I love you, dear readers. Without you, I would...well I'd still be writing these once a week, because I'm a narcissist. That's not the point. The point is, I love you, and I love what you bring to this blog.
Having said that, you're stark raving mad with terrible ideas, and I'm sick to death of your voice and the things it articulates.
Oregon's start to the season has been intensely polarizing, with maybe the season's best win, one of the shakiest wins by a top 10 team, and a couple of blowouts that weren't blowout-y enough for some people. This team is one of the best in the country, and the naysayers are still abundant. The worst part? We're beginning to recycle some of the those nays, and say them over and over again until we all want to bash our heads in with a Pacific Northwest salmon. So, once and for all, I'm retiring these opinions, and forcing you all to find some more creative nits to pick.
Oregon's Defense is Bad
Bad is a poor choice of words. Oregon's defense is currently underachieving. They have been extraordinary at times, good at others, and maddeningly boring on occasion as well. But has it been an unmitigated disaster? Absolutely not. In fact, it's been pretty decent. The points by South Dakota and Wyoming are decidedly whatever; the difference between allowing 6 points and allowing 14 points is just a matter of a couple plays in the red zone, and in games where the offense puts up a combined 110 points, it could not matter less. The defense was extraordinary against Michigan State when it needed to be. And Washington State does passing offense really, really well. And on a night where Conner Halliday did all the good Conner Halliday things, and very few of the bad, forcing a key fumble and keeping 5/9 WSU drives into Oregon territory out of the endzone isn't the worst performance they could have put up. But Tako, you'll shout, a defense who can be described as "not the worst" isn't a defense that can win a national championship! Well, let's talk about it.
Oregon Isn't Good Enough to Win a National Championship
In many college football years, there are one or two dominant teams that are far and away the national championship favorites; USC in 2005, Ohio State in 2006, and Alabama in 2012 spring to mind.
This is not one of those years.
This is a barren wasteland, devoid of dominance, where almost every team has shown flaws, and the ones that don't are... well, it's just Baylor, and their best opponent so far is either SMU or Buffalo. So, it's safe to say that every team has flaws, nobody is good, and we're probably destined for an Arizona-Duke-Mississippi State-TCU playoff. Sound ridiculous? So does the idea that Marcus Mariota's Ducks couldn't possibly get through an increasingly-underwhelming Pac-12 schedule unscathed. So stop it.
Washington State Can't Complain about the Missed Pass Interference, Because They Got Away with a Bunch of Pick Plays
Nope nope nope. Wazzu got hosed, plain and simple. Did Washington State run some "pick plays" that led to touchdowns? Yes. But you know who else runs "pick plays" every single game, with great success? Oregon. Crossing routes that cause confusion, mayhem, and wide open touchdowns is what we do at least a half dozen times a game. Both Keanon Lowe TDs, including the game winner, came on some sort of crossing pattern. Did we go so far, or did the defense press the receivers enough, to cause people to run all the way into each other? No. But it's the same general concept of chaos. Wazzu got hosed, plain and simple.
Also, if you watch that River Cracraft TD again, Erick Dargan completely lets Cracraft go, thinking it's zone, and thus was five yards away from Cracraft when he was picked because he wasn't actually playing any defense against anybody at that moment. He then bounces off the pick and runs smack into Troy Hill, who is running with Isiah Myers because he thinks it's man coverage, or is just not seeing a man named River as a threat to do anything but take peyote and live for eighteen months in an oak tree that no one is trying to cut down. Dargan knocks both he and Hill over, leaving a confused and sad Christian French to cover two men, and together they stare at Cracraft in the endzone from a prone position. If you want to be mad at something on that play, be mad at that. Don't be mad at a pick that had no bearing on the result of the play, because pick plays are only effective against good defense.
Mark Helfrich Isn't a Good Head Coach
With Chip Kelly at the helm, we sat in the lap of luxury; all our needs for blowouts and touchdowns were met, and we never needed to worry about third-world things like scratched helmets and losing to Syracuse. Then Chip Kelly divorced us; our lawyers got us the facilities, the uniforms, and the offense. But we needed ourselves a new sugar daddy, and we found it in Mark Helfich. Younger, thinner, more hair: all we could ask for in a rebound boo. He still brings us excitement; we get to wear fancy outfits, do exciting things, and get attention from the press. But he's not quite the same as Chip. We drive a Mercedes-Benz instead of a Ferrari; we vacation to San Antonio, instead of Pasadena; and occasionally we'll do "commoner" things like eat at Arby's, take the bus, or be tied with Washington State in the 4th quarter. It isn't that Mark Helfrich is a bad football coach; it's that we as fans have to adjust to a different standard of living.
Got any other tired arguments that need to be put to rest? Leave them in the comments.