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Cristobal Has Spoiled Fans By Winning the Off-Season

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Mario Cristobal will be Oregon’s head coach in 2022. The only way this doesn’t happen is if he opts to leave for another program, which is highly unlikely. Fans are conflicted in how they feel about Cristobal because he is an amazing off-season coach, routinely “winning” the off-season in terms of recruiting and hiring. With each of these off-season wins ...

 

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Interestingly Oregon fans were spoiled by the stability and growth of the Oregon Football Program over the decades culminating in Chip Kelly taking over that program and lifting it too new heights. Also interestingly Chip Kelly was spoiled by the Oregon Football Program and has struggled to replicate what was that program.

 

I think the main item the Oregon Football Fans and Chip Kelly need to realize is how lucky we were. The program was destroyed, and the decades of building processes and procedures, when Chip Kelly left. Chip Kelly, and his self assured personality has had trouble replicating what was the Oregon Football Program because he just thinks it was him. The question with Chip is can he reflect on the strengths of the program and try to replicate what he needs, so far not so much.

 

With the Oregon Football Program can the fans appreciate what it took to put together the finely tuned machine which was the Oregon Football Program. The coaches were there for decades, not a year, and it was easy to have a freshman learn from a senior. A new assistant could assimilate into the program, he didn't have to build within the chaos of multiple assistants trying to put their systems in place.

 

I question whether either Chip or the Oregon Fans have what it takes to really get to where they both want to be. I give the Oregon Fans a better chance, but seeing how impatient we are at 5-1, I wonder. None of us has been an active part of building what was, we saw it, but it wasn't us in there day in and day out.  Chip and the Oregon Fans have both benefited from it, but which one can help let it happen?  Tomorrow will be just another step in seeing which is closest to reaching that quest.

 

 

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David, nice article to remind us of how we arrived at this moment.  Haywarduck, that is another killer post you wrote--a ton of wisdom within it.

 

But I disagree on something you both wrote and is a running narrative out there; Oregon fans are unhappy with 5-1, and the implication is that "this just materialized and it is puzzling how Oregon fans can be so fickle after losing just one game."

 

No, this has been building up over the last three years and only now has achieved critical mass among enough fans. Most fans,....and I would imagine both of you wrote going into this season that, "Cristobal needs to give full control of the offense to Moorhead, and be a CEO."  

 

Now everyone sees that it has not happened, coupled with starting Brown against Cal after he had a couple of poor games culminating with a loss at Stanford....the fans want to see progress--and are not.

 

We are not unhappy with 5-1, but the way we arrived at 5-1 and the implications going forward from what we have seen.  Again....this is a fan base that is not always given the credit for being as intelligent as we are.  We have been giving Cristobal credit for the great things he has accomplished, while most fans have not articulated their growing concerns until recently.

 

It looks like it is sudden and shallow, but it is not IMHO.

 

Disappointed fans_College Gameday Twitter.jpg

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Mr. FishDuck

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People have tasted filet and are no longer satisfied with ground chuck. 
 

The cupboards were bare, we got tagged by another’s greed, and have a former o lineman assistant head coach who like his young team is also still learning his craft. This program is still two season from being a MC team. 

 

 Duck fans are spoiled. Not only because we’ve seen what great offense can be, but because of the riches in facilities and yes the repeat winning of the offseason, which, if it continues should start to produce more consistently with more snaps. 
 

The team is 5-1, in the drivers seat and getting healthier and more experienced weekly. Great test this weekend. 

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I don't think fans are unhappy with 5-1. And I don't think we are spoiled. I think fans are at a loss to explain how the team can look so poorly at times while being hammered with the message "Mario is a great, five star recruiter!!" The more we hear about recruits, (3+ seasons), the more we expect to actually see something on the field. Now we're hearing about the new, monstrous practice facility and you know that will be the hot topic on GameDay. Oh, and did you hear Mario can recruit? 😉 But, where is the substance to go with the 5-1 record? 

 

We're seeing the results of a long time coaching staff and system being dumped for something new and shiny. Taggert was shiny, alright, but didn't have the coaching chops, in my view, and he obviously wasn't committed to any long to vision in Eugene. I'm not sure why Mario was promoted to HC except for the many comments of "oh the players love him". Well, that doesn't guarantee anything. But, did you hear he can recruit?! 😁

 

I don't think Mario thinks anything is broken. If he wants to do himself a favor and not end up in a love-hate relationship with his fan base, he could pull his message together and start to educate/coach the fans on his vision beyond offensive line play. What IS his system?  Not easy to describe so far and not obvious to the fans at games. 

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Signing Days are Christmas Day and then the toys don't work? 

 

Proper assembly is not attained. 

 

The children cry and ask, "Why?'

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On 10/22/2021 at 7:26 AM, Haywarduck said:

With the Oregon Football Program can the fans appreciate what it took to put together the finely tuned machine which was the Oregon Football Program. The coaches were there for decades, not a year, and it was easy to have a freshman learn from a senior. A new assistant could assimilate into the program, he didn't have to build within the chaos of multiple assistants trying to put their systems in place.

Building continuity is incredibly difficult and for the vast majority of programs critical. The one program and the one man that are the exception is Nick Saban and Alabama but he is the exception to basically everything in terms of college football. 

 

There is a foundation that is being built... I'll leave it to others to determine whether or not that is a solid foundation but Big Joe and Mirabal both received contract extensions last year and would appear to be two of the pillars that Cristobal is wanting to build the program around. I think DeRuyter will become a stable long-term guy in the program as well. 

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I agree, as usual, with Mr. FishDuck. I was at the Redbox Bowl where we won 7-6 and watched Justin's abilities being squashed (biased Sheldon & Oregon alum here). I blamed the offensive coordinator but it's evident at this point that the ire I felt was misplaced, at least partially. Until this year I was very much Cristoballin' quite optimistically, looking forward to building upon our strengths while bringing in the big bodies we were missing and possibly needed to finally win Uncle Phil a Natty.
 

     Now in the midst of the 4th season I clearly see he's removed the high flying Oregon offense we're famous for and for some reason retooled it into Miami c. 1991. Imho football has evolved quite a bit since then, & we are best to get with the times (also, the fantastic receiver talent being wasted after the drought years with Herb is killin' me!). Thank goodness the Pistol seems to have gone away but hey while I'm here I'll whine about never practicing QB sneaks from under center too lol. 

 

     I'll admit if I'm wrong when we keep winning & capture a Natty with this system, in the meantime I'm bored watching predictable run-up-the-middle "smash mouth" football. 

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On 10/22/2021 at 10:44 AM, Charles Fischer said:

David, nice article to remind us of how we arrived at this moment.  Haywarduck, that is another killer post you wrote--a ton of wisdom within it.

 

But I disagree on something you both wrote and is a running narrative out there; Oregon fans are unhappy with 5-1, and the implication is that "this just materialized and it is puzzling how Oregon fans can be so fickle after losing just one game."

 

No, this has been building up over the last three years and only now has achieved critical mass among enough fans. Most fans,....and I would imagine both of you wrote going into this season that, "Cristobal needs to give full control of the offense to Moorhead, and be a CEO."  

 

Now everyone sees that it has not happened, coupled with starting Brown against Cal after he had a couple of poor games culminating with a loss at Stanford....the fans want to see progress--and are not.

 

We are not unhappy with 5-1, but the way we arrived at 5-1 and the implications going forward from what we have seen.  Again....this is a fan base that is not always given the credit for being as intelligent as we are.  We have been giving Cristobal credit for the great things he has accomplished, while most fans have not articulated their growing concerns until recently.

 

It looks like it is sudden and shallow, but it is not IMHO.

 

Disappointed fans_College Gameday Twitter.jpg

 

As David notes in his excellent article we see the same stuff out of Cristobal game after game. The team is rarely shows up ready to play. The in-game coaching doesn't improve. The same system is run on O with little or no change. And of course when you recruit well and the team is not playing well fans are going to question what appear to be puzzling decisions regarding the personnel on the field.

 

I don't see Chip Kelly within a million miles of THIS. The fans weren't 'spoiled' by Kelly. Kelly had Oregon playing at a level the investment in facilities warranted. He allowed his DC to run the D. He had a staff of outstanding assistant coaches. Why should Oregon fans accept less, especially in this conference, then titles every season and trips to the playoff?

 

Mario's product on the field represents perfectly the manner in which Mario wants to play football. If the fans don't like it, too bad. If the roster rarely plays up to its talent well, a W is a W.

 

A guy he coached for was winning championships. Saban saw that the system-as-was would not win additional championships and changed. After Oregon defeated Ohio State Ryan Day demoted his DC, changed the system on D and made significant changes in the starting personnel. Oklahoma was being run off the field by Texas and  Lincoln Riley pulled his putative Heisman winner, put in a true frosh at QB and won the game. THIS is what is called, Coaching.

 

Oregon's last 3 opponents were Arizona, at Stanford and CAL. Ole Miss' last 3 opponents were at Alabama, Arkansas and at Tennessee. It's minor league ball versus the Majors and the Ducks can't close out a game before the bottom of the ninth.

 

I have zero patience left for Mario, ZERO. Bringing talent into any organization is meaningless if there is inadequate leadership at the top.

 

Yet, because I an a Ducks fan and I do respect Mario as a human being I want him to go 12-1, make the final 4 and show up in the semifinal playoff game.

 

However, with its roster advantage, if Oregon does not win the conference in 2021, Mario should be on the hot seat. And if the Ducks do not win the conference in 2022 he should be gone. This would be what would happen in the SEC.

 

Of course Mario is more locked into his job after he went 4-3 and the AD rewarded him with a big raise accompanied by a $9M buy out. 

 

For those who believe Mario to be a hot coaching commodity. That was once the case. Now?

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On 10/22/2021 at 11:14 AM, Vandownbytheriverduck said:

People have tasted filet and are no longer satisfied with ground chuck. 
 

The cupboards were bare, we got tagged by another’s greed, and have a former o lineman assistant head coach who like his young team is also still learning his craft. This program is still two season from being a MC team. 

 

 Duck fans are spoiled. Not only because we’ve seen what great offense can be, but because of the riches in facilities and yes the repeat winning of the offseason, which, if it continues should start to produce more consistently with more snaps. 
 

The team is 5-1, in the drivers seat and getting healthier and more experienced weekly. Great test this weekend. 

 

What a great comment. But I don't get this 'learning his craft' take when it comes to Mario? Mario has been a HC for well over 70 football games. Marion studied under the maestro of CFB coaching. He is not going to change his coaching methodology. He is not going to change from playing O in a phone booth. He is not all of a sudden going to coach up talented recruits.

 

But 5-1 speaks for itself. If he wins the conference as he should with this roster and shows up for the bowl game, who cares what I think?

 

 

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On 10/22/2021 at 7:44 AM, Charles Fischer said:

David, nice article to remind us of how we arrived at this moment.  Haywarduck, that is another killer post you wrote--a ton of wisdom within it.

 

But I disagree on something you both wrote and is a running narrative out there; Oregon fans are unhappy with 5-1, and the implication is that "this just materialized and it is puzzling how Oregon fans can be so fickle after losing just one game."

 

No, this has been building up over the last three years and only now has achieved critical mass among enough fans. Most fans,....and I would imagine both of you wrote going into this season that, "Cristobal needs to give full control of the offense to Moorhead, and be a CEO."  

 

Now everyone sees that it has not happened, coupled with starting Brown against Cal after he had a couple of poor games culminating with a loss at Stanford....the fans want to see progress--and are not.

 

We are not unhappy with 5-1, but the way we arrived at 5-1 and the implications going forward from what we have seen.  Again....this is a fan base that is not always given the credit for being as intelligent as we are.  We have been giving Cristobal credit for the great things he has accomplished, while most fans have not articulated their growing concerns until recently.

 

It looks like it is sudden and shallow, but it is not IMHO.

 

Disappointed fans_College Gameday Twitter.jpg

I think that is kind of it right. For the CFP, and for Oregon fans and all of College Football, by 5 games in Oregon should be moving forward. Even after the loss and two weeks to prepare they should have made giant leaps forward and they did not. It isn't the issue of being 5-1, we lost to a team that we should not have and at that time in the season Oregon should have been moving the ball at will.

 

This is about progress, and after 6 games, the same problems keep occurring, the same mistakes, the same issues. It is more about the progress, and it is why Oregon keeps falling in the polls. Not because they are not a good team, they beat Cal but fell because they are not making progress. Meanwhile Ohio State which Oregon beat, has fixed their problems and become better. Oregon has not. 

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On 10/22/2021 at 7:44 AM, Charles Fischer said:

We are not unhappy with 5-1, but the way we arrived at 5-1 and the implications going forward from what we have seen.

Exactly! To confuse this concept with the idea that fans are spoiled is actually rather insulting (even if it's not meant to be). Please give us more credit than that. 

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I agree the canary in the coal mine is making noise, and justly so. The points made by many, myself included at times, are valid and worth noting. I do think there are three items which are affecting our thinking this season we should be more cognizant of then I think many are.

 

Number one is recruiting has spoiled our expectations. We are somewhat like the programs who are preseason favorites. Too many fans think we have, or should win the league and national title before the season even begins. Injuries happen, young student athletes aren't always ready, and the young players make mistakes, along with stupid decisions, penalties.

 

The second item, which I think may be most important is winning at the shoe affected both the fans and players negatively. The best case scenario was we lost at the shoe. The players would have realized they need to work hard to become a top ten team. The fans would have benefited by realizing this is a young team, with injuries we still need to be patient with. Instead we have players and fans not grounded in what it is going to take to be that team, 'we already are.'

 

Lastly is the point I made earlier. It takes many programs years to build a powerhouse, our program took decades. Comparing our program to Alabama, Clemson or Miami isn't fair. Saban had a Heisman Trophy winner his third season, we haven't recruited a heisman winner, nor a RB who can play in the NFL for 10 seasons. Can we  do it the Clemson way, Alabama way, nope, it is going to be the Oregon way, under Cristobal.

 

I agree there are many indicators Cristobal may not have the chops to guide this program to a National Title. I have no problem discussing and highlighting those weaknesses, all coaches and individuals have them.  I will say there are many things we aren't considering as much as we should, while being cognizant of the canary chirping in the background.

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On 10/22/2021 at 9:13 AM, OregonRich said:

Exactly! To confuse this concept with the idea that fans are spoiled is actually rather insulting (even if it's not meant to be). Please give us more credit than that. 

If we were 5-1 with a loss at the shoe would we be happier? I would argue many fans would be and the players would be more grounded in the effort, intensity needed to beat tosu next time. Just some food for thought.

 

One can call it spoiled, I would just call it a bit corrupted by the many moving parts of the program and season. I can also agree to disagree, but hopefully not have to admit I was wrong down the road, but that is why we keep sharing on what is know as OBD.

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Cristobal does such a great job in the off-season that fans do get super hyped for the season and really do expect a dominant team. 

 

I think MC has at least two more years with the program before Mullen's even considers a change at the head coaching position. The bulk of this team needs some time to mature... I'm looking at the quarterbacks in particular here. 

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On 10/22/2021 at 12:41 PM, Haywarduck said:

If we were 5-1 with a loss at the shoe would we be happier? I would argue many fans would be and the players would be more grounded in the effort, intensity needed to beat tosu next time. Just some food for thought.

 

One can call it spoiled, I would just call it a bit corrupted by the many moving parts of the program and season. I can also agree to disagree, but hopefully not have to admit I was wrong down the road, but that is why we keep sharing on what is know as OBD.

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A few thoughts, not mine, on this excellent take of yours.

 

"Set the highest example. Remember, no one ever did anything absolutely right. Perfection is impossible, but striving for perfection is not." Dick Couch - The Warrior Elite.

 

"Only those who will RISK going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." TS Eliot

 

My thought - I don't see how losing to the best opponent on the schedule could possibly be a good thing? If the Ducks was 5-1 with a loss at Ohio State, Oregon is not ranked in the top 10. 

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If the Ducks were scoring 40+ pts a game and winning by 14 pts but still lost to Stanford I doubt fans would be complaining much. 

 

Problem is they look anemic when winning. Style of play is boring. Some concerns about whether MC has a grip on game management, like

 

when he calls a TO after a commercial break. 

 

The difference between CK's teams and MC's teams are that with CK you were surprised if they lost. With MC you have know idea if they'll

 

win or lose. Only when the Ducks made it to a big bowl game or BCS game did the thought of losing become concerning. 

 

Fans have been spoiled. MM, Herbert, CK, NA, two playoff games, Game Day regulars, etc. 

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On 10/22/2021 at 9:58 AM, GODUCKS15 said:

Fans have been spoiled.

 

Some say the fans are spoiled, while others would say that this is a savvy fan base that has watched great football over a decade before Cristobal.  To compare is not being spoiled, but is being observant and applying the standards of excellence that Oregon represented in the past, and that Cristobal himself has articulated as his goal. 

 

The problem is that the fans do not see movement, the progress toward those goals.  Which again gets back to being observant, not spoiled.  We are not idiots, and many would implicate.

 

The fans here, are not the problem.

 

Fans at 2015 Natty_John Giustina.jpg

                                             We pay the bills...

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On 10/22/2021 at 9:41 AM, Haywarduck said:

If we were 5-1 with a loss at the shoe would we be happier? 

 

 

First, let me say that while I may not agree with your comments all the time, I certainly enjoy reading them. 

 

As for the question, and speaking for myself, no. I wouldn't be happier. Not if everything else remained the same. It goes back to what Charles said, it's "the way we arrived at 5-1."  And all that implies for the future.

 

 

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On 10/22/2021 at 9:55 AM, Jon Joseph said:

 

 

My thought - I don't see how losing to the best opponent on the schedule could possibly be a good thing? If the Ducks was 5-1 with a loss at Ohio State, Oregon is not ranked in the top 10. 

I am so glad you made that statement with a question mark. I think losing, failure is actually the greatest teacher. Losing greatly gives one the opportunity to learn much.

 

You might be right, the loss to Stanford seems to be the lesson we need to learn. We can't keep losing to lesser talent.

 

This team seems to think it already should beat the tosu's, it just needs to realize what it takes to beat those you should beat.

 

 “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” - Henry Ford 

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On 10/22/2021 at 10:19 AM, Charles Fischer said:

 

Some say the fans are spoiled, while others would say that this is a savvy fan base that has watched great football over a decade before Cristobal.  To compare is not being spoiled, but is being observant and applying the standards of excellence that Oregon represented in the past, and that Cristobal himself has articulated as his goal. 

 

The problem is that the fans do not see movement, the progress toward those goals.  Which again gets back to being observant, not spoiled.  We are not idiots, and many would implicate.

 

The fans here, are not the problem.

 

Fans at 2015 Natty_John Giustina.jpg

                                             We pay the bills...

I don't think the fans are spoiled, idiots, or the problem, but how they see things may be. I agree they are being observant, but you can also be observant and appreciative, empathetic of the process of these young men and the coaches are working through.

 

We can also be observant and pissed as we seemingly know exactly what could, should and would happen if things were different. I say this in all honesty because I am working on being more empathetic, understanding, and just curious, and it is helping me greatly on my health and welfare.

 

I can also say I can be the displeased fan with the best of them, I just try to choose not to be, it is much more enjoyable.

 

 

5rg4fs.jpg

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Losing is the great teacher because it’s painful and you’ll do whatever it takes to avoid it. Winning, on the other hand, teaches you only one thing:  you like it.  Addictive behavior cycles are like that. Hopefully, most long time Duck fans have had that watershed moment where they’ve had the chance to glimpse the bigger picture.  Mine came at the 2005 Holiday Bowl loss to the Sooners where the ‘what ifs’ were eating me alive.  

 

A couple of gristled, longtime Oklahoma fans (dating  back to the Bud Wilkinson era) sitting next to me kind of took me under their wing, and gently brought me up to speed on how long this journey was going to take. While it didn’t remove the pain, their perspective lessened it.

     

No, Mario is no more the perfect a coach than Chip. One seems more interested in recruiting while the other seems more interested in coaching. Put the two together and you have what, a Nick Saban? How often does that happen?  Wishful thinking is always a good indicator for me to reapply my hard earned perspective on this journey of being a Duck. 

     

When I look at Mario, I see the biggest experimental shift in football culture the Ducks have ever undertaken. Aside from Willy the weasel, he is the only Oregon head coach without west coast roots dating back to Len Casanova (l cancel out Chip because of his hand-in-glove fit for the west coast style). For better or worse, we’ve embraced a style of football we’re little acquaintance with. It’s difficult  to quantify — this coastal difference in football philosophies — but we all know it’s there, and our west coast sensibilities are taking a beating. That can happens when you’re in the midst of an experiment. 

     

The advice? Hold onto your hard earned perspective, ignore the addictive behavior cycles, and let it run it’s course. Who knows what the next game may bring?

 

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Some great comments... 

 

I do think that fans have very high expectations. I even addressed some of these in an open letter at the end of last season. We really want to see an offensive juggernaut. Instead we have something pretty anemic and it is difficult to watch. 

 

Though so much of my emphasis is how well Cristobal navigates the off-season. He is an incredible off season head coach. He brings in great hires (at least on paper) and has brought in some of the most star power we have ever seen. On other forum boards I have also read how they want certain coaches gone so they can be replaced with better recruiters. There is certainly a portion of the fan base that is more interested and obsessed with recruiting than the product on the field. 

 

We do live in the off season far more than we live in the season. We just want to see more production on the field. We will just have to keep waiting at this point. 

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On 10/22/2021 at 9:07 AM, Jon Joseph said:

But I don't get this 'learning his craft' take when it comes to Mario? Mario has been a HC for well over 70 football games. Marion studied under the maestro of CFB coaching.

I totally get it.
 

I guess I see Mario as an offensive lineman whose first shot at head coaching was rough, then as you said gained valuable experience from Alabama and has proven himself a superior recruiter but is still developing albeit a bit late as an in game coach and offensive mind. 

When JM went down MC wasn’t the next best play calling option. 🤔


Perhaps he’s reached his developmental ceiling but I sure hope not. 

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I'll just say that all 5-1"s are not equal. If Orgon had lost at theOSU. and won all the others, they would not be No, 10. Back in the real world, Oregon didn't destroy Stony Brook, lost to Stanford, and "gutted" out win over Cal, and entertained the Stanforders watching us struggle with winless Arizona.

 

But even now we're seeing stories of more 4 & 5 stars committing to Oregon.

 

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On 10/22/2021 at 1:51 PM, Haywarduck said:

I am so glad you made that statement with a question mark. I think losing, failure is actually the greatest teacher. Losing greatly gives one the opportunity to learn much.

 

You might be right, the loss to Stanford seems to be the lesson we need to learn. We can't keep losing to lesser talent.

 

This team seems to think it already should beat the tosu's, it just needs to realize what it takes to beat those you should beat.

 

 “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” - Henry Ford 

 

Which begs the issue. Where is the learning from the mistakes? Is doing he same thing over and over again 'learning?'

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On 10/22/2021 at 10:19 AM, Charles Fischer said:

Some say the fans are spoiled

I think the fans ARE spoiled.

 

Not spoiled rotten like they are ungrateful but once there was a time when any bowl would have been welcomed, the Rose Bowl a pinnacle.
 

Expectations have changed permanently based on results obtained through a different previous mindset. 


Now it’s natty or bust it seems. 
 

I am disappointed too. But at 5-1 and controlling ones destiny i can admit I am spoiled by previous success and my expectations have adjusted unnaturally as a result. 
 


 

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In the end it will be the programs which finish out strong who make the playoffs and play in the big bowl games. Even if we make the playoffs or a big bowl game this team needs to finish strong to have a monumental season we all want.

 

I love, as much as any fan, that we finally beat tosu. I just don't like how we have played since that win. I suppose I draw a conclusion few fans do, but I dream of the same outcome we all do.

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Jus think of this as well... Oregon is basically the ONLY non-blue blood team to even reach the national championship in the last decade. 

 

The trajectory of Oregon i such that we are competing against some of the best teams out there but don't have the pedigree they do and we still don't. 

 

That is very unique in college football but the fan base on the whole feels entitled to being in the national championship conversation even if we haven't won it yet. Which is again.... Very odd. 

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