When the Oregon Ducks opened their season with a disappointing loss to LSU it did not mean that the Ducks would not be able to get back to the BCS Championship Game. It just meant that the journey back to the Champsionship game would be more difficult the the previous year that saw them against the Auburn Tigers.
Tonight's game was an example of that as the no.6 ranked Ducks squared off against the no.3 ranked Stanford Cardinal who brought a 9-0 record into the game. When it was all said and done the Duck's defense came out and played extremely well holding one of the most prolific offenses in college football to 30 points, 372 total yards and forced four turnovers including the game sealing interception that was returned for a touchdown by Boseko Lokombo.
The question now has turned to whether the victory over the Cardinal should propel the Ducks over the Alabama Crimson Tide? Today the Tide beat Mississippi State 24-7 and improved to 9-1 on the season like the Ducks.
Looking at the Tide so far this year four opponents at the time the teams played were ranked and those were no.23 Penn State, no.14. Arkansas, no.12 Florida and no.1 LSU. Florida is the only team to have dropped out of the top 25. The out of conference schedule for Alabama was weak even with the Tide playing Penn State. The Tide still has one more out of conference game to play and that's next week against Georgia Southern and the two other teams played were Kent State and North Texas.
Looking at the Tide offensively the team ranks 21st in rushing offense, 68th in passing offenses, 30th in total offense and 23rd in scoring offense with 35.7 points per game. Defensively the Tide rank first against the run, first against the pass, first in total defense and first in points allowed.
The total offense rankings of the teams the Tide have played are: Kent State 120th, Penn State 88th, North Texas 110th, Arkansas 23rd, Florida 94th, Vanderbilt 103rd, Mississippi 113th, Tennessee 97th, LSU 87th, and Mississippi State 56th.
Note only two opponents on offense were ranked in the top 60.
Offensively the Ducks rank fifth in rushing yards, 78th in passing yards, seventh in total offense and fifth in scoring offense at 46 points per game. Defensively their ranks are 58th against the run, 71st against the pass, 62nd in total defense and 26th in points allowed.
For the Ducks three opponents the teams has faced were ranked in the top 25 and those were no.3 LSU, no. 18 Arizona State and no.3 Stanford. The out of conference schedule for the Ducks was a decent one with the team of course playing LSU as well as Nevada and Missouri State. Looking at the offenses the Ducks faced so far are: no. 87 LSU, no.5 Nevada, Missouri State (FBS), no.18 Arizona, no.47 California, no.29 Arizona State, no. 95 Colorado, no.50 Washington State, no. 51 Washington and no.8 Stanford.
On the season the Ducks faced two teams in the top 10 offensively, three teams in the top 25, four teams in the top 30, six teams in the top 50 and seven teams in the top 55.
Both teams make a strong case going forward to be in the Championship game and at this point with the Ducks still having to face a ranked opponent and their hometown rival in their next two contests compared to Alabama playing Georgia Southern and Auburn, the Ducks have the edge and after the win over the Cardinal there's no doubt that the Ducks should move ahead of the Tide.