoffs from Darron Thomas, one at his own 9 yard line, the other at his own 36. He ran both of them into the endzone. Two carries, 155 yards, two touchdowns. He has two more years in a Duck uniform before he can even think about leaving. I'll be over here, giggling like a six-year-old.

16. "Another Fast One"

17. "This is just straight speed"

18. "Just in Time"

19. "The Fred Astaire"

20. "Jugglito"

21. "Turning the Corner"

22. "Daylight, Adios"

23. "He Doesn't Need a Nickname"

24. Thomas' Everywhere!"

25. "Oregon Strikes First"

Whew. That was rough, organizing all that awesome.

THOMAS 4 HEISMAN

Let me be the first one to officially kick off the Thomas 4 Heisman 2012 campaign. No, not De'Anthony. Darron. Darron Thomas is Oregon's Heisman candidate next season. And here's why.

Oregon's wide receiver corps 2012 (pre-recruiting) -

Josh Huff, Jr.

Rahsaan Vaughn, Sr.

Justin Hoffman, Sr.

Devon Blackmon, R.Fr.

Tacoi Sumler, R.Fr.

BJ Kelley, R.Fr.

Daryle Hawkins, Jr.

Eric Dungy, So.

Will Murphy, Sr.

Keanon Lowe, So.

...

That's a lot of options, and that list doesn't even mention tight ends Colt Lyerla, Christian French, and Curtis White, and Oregon's leading pass-catcher from 2011, De'Anthony Thomas. Oregon's offense in Darron Thomas' third year as a starter, is set up to throw the ball in 2012. Kenjon Barner will be the #1 running back, DAT will get 10-15 rushing touches a game, and Tra Carson should grow into a reliable change of pace. But I can't shake the feeling that the Ducks are gonna air it out next season. And Heisman voters love them a dual threat quarterback (see Tebow, Tim and Griffin III, Robert). So I'm appointing myself Head Honcho of the DT for Heisman committee. Any inquiries as to campaign jobs may be made in the comments.

THE USUAL CALL TO ARMS

ATQ readers, you beautiful snowflakes you, I know you have ideas. Some of you out there may even have a great idea for a Tako Tuesday. By all means, I'd love to hear about it. Email me with your story idea, and we'll figure out when to run it.

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