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The Countdown: Is a Return Trip to the Natty Still Possible for Oregon?

Tako said it during Missouri State week, but it bears repeating:  the Countdown concept is based on the idea that there are five factors that can swing a game for or against the Ducks.  For this to work, there has to be a plausible path for an Oregon loss.  Even though we've won almost all of our conference games under Chip Kelly, there were still conceivable ways in which Oregon could lose those games.  For Colorado, I don't see it.  I could probably envision a scenario where Paul Richardson and Rodney Stewart go bonkers and the defense plays out of their minds, but those playmakers aren't playing, and large parts of the CU defense are hurt.  Outside of an outbreak of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Oregon isn't losing. 

That said, I'm going to look at a bit of a different topic.  Its a longshot, but 2001 and 2007 were similar years that were filled with enough upsets to just make you think its possible:  Top five plausible results for Saturday that will help Oregon get back in the national championship race.*

*For example, I don't consider the idea of Tennessee going into Tuscaloosa and beating Alabama to be plausible.  I'd be being a ridiculous homer to suggest something like that.

1.  Oklahoma State loses to Missouri -- I know, Missouri sits at 3-3 and the record look very middling.  However, the three losses are all on the road, and close losses to Arizona State, Oklahoma, and Kansas State.  They have won all of their home games, and two of them by very large margins.  Missouri is a more talented team than their record would indicate, and its conceivable that their best combined with an off game by the Cowboys could knock Okie State from the ranks of the undefeated.

2.  Clemson performs a Clemsoning againt North Carolina -- Clemson has been the biggest surprise of the season, and I think we're all shocked that the haven't managed to blow a game they should win yet.  This could be that week.  UNC is 5-2, though without any real quality wins.  Its exactly the kind of game that would be so very Clemson to lose.

3.  Suspensions prove big as Auburn takes down LSU -- I know, its not likely that Auburn can go into Baton Rouge and beat LSU.  However, Tyrann Mathieu and Spencer Ware are both out of the game for drug suspensions, and its not out of the realm of possibility that the Plainsmen could pull the upset.  That would make LSU a two loss team and likely behind us in the rankings should they lose to Alabama later in the season.

4.  Wisconsin runs into an ambush in East Lansing -- Wisconsin's looked mighty impressive thus far but, other than Nebraska, its been cupcake city, and the Badgers haven't even left Madison yet this season.  Michigan State is only giving up ten points per game, and a Sparty buzzsaw could send Wisconsin dropping from the ranks of the undefeated.

5.  Stanford holds serve against Washington -- We'll need a late season marquee win to stay at the top of the one loss pack, and a road win against Andrew Luck and undefeated Stanford would provide that.  Plus, if Washington wins, everybody else loses.  Its a fact.