Talking Points: Ducks’ mercy is counterproductive




Oregon can’t afford to keep winning like this. A few more lopsided victories and the Ducks could finish last in the BCS and end up playing in the Toilet Bowl.

On Thursday, Oregon sprinted to a 43-7, second-quarter lead on Arizona State and might have scored 100 points had coach Chip Kelly not backed off in the second half.

For its brilliant performance, Oregon was dumped one more spot Sunday in the BCS standings, to No. 4.

That would be a fine spot in two years when the sport moves beyond BCS madness to a four-team playoff.

No. 4 this year, though, is not good.

It was not a huge concern last week when the first BCS standings had Alabama, Florida and Oregon in the top three spots.

Alabama and Florida, playing in opposite divisions in the Southeastern Conference, would eventually have to play each other.

This week’s standings, though, raise more complicated questions.

Alabama and Florida are first and second again but followed this week by Kansas State.

Oregon is still No. 2 in the Harris Interactive and USA Today coaches’ polls but remained harnessed with its No. 6 computer ranking.

Kansas State remained at No. 4 in both polls but used a convincing win at West Virginia to vault from No. 4 to No. 2 in the BCS computers.

And that was enough to jump over Oregon for the time being or, maybe, for good.

The interesting part of these computer machinations is that Kansas State canceled out of its scheduled game against Oregon this season.

That forced Oregon to scramble and replace Kansas State with Tennessee Tech, a Football Championship Subdivision team.


Oregon State is 6-0 for the first time since ’07 … 1907.

The Beavers played only a six-game schedule that season and defeated Astoria, Whitman, Pacific, Oregon, Willamette and St. Vincent College. Oregon State outscored the opposition, 138-0, which included a 4-0 defeat over the rival Ducks from Eugene.

The Beavers earned their sixth win this year with a 21-7 win over Utah in Corvallis.

Oregon State, which finished 3-9 last year, is already bowl-eligible for 2012. “It’s just a start and we will see how good of a bowl game we can go to as the season goes on,” coach Mike Riley said.