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FishDuck Article

Building Oregon In Clemson’s Image

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Mario Cristobal is building something special at Oregon. He is taking a school that sits at the physical and metaphorical fringes of the College Football world and elevating it into a football power. Now, none of this would be possible without the prominent coaches who came before him: Rich Brooks, Mike Bellotti, Chip Kelly, and Mark Helfrich. All these coaches ...

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Interesting article David. 

With all the detailed talk about Cristobal's weaknesses of coaching and games management its good to step back and once again take a look at the big picture. 

Your statement "Though there isn’t another team in the country in a better position to challenge the status quo of college football more than Oregon." is spot on. Despite the loss in the Fiesta Bowl game the recruiting remains top notch, and if the 2021 season shows a winning season along with a three-peat in the Pac-12 Championship the Ducks will once again be flying high. 

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Could not agree more, David. Not only does Oregon face many more challenges than does Clemson, it faces more than any of the other top 10 teams. We see it play out on the field, we are also "seeing" it play out in the recruiting of JTT. This extremely talented player is deciding to go to Alabama, Ohio State or Oregon. If he picks one of the first two it's status quo. If he end s up with a Duck hat on his head, it's a major shift change.

Cristobal has blunted the narrative of not being able to recruit to Oregon, landing JTT would solidify Oregon as a recruiting power, it would get Oregon closer than its ever been to having the talent level of the elite teams. Cristobal has Oregon going in the right direction, building on the foundation he landed on, and the final step up is the steepest.

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For those wanting to know more.

Top of the Hill: Dabo Swinney and Clemson's Rise to College Football Greatness

 
  1. Top of the Hill: Dabo Swinney and Clemson's Rise to College Football Greatness
 
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I'm not belittling JTT as a solidifying power of a recruit. But he is not even close to being the first in this 3 year saga that is MC. Penni Sewell a 4 star elite Offensive lineman was a Blue Chip pick up. He ends up being, most likely a top 2/3 pick in NFL draft. Kavon is the #2 recruit regardless of position. Jonathan Flowe is the #1 ILB in the nation. Noah Sewell is the #2 ILB in the nation in the same year! Top 2 ILB's come to Oregon? Absurd! Dontae Manning, #4 CB in the nation last year. Mase Funa, #4 ILB in the nation. You want to know how stunning this class is for 2021 without JTT? Just jaw dropping..... Some recruits and their pecking order in the recruiting rankings by position. TT#4, KS#6, TF#3, DT#7, KB #6, SM#3, MM#5, JL#2, BC#8, TF#10, BW#10. 

11 Kids in the Top 10 of their respective position! That's in 1 class alone! This year! I want JTT as bad as anyone, but the riches are oozing and spilling over our plate. We have a top tier defense right now but relatively quite young. JTT won't solidify our recruiting power. Its already here. But, he would turn heads. IMO, he would add incredibly to the brand that is 'The Duck'.

Edited by 1Funduck
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Thanks for your excellent article David!

Oregon and Eugene also have the attraction of drawing interest to any recruit wanting to escape the congestion of large cities.

A recruit may like Eugene's close proximity to the Pacific ocean to the west and the Cascade mountains and Eastern Oregon to the east.  Hunting and fishing is great.  Many activities to pursue in this great state in addition to football!

Edited by Smith72
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David, this article is truly in the template we strive for at FishDuck, in making us ponder.  But it is an elite one among others, (including those written by yours truly) because of the amount it makes us ponder by challenging some of the conventional thoughts about Oregon, while acknowledging others.

You are completely correct; this is much harder than Clemson, and sometimes we fans need to see things laid out as you have.  Thanks so much for the thought you give to Our Beloved Ducks, and your writing.

Ducks give thanks after overtime win at Fresno State in 1996_Video_FP.jpg

Ducks give thanks after a tough win at Fresno State in the 90s....

Mr. FishDuck

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I would like to say that for the record I think David Sweeney is a huge jerk and I think Cristobal is a far more humble and kind human being. 

They both share some interesting parallels in their careers. 

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2 hours ago, 1Funduck said:

JTT won't solidify our recruiting power. Its already here. But, he would turn heads. IMO, he would add incredibly to the brand that is 'The Duck'.

That is true. The recruiting power is here. KT, Sewell, Flowe... They did come to Oregon, along with some other great players. But now with JTT, the stage is set, it's Alabama, Ohio State or Oregon.  If JTT  says OREGON, the heads won't just turn, they'll shake.

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It's worth mentioning that though players like P Sewell, KT, N Sewell, and Flowe have all come to Oregon the ONE thing currently missing in Cristobal's pitch to the top tier linemen is proving to them they get to go to the nfl at a high draft pick.

The offensive linemen taken in the draft last year were all pretty much recruited by Helfrich and taggart .... And none have been taken terribly early in the draft. 

Sewell being drafted inside the top ten would be HUGE for Oregon recruiting. If Sewell is taken in the top three even better. 

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I think we are missing the size of the impact of Nike and Phil and Penny Knight. The invisible hand of PK is a huge draw that Slick was able to leverage, Helfrich and Frost were blind to and Cristobal is taking to a new level. 

There are plenty of remote colleges, with good coaches, and academic and athletic programs. The difference is Nike and how our facilities are put together. Cristobal uses this to bring in the elite talent.

The problem, which has been discussed ad nauseam, is the way the football program plays some of it's games. We can't lose to weak teams in a weak conference. You state Clemson has lost one conference game in 3 seasons, right there is one item that has to change, completely shift.

It also isn't just how we play some of our games. We need have scheme where we aren't predictable and go out and blow people away, like we use to. This is what Bama has become and what we need to become, again. One area I will continue to harp on is the speed factor. We need to bring in and highlight speed again in our program. 

I don't think any program is the perfect blueprint for Oregon, but the necessary steps are pretty obvious. Fortunately Cristobal is fixing many things, and is a man of integrity players love to play for.

I also love the picture Charles posted of Cristobal when he was on the sideline at Alabama cheering on his players. The guy has unique passion for his players, he also has a unusual singular way of creating compassion for his players. Cristobal is the right guys, he just has to fix the onfield issues on game days, that can be done!

82b43185-d932-4ba5-ba50-362bf5899ff1-smallScale_OregonvsOregonState01.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Haywarduck said:

I think we are missing the size of the impact of Nike and Phil and Penny Knight.

Interestingly, Washington fans never miss citing the importance of Nike, Phil and Penny. 

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I read today that Clemson is dropping track and field. Probably does not mean much in the big picture but it could with some players we have enjoyed in the past such as DAT.

Edited by Santa Rosa Duck
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In the article: "The Pac-12 is currently considered the weakest conference, which is helpful for the Ducks giving Oregon the best chance to go undefeated any given year, but Pac-12 play also comes with a slate of nine conference games which makes the potential of making it out of the season unscathed all the more difficult."

All true. BUT on the other hand I think that we can't have it both ways. We decry the fact that the PAC 12 is weak - therefore winning it does not immediately demand the greatest respect - and at the same time we decry the fact that in the PAC 12 Oregon has to play 9 conference games, which is "difficult".  If it is so "weak", why is it so "difficult"?

The answer is that the PAC 12 is not as weak as the perception. Since 2010, every single PAC 12 team has not only received votes to be in the top 25 rankings, every single PAC 12 team has actually spent time in the top 25 rankings. 

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1 hour ago, Jon Sousa said:

The answer is that the PAC 12 is not as weak as the perception. Since 2010, every single PAC 12 team has not only received votes to be in the top 25 rankings, every single PAC 12 team has actually spent time in the top 25 rankings.

GREAT research and information--thanks!

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Mr. FishDuck

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1 hour ago, Jon Sousa said:

All true. BUT on the other hand I think that we can't have it both ways. We decry the fact that the PAC 12 is weak - therefore winning it does not immediately demand the greatest respect - and at the same time we decry the fact that in the PAC 12 Oregon has to play 9 conference games, which is "difficult".  If it is so "weak", why is it so "difficult"?

A power five team... Even a bad one... Is usually better than a decent to good fcs team. So having to play a 9 conference game season does make it just a bit more difficult to run the table. 

The PAC is also pretty odd in how flat it is... More so than any other conference any team can beat anyone else on any given week. Even the basement dwellers have teeth to steal a few games. 

It is imperative that Cristobal prepares his team every week to win and he cannot afford to drop games to unranked opponents... Or ranked opponents for that matter. 

There is a reason why pac-12 after dark is so much fun... Because the conference itself is wild. If you ignore the playoff stuff and just think which conference is the most fun to watch... It's the PAC. 

That said... The conference does need to prove themselves and win more out of conference games. 2021 is going to be a big show up and show out year for the PAC. 

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31 minutes ago, David Marsh said:

A power five team... Even a bad one... Is usually better than a decent to good fcs team. So having to play a 9 conference game season does make it just a bit more difficult to run the table. 

And for any Pac-12 team to have a chance at getting to the National Playoffs, it would have to run the table. Not true for Clemson, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Georgia, etc. 

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Wow! Liked the article, and many people have already mentioned various points that occurred to me in their comments. This is what happens when you are late to the game.

So I will just add on to a few things that have already been mentioned.

My first thought dovetailed with Haywarduck. The linage of coaches is important, but the infusion of cash and attention from Uncle Phil really helped put UO on the map, back when the arms race for palatial estates for the football program was just getting started; not to mention the arms race for social media "cool factor" with uniforms and such. It's something that I tend to ignore, but it's also, I think, a reality in the 2020's. We do not have the overall cash, location and population base of a Notre Dame, Texas, or USC. Uncle Phil got us into the conversation.

My second thought is that I disagree with the idea that the PAC 12, even after recent down years, is truly thought of as the least of conferences in football. I say that most people will look at individual teams (Washington, Stanford, Utah, UCLA, Arizona State, USC, Oregon) and think of them as teams - even if they've had a few down years recently - which you would expect to field a strong team most years, and occasionally a great team. I know the trend has been downward, but I don't think it's changed that overall opinion yet.

I look at the ACC and the Big 12 - I don't see that many teams which I would put in that category.

I think - as has been mentioned many times already - the fact that we haven't had a dominant team in this era of the four-team playoff has skewed the conversation.

If you take the example of Clemson as mentioned in the article, the reason that the ACC is perhaps considered stronger comes down solely to the fact that Clemson has had great success recently. The Big 12 is only considered stronger because of Oklahoma.

In the end, I am already on record of not liking the current playoff system, and I think that 'impressions of the day' are too closely tied to it. Now that we are going to have some new conference leadership, I would not be surprised if the Pac 12 in general starts to get more respect. And hopefully UO is leading the charge.

Edited by FishIceCream
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32 minutes ago, FishIceCream said:

If you take the example of Clemson as mentioned in the article, the reason that the ACC is perhaps considered stronger comes down solely to the fact that Clemson has had great success recently. The Big 12 is only considered stronger because of Oklahoma.

Absolutely... The ACC is Clemson. Everyone else is fighting for scraps. FSU had a few good teams early in the decade with a BCD championship in 2013 but Oregon actually played a significant role in FSUs downfall in the 2014 Rose Bowl route. 

The Big-12 is Oklahoma for the most part ... Maybe Sark taking over at Texas can get that program going again but hard to say as Texas has already consumed the last two coaches tray were considered rising stars in their own right. 

Honestly... I'm in the camp that if the pac-12 can start to fix their money problems then the PAC will be back. The PAC is still leagues ahead of any group of five conference in terms of money. 

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21 minutes ago, David Marsh said:

Honestly... I'm in the camp that if the pac-12 can start to eight their money problems then the PAC will be back. The PAC is still leagues ahead of any group of five conference in terms of money. 

I agree too. I just feel like in the end, if the entire 'media conversation' comes down to four spots... and you have five big conferences, a bunch of lesser conferences, and one wild-card Notre Dame... how could anyone expect that good things would result from it?

Maybe the people getting rich off the current system haha.

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