Home / Robert Farley / Duckgistics



Dunno how I missed this:

Curious to see how Kelly handles Barner in this game. Cal has played Oregon tough in the past, but I’d be stunned to see this game in any meaningful doubt beyond the early third quarter. Barner has a legit shot at the Heisman if he gets enough touches, but it’s unclear if Kelly cares enough about that to risk his starting running back.

Incidentally, I don’t see how the Ducks don’t drop 50 on Alabama, other than the Alabama-probably-not-gonna-go-to-the-BCS-title-game problem.

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  • Fighting Words

    As a Cal alum and strong bear backer, I can say with confidence that Oregon will remain undefeated tonight.

    • Fighting Words

      I will also say that tonight’s game will probably be the last home game that Jeff Tedford coaches for Cal. He was a good coach and a good guy and it’s too bad he will probably go out in a blowout.

  • LosGatosCA

    Drop 50 on Alabama? We’ll probably never now. But Bama giving up 20 in the first quarter of the game after a bruising LSU contest is not a data point that will translate into any prediction of bowl performance by the Tide.

    Should they win out from here, I wouldn’t want to be the team that plays Bama in the non-title game.

  • Linnaeus

    I have several Cal alum friends, and am a (grad school) Oregon State alum, so I’ll be favoring the Golden Bears, but Oregon is very, very good. Don’t see an upset here.

  • LosGatosCA

    Meant to add that the only way Oregon puts 50 on Bama is if Saban gets the entire USC defense by the trade deadline.

  • Linnaeus

    And as for Alabama not going to the title game, I wouldn’t be too sure about that. They have the SEC-ism factor working for them, and if they win the SEC championship, there will be a lot of calls to put them in the national championship game.

    • mpowell

      If there is only 1 other undefeated team, nothing wrong with that. Otherwise, it won’t happen.

  • Ken

    Depends. If Oregon plays anyone with a strong defensive front 7, they’ll likely get clocked. I’m thinking 2010 Rose Bowl against Ohio State. It’s not like Oregon is going to shut anybody down.

  • The BCS computers have Notre Dame a fair amount above Oregon. If Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame all win out, it won’t take much “lie back and think of ratings” voting in the polls to push ND past Oregon.

    It’ll be a last gasp of BCS malfeasance before actual playoffs start to be instituted.

    • Anonymous

      Isn’t Oregon a plausible bet to pass K-State n the BCS rankings due to remaining strength of schedule (quality opponents remaining: Oregon has Stanford, Oregon State, and UCLA/USC in the Pac-12 championship; Kansas State has Texas)?

      Oregon seems to me to have a national following: it’s got the eye-catching jammies, the distinctive offense, and it’s been hanging around the national title game picture for several years. It’s got bandwagon followers and haters. It’s got a brand. I may be underestimating the draw of football in flyover countryreal America (or the star power of Klein), but the hell following does Kansas State have?

      I would think, presuming everyone wins out, the described cynical scenario is something the Wildcats would have to sweat at least as much as the Ducks.

      But come on … there can’t be anyone casting a ballot who doesn’t think Notre Dame will be trampled by whomever if it manages to squeeze into the title game.

      • Nah gon’ happen, as H. W. Bush would say.

        What would happen if the polls break drastically in Oregon’s favor? I did a quick estimate of how many points would shift in each poll if Alabama were ranked fourth and Oregon received all their first place votes: Oregon only gains about 4/5 of the ground they need in the final BCS percentile to overtake Kansas.

        And that’s under unrealistically favorable assumptions to Oregon; Kansas is going to get some of those votes freed up by Alabama losing.

        So Oregon jumping Kansas State depends on them making up ground in the computer models. Again assuming they get all the poll votes from Alabama losing, they need to make up about .015 against Kansas in the computer models. In order for that to happen they need to gain two points relative to Kansas. Currently Kansas is ranked 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and 3rd; Oregon is 4th, 4th, 5th and 5th. (There are six computer models but the top and bottom are dropped). In the wake of the Alabama loss, Kansas will probably gain rankings in at least a couple of those by at least a slot or two.

        So even in the scenario that Oregon dominates the polls in the wake of Alabama’s loss, Oregon will have to go from around 4th/5th to around 2nd/3rd in the computer models. Unlikely, especially considering they’re behind Florida; Florida’s not going to lost and they’re remaining schedule isn’t going to ding them.

        I’m not seeing how Oregon squeaks ahead.

  • ADM

    Incidentally, I don’t see how the Ducks don’t drop 50 on Alabama, other than the Alabama-probably-not-gonna-go-to-the-BCS-title-game problem.

    Come on. Alabama was a strong number 1. What’s probably going to happen is that Alabama might fall to 2 or 3.

    And if everyone wins out from here on out, Alabama will probably be back at #1 based on their schedule, because after this weekend the SEC will probably feature 6 of the top 12 programs, and because the BCS looooves the SEC. So you’ve got some (seriously) good teams in a favoritism loop, where losses to one another are downplayed and wins count double.

    • Linnaeus

      This. Hard to see Alabama not in the title game if they win out.

      • Jamie

        There is literally zero chance of ‘Bama making the title game if 2 of Oregon/K-State/ND stay undefeated.

        • Right–there is absolutely no way Alabama makes it unless 2 of the undefeated teams lose. No possible way.

        • Alabama’s entire ranking is based on its Michigan and LSU wins. LSU’s only wins of note: A&M and MSU. MSU wins of note=0. A&M at least looks very good on the computer. Michigan playing ND close probably props up Alabama as well. Bama’s other games of note=0. I do think the SEC is very strong, but it is propped up on the computers by very few wins of note. All wins of note are in conference outside of Bama over Michigan, and wait for it…South Carolina over a 6-4 Washington. Just very hard to tell how good they are.

          • dp

            It was LSU who beat Washington, not South Carolina (who LSU also beat), and it was a 41-3 dismantling before LSU even found its offense.

            That said, the SEC is to an extent living off its past laurels this season. That’s especially true of Alabama, whose defense does not, IMO, have the speed in the front 7 to deal with Oregon. LSU has the only defense that would have a chance of stopping them, and even then, as an LSU fan, I wouldn’t feel good about the matchup at all.

  • prufrock

    One loss Alabama isn’t rising above zero loss Notre Dame zero loss Oregon, or even zero loss Kansas State. Even they won’t be able to overcome losing at home to a good, but not great Aggie team.

    This isn’t like previous years where they get the benefit of the doubt because there are no undefeated teams from other power conferences. I’m thinking there is nobody in the Pac-10 left to stop Oregon, and I think either K-State or ND slip through the rest of the schedule unblemished.

    • Linnaeus

      It’s possible I’m overestimating the pollsters’ love for the SEC. But given how much that conference is represented in the top 25, I wouldn’t be surprised if a one-loss Alabama is put into the national championship game.

    • ADM

      As Atrios likes to say: Happy to be wrong about this, but I just can’t imagine a scenario where a 1-loss (and therefore SEC champion) Alabama’s left out of the BCS championship. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Alabama remains number 1.

      In the end, Alabama’s looked great every week except one in a tough conference, while everyone else has looked good-to-pretty-good against conferences full of 3-loss teams.

      • They are a step or two away from having two losses.

      • Jamie

        You guys are a little paranoid. Alabama will definitely be below the three undefeateds tomorrow.

        Deep breaths, guys.

        • ADM

          You know the BCS is just a bunch of coaches and pundits and sportswriters voting on their preferred intangibles, right?

          Alabama’s #1 because a bunch of sports-pundits think its #1. So what do you think is more likely, that all those BCS voters decide they’re wrong about Alabama and maybe the SEC in general, or that Texas A&M’s win over Alabama just proves how strong those SEC teams are from top to bottom?

          • Jamie

            I just wish I could wager on this.

            • ADM

              “this” – ?

              • Anonymous

                That a 1-loss Alabama would be ranked ahead of 0-loss Oregon, ND or K-state. I’d love to be able to make easy money on it as well.

                The pollsters have made their position on this abundantly clear over time. If you are ND or a major conference team with 0 losses you are always ranked ahead of 1 loss teams at the end of the regular season. It used to be fairly explicit in the formula, though they took that part out. The voters are reliable on this point, however.

              • Jamie
      • We need some Nate Silver-esque analysis of college football here. This will not happen.

        • ADM

          Problem is, the BCS is a Nate Silver-esque analysis of college football. Except instead of averaging the polls of an eventual head-to-head match-up determined by likely voters, the BCS is an average of polls of voters using all kinds of criteria to annoint a champion, because there is no playoff in college football.

          • Sagarin and other computer guys already do this. However, for the BCS the computers are hamstrung and not allowed to consider margin of victory. Anyhow, Sagarin likes the Big 12 on overall strength just a tiny bit more than the SEC. Look at the Predictor (the ones not neutered by BCS rules). K State is 2 there, so will probably not fall below Alabama no matter what, but OU and other Big 12 teams might need to win as much as possible to help K State. ND beating USC would keep them ahead of Bama I presume, though the computers don’t like ND as much, but OU and Stanford winning out (obviously directly hurting Oregon) would help ND. Also, ND beating USC would hurt Oregon.

      • Jordan

        wrong. KState and Oregon have/will-have both played tougher schedules than Alabama has.

        • ADM

          Hmm… Alabama has wins over LSU, Miss. St., and if they win out, a win over Georgia. If Oregon wins out, it”l have wins over Oregon St., Stanford, and USC. All of which would be 9-3. Plus a win over probable Pac-12 South UCLA for the Pac-12 championship. I’m not sure why you’re claiming Oregon’s bottom-25-filled schedule is more difficult than Alabama’s top-25-top-heavy schedule.

          K ST.’s schedule is actually pretty awesome.

          That said, I’m sure the BCS commission will determine which teams remaining from the Big-12, Pac-12, and SEC are most worthy according to the merits of playing in Miami for this season’s championship.

    • Pestilence

      to a good, but not great Aggie team.

      you’re frigging joking, right?

      • I have watched every A&M game this year and they could be undefeated or they could have 5 losses, but in all their close games they have been the team that left more points on the board. A&M can probably play with anyone, but the SEC being less explosive on offense flatters the SEC all around. But, A&M is the one team from the SEC that if you put them back in the Big 12 or the Pac 12 would see their scoring go up even, but the defense would look less good (think track meet games a la Baylor, WVU, Arizona. A&M is better than all of those teams. I have no idea what they would look like against Oregon. With Oregon’s explosiveness being somewhat tamed in the same way A&M’s offense doesn’t go for 50 against the top SEC teams, I would say that it would be a very good game.

      • prufrock

        I know this is late and unlikely to be noticed at this point, but I’ll respond anyway. I am not frigging joking. Texas A&M is 8-2. Their two losses came against teams that are better than they are. They have beaten everyone else that they should have, albeit with a couple of close calls. That is just about the perfect, Platonic ideal of a good but not great team.

        If they were Plato’s chair form, they’d be a fucking Barca Lounger.

  • Decrease Mather

    I’m with Prufrock. Louisville was probably jump-able even if unbeaten, but they’re done for.

  • The Ducks don’t look like they’re going to score 50 on Cal. Why would they do it to Alabama?

    • Jamie

      You were saying?

    • Robert Farley


    • No doubt you meant to say 60. And hey, you were right by a point.

      • Meanwhile, Oregon just set the NCAA record for most consecutive games scoring 40.

      • From the first half, which is all I watched, because I can’t stand either of those teams, one could easily think as I did.

        Of course, I did not say “THE DUCKS WON’T SCORE 50 POINTS”, now, did it?

        • Jordan

          you said they don’t look like they will score 50. And, it looks like, they did.

          One could easily think as you did … if you were the type of person who doesn’t watch football games to the end.

          • Gloat all you want. I was wrong. I’m sure you have a perfect record in such things.

            For the record, I did not go to a Pac 12 school. In fact, the school I went to hasn’t had a football team in 20 years.

            • Not to pile on, but isn’t Oregon’s shtick to wear teams out and win the last part of the 3rd and all the 4th by big margins. That’s the theory at least as far as I can tell. What so the data show?

              • Robert Farley

                This year, the Ducks have run out to huge first half margins, then played scrubs in the second half (ASU, Colorado, Washington, Fresno State, Arkansas State) more often that they’ve run teams into the ground (Arizona, Washington State, Cal).

  • What DO the data show?

  • rea

    Duck Dynasty . . .

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