Nothing quite says levels of pain like Nine Inch Nails, in both the figurative and literal sense of the phrase. This post will be somewhat briefer than others - partially because the stats that I normally use aren't out, and partially because I don't want to dwell.
i built it up now i take it apart climbed up real high now fall down real far
40: the number of points below Oregon's average
25%: the percentage point difference between Oregon's normal 3rd down conversion rate and this game (48% to 23%).
66.67%: the percentage point difference between Oregon's normal 4th down conversion rate and this game (66.67% to 0).
30: number of penalty yards difference from the season total and this game (we had 5 penalties for 54 yards, 30 yards less than our average)
+2: the turnover ratio in favor of Oregon.
1: the number of dropped passes by Oregon that I could find
These are the kinds of numbers that simply signify one team was better than another team on this day. This wasn't a game that was given away. Oregon had a higher turnover margin, a better penalty rate than normally. This wasn't Oregon playing particularly badly. This was simply a bad matchup with an exceptionally talented defense that controlled Oregon for a long time. This was a team that did not let tempo dictate anything.
This was a close loss - but it was a fair, reasonable, just loss. The better team won.
i put my faith in god and my trust in you
16: the number of plays a 95-yard drive in the second half had, which ended up scoring a TD.
29: the number of plays Oregon ran on 7 other drives in the second half and in overtime (an average of 4 plays a drive)
74: the total number of yards those 29 plays gained. (an average of 2.55 yards per play)
As we've said elsewhere on this site, this loss more than any other was on Chip. And the second half stats really bear this out. There was one drive that got any kind of yards or field position. The rest of the drives were 6 plays or less, and none were more than 26 yards total. 5 punts, 3 3 and outs. By comparison to the first half it was bad; while Oregon didn't do great in the first half, at least Oregon was moving the ball well with multiple 50+ yard drives. In the second half there was no explosiveness, just methodical, plodding calls.
This is the first game that I've seen where it looked like we were not a second half team.
By comparison, Stanford had many drives that gained 20 yards or more. Even when they did not get anything out of the drive they moved the ball. Their most successful drive was even when we had pinned them deep - they marched 93 yards for a TD. Offense and defense were simply not working well together. Momentum was fleeting and poorly used. Turnovers weren't exploited. Mistakes weren't exploited. When things were working they were abandoned for other choices.
wish there was something real wish there was something true
wish there was something real in this world full of you
3: number of consecutive BCS games Oregon has played in (with a 4th virtually guaranteed with a win over OSU) in the Chip Kelly era
4: number of consecutive 10-win seasons that Oregon will have.
0: number of other teams in the entire nation that have played in 3 consecutive BCS games in the Chip Kelly era
1: number of other teams in the entire nation that have 10+ win seasons in the Chip Kelly era (this would be Alabama)
4: number of other teams in the entire nation that have played in 3 BCS games in the last 5 years other than Oregon (VTech and Ohio State each have played in 4; Oklahoma and Alabama each have played in 3)
As Jared said, getting an undefeated season is effing hard. But even more than that, simply having a consistently great program is effing hard. If Oregon goes to a 4th BCS bowl they will have joined Ohio State and USC as the only teams to ever have gone to 4 consecutive BCS games in 4 seasons. Heck, there aren't even that many teams which have gone to 4 BCS bowls in their history - and Oregon is one of them.
While Chip Kelly is fallible and does have bad games - he also has led Oregon to a level of excellence that is comparable with any elite football program in the country. Oregon. Up there with Ohio State or Alabama or Florida or LSU or Oklahoma or Texas. Even Nick Saban can't say his teams went to 3 consecutive BCS games - not until 2013 at the earliest.
Winning a conference is simply hard. It doesn't happen every year. That makes the loss both more understandable and more depressing; these chances don't come around that often. What it doesn't do is make Chip Kelly a bad coach or a coach who can't win close games. It makes him as good as Nick Saban or Urban Meyer (he had some dog bad teams in Florida) or Jim Tressel.
If Oregon wins on Saturday they will go to a BCS bowl. Actually, strike that; win and they are either going to a BCS bowl or they're going to the Pac-12 championship. This is a huge accomplishment for a year where Oregon was expected to be the also-ran in the conference with a rookie QB. Let us not come to bury Chip Kelly but to praise him.