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What If It All Goes Right?

Oregon starts the 2014 season ranked No. 3 in the country. What if everything this season goes right?

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

I'm still shaking.

I've been so conditioned by this point. Field goals--especially critical field goals--don't go in. And yet, I swear I saw it. I saw Matt Wogan split the uprights and finally deliver us that elusive national title. I have to be dreaming, and I don't want to wake up.

We knew the season had the potential to be special after the Michigan State game. We expected Oregon to win. We didn't expect to see Jeff Lockie in the third quarter, Marcus Mariota smiling on the sideline after throwing his fifth touchdown pass of the game.

We kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but the blowouts kept coming. Washington State. Arizona. A top ten matchup at UCLA was over by halftime. Washington was turned away, the streak to continue past 4,300 days.

Stanford was their formidable self. The defense, like Cardinal defenses of yore, spent much of the game bottling Thomas Tyner and Byron Marshall. But the difference was a healthy Mariota, leading two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, including the iconic 85-yard touchdown run that would lock up his Heisman Trophy.

And there were a ton of memorable moments this season. Johnathan Loyd's punt return to break open the malaise of the Utah game. Ifo's three interceptions against Washington. Tyner and Marshall both rushing for over 200 yards against Colorado. Mariota in PlayStation mode against Oklahoma in the first round of the playoffs.

It was also a season of vindication for the coaching staff. Congrats to Scott Frost, who proved what he can do with a healthy Mariota, and best of luck to him at Nebraska last season. With the top ranked defense in the conference, Don Pellum will be the defensive coordinator for a long, long time.

But the there are four images in my head above all right now. The first is how pretty that trophy is going to look in the football complex. The second is knowing that the next time I go to Eugene, "2014 National Champions" will be painted under the Oregon logo on the back of the scoreboard. The third, Nick Saban, head down, walking off the field in defeat. And of course, the uprights. The ball sailing beautifully through the uprights.

We spend a disproportionate amound of our time and energy following a game over which we have no control. Some say that time and energy is irrational. Not tonight. This is that moment. The one we have waited a lifetime for.