Talking Points: Oregon ... for entertainment value

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

If Oregon manages to make it through the Pac-12 title game without a loss, we're rooting for the Ducks to reach the BCS title game — just for the entertainment value.

It's not clear whether Oregon's defense can stop a good team (it certainly struggled to contain USC on Saturday). And we don't know whether the Ducks' offense can run wild against a stout SEC defense. But at times that offense is a thing of stunning beauty.

Oregon rolled up 37 first downs and 730 yards Saturday against the Trojans, not to mention 62 points. The Ducks had one punt, one turnover, and one missed field goal — and nine touchdowns. And they appeared to do it effortlessly.

If Kansas State and Notre Dame keep winning, Oregon could find itself in a computer-based struggle to reach the title game. But if the computers have a heart and care about providing entertainment for college football fans, Oregon will get the call.

2

While Oregon is in the hunt for a national title, Washington State is occupying the opposite end of the college football spectrum. Even for longtime Cougar watchers (we feel your pain), Saturday's 49-6 loss to Utah was one of the program's low points.

The Utes, who entered the game 3-5 overall and 1-4 in Pac-12 play, led 39-0 less than one minute into the second half.

Mike Leach was hired with much fanfare prior to this season and is being paid a base salary of $2.25 million a year — plus plenty of incentives. We don't expect the Cougars to be immediate contenders, but with that kind of money we do expect them to show up on game day. Somehow, we don't think a Paul Wulff-coached team could have fared any worse Saturday.

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