Ducks get love from SI Crystal Ball, but Stanford (?) still trendy pick for natty

sabanNational writers are inexplicably mesmerized by The Tree.

Scan the preseason magazines and college football websites, and everywhere there is inordinate love for the hyped-up throwbacks to the Woody Hayes era of the sport, the Stanford Cardinal, who lost two games last year and return a team bereft of offensive stars, relying heavily on a good but not great defense.

Somehow the writers of Sports Illustrated think that adds up to a national title game appearance.


The process and the prize: regardless of who the opponent is, the Alabama Crimson Tide are the favorites to win a third straight national title (Dave Martin, Associated Press photo).

Sports Illustrated’s BCS Bowl Projections

Stewart Mandel
Title Game Rose Sugar Fiesta Orange
vs. vs. vs. vs. vs.
Andy Staples
Title Game Rose Sugar Fiesta Orange
vs. vs. vs. vs. vs.
Pete Thamel
Title Game Rose Sugar Fiesta Orange
vs. vs. vs. vs. vs.
Zac Ellis
Title Game Rose Sugar Fiesta Orange
vs. vs. vs. vs. vs.
Martin Rickman
Title Game Rose Sugar Fiesta Orange
vs. vs. vs. vs. vs.
Lars Anderson
Title Game Rose Sugar Fiesta Orange
vs. vs. vs. vs. vs.
Ben Glicksman
Title Game Rose Sugar Fiesta Orange
vs. vs. vs. vs. vs.


The gracefully-writtern standard bearer of sports journalism does express a lot of love for the Ducks, but figures the team to come up short in the race for the Crystal Football. Marcus Mariota, though, gets mentioned frequently as a possible winner of the Heisman Trophy, which seems inconsistent: Mariota won’t get a Heisman unless the Ducks beat Stanford and go to Pasadena for the BCS National Championship. He’ll need to achieve the one to be considered for the other, particularly this year when the Heisman race is crowded with worthwhile high-profile candidates.

Ben Glicksman on Oregon: “Don’t focus on who the Ducks lose. Focus on the guys they bring back. Though offensive guru Chip Kelly is off to the NFL, Oregon maintains plenty of coaching continuity: Four assistants, including defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, have been at the program for longer than 20 years. Factor in the return of quarterback Marcus Mariota, a dual-threat passer with a Colin Kaepernick-like skill set, and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who notched four interceptions and six forced fumbles in 2012, and the Ducks will make a run at their fifth straight BCS berth. Is it crazy to think first-year head coach Mark Helfrich can topple Saban? Perhaps. But it would’ve been crazy to think the same thing about Kevin Sumlin a few short months ago.”

Pete Thamel on Mariota:”Oregon threw the ball just 35 percent of the time last season, and Mariota still ended up with 32 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He also ran for five scores. As Oregon opens ups its offense, expect those numbers to rise, especially considering the Ducks may not play a ranked opponent until UCLA on Oct. 26.”

 


 

Quantcast