Last week, the preseason edition of the USA Today coaches’ poll was released, and Oregon checked in at No. 22 overall, their lowest preseason ranking in the poll since 2007.
Almost every year this decade, the Ducks have been ranked in the top five in the coaches’ poll to start the year. But this year, the Ducks barely cracked the top 25 after their Alamo Bowl collapse to TCU caused them to miss the 10 win mark for the first time since 2007.
But as history shows, the Ducks have no reason to panic. I stumbled across an article from The Big Lead that discusses why the Ducks are the most underrated team in this year’s preseason poll.
They included an interesting table at the end that shows just how little preseason rankings mean. Below is a list of every team since 1990 (not including Oregon) that finished in the top 10 every year for at least four straight years before finishing outside the top 15.
As you can see, the 2009 USC team was the only one to finish the year outside of the top 15 in the nation. I think if you spoke to any Ducks fan, finishing in the top 15 this year would be a huge win considering what people are expecting this season.