Sports Illustrated’s legendary college football preview issue is out, and it’s a massive, but meaningless snub for the Oregon Ducks.
The magazine rates the Webfoots fifth in the country, behind Alabama (understandable), Stanford (questionable), Texas A&M (ludicrous), and Ohio State (a tribute to their cream puff schedule).
Gabriel Baumgaertner wrote the preview, which notes that Oregon led the nation last year in turnovers gained and touchdowns scored, but questions whether Mark Helfrich can adequately replace Chip Kelly.
But the most inextricable faint praise of all are the grades the magazine/website gives to the Ducks position groups. One-trick pony Texas A&m got a 99 on offense:
How does an offense, which scored 89 touchdowns last year and returns Marcus Mariota, De’Anthony Thomas, Colt Lyerla, its top six receivers including Josh Huff, Byron Marshall, Hroniss Grasu, Tyler Johnstone and Jake Fisher not rate a 99? 49.6 points a game in 2013, second in the country, 315 rushing yards a game and 6,986 total for the season, and this offense is four points poorer than the Aggies? Are you not entertained?
The rest of the country clearly doesn’t know how good Mariota will be this season, how much ground he gained over the summer by staying on campus and doing his work.