For the Ducks, the bar always gets moved back

edcunninghamA road game against Virginia and their big, physical defensive line was supposed to be the season’s first real test, until the Ducks destroyed them 59-10. Then a match up against an SEC opponent with mammoth NFL defensive prospects on both lines,  a middle linebacker, 6-2, 243 with 138 tackles last season, was supposed to be the first real test, until the Ducks racked up 687 yards and scored 8 touchdowns in 8 possessions. 

A week from Saturday Cal comes to Autzen with the #1-rated passing offense in the country. Want to guess what the verdict will be from the experts if Oregon hold Jared Goff to say, 265 with three picks?

Prophet of doom: After Oregon dismantled Virginia 59-10, ESPN’s Ed Cunninghusky said there was no way Marcus Mariota would win the Heisman, and that the Ducks will slip back this season, probably to eight or nine wins.

Their detractors often say that Oregon doesn’t play anybody, but sometimes the Ducks just make teams look that way. 

Talk right now is all about how resurgent Washington is, and a what a challenge it will be going into remodeled Husky Stadium before an amped-up crowd. The Huskies are likely to be 3-0 after this weekend’s demolition of Idaho State, almost certain to improve on their #17 ranking. They’ll get genuine tests of their own however, hosting Arizona and traveling to Stanford before facing the Webfoots.

Watch and see, though, if Oregon does succeed in dispatching the Dawgs for the 10th straight time, it’s more likely Washington will be downgraded as a contender rather than UO finally acknowledged as the true power in the PAC-12.

Call it paranoid or homerism, but Stanford doesn’t encounter the same skepticism after uninspiring wins over San Jose State and Army.