The Sports Daily > Duck Stops Here
To win the national championship, you first have to get past the selection committee

I’m a little leery of the College Football Playoff selection committee. It includes USC athletic director Pat Haden, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, the father of Andrew Luck, who lost twice to Ducks in 50-30 blowouts, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez (the Badgers got dumped by the Ducks in the 2012 Rose Bowl), Condoleeza Rice, a Stanford professor, Archie Manning, a SEC honk, and Tyrone Willingham, whose 0-4 record against Oregon was a factor in his dismissal at Washington (going 0-12 in 2008 didn’t help either).

If it comes down to a tiebreaker between Oregon and say, Ohio State or Oklahoma for that fourth playoff spot, which way do you think this crowd would vote?

The only solution for the Ducks is to go undefeated and hope four other teams don’t do the same.

As a long-time fan my personal hope for the team is that they win the PAC-12 Championship and go the Rose Bowl. The national championship is a great goal but an elusive one.

Stewart Mandel of foxsports.com picks the Ducks as his “flop team” in the conference, reasoning that the question marks at wide receiver, the “cracks” in the Oregon offensive machine and problems on the defense after the loss of Nick Aliotti will end Oregon’s run of 11 and 12-win seasons.

Mark Helfrich has the talent and the staff to win 12 games, but whether the Ducks do so or not depend on a lot of factors that are difficult to foresee two weeks before the season. Injuries and the bounce of the pointed ball will have their say.

The Ducks won’t have a coaching advantage in 8 of their games, but their edge at quarterback, running back and defensive back will carry them most of the time. Vegas sets the over/under at 10.5 wins, but unless they achieve the over, the season will be a disappointment.

What are your biggest concerns going into the 2014 season and what do you think is a likely outcome for Oregon? If the Ducks go 9-4, is Helfrich on the hot seat?