Among the sputtering, desperate utterings I heard from upset Husky fans on the radio and social media as they reacted to the light sanctions doled out today to Oregon by the NCAA included...
"Oregon football is irrelevant." Right. Perhaps the most head-in-the-sand remark of the day. Over the last 10 years, the Oregon football team has finished in the top 5-10 rankings consistently, won the league three times and tied for the title once, won the Fiesta Bowl twice, the Rose Bowl once and appeared in the National Title game...losing by 3 points on the very last play of the game. That sounds pretty dang relevant to me. Oh, and they've beaten UW 9 years in a row. Now if nothing else, THAT should be relevant to UW fans.
"Oregon is nothing, go back to the 70s and 80s...they were horrible." Yes, that's true. It was also 30-40 years ago. UW...you're living in the past on this one again. Since the mid-1990s up and until today, the Ducks have been increasingly good and in the past 5 years...dominant, in particular over Northwest rivals UW, WSU and OSU.
"Oregon should 'do something' that people will remember before getting too cocky." This one is a not-so-thinly veiled brag by Dawg fans on the fact that they shared a national title back in 1991 with Miami and a reminder to Duck fans that UO has not won even half a title. OK, well how about winning three league titles in the last four seasons? Winning the Rose Bowl following the 2011 season? Winning the Fiesta Bowl this past January? Going 12-0 in 2010 and appearing in the National Title Game? That's pretty impressive. Those titles are "etched in history" just as much the UW's 1/2 title back in 1991.
"It's all Phil Knight and his money and influence that got UO off the hook." Really? Guess what Pac-12 school receives the most money annually from Nike? UO? No. Stanford, the other Pac-12 school Knight went to? No. Neither. The school getting the most money from Nike each year is...The University of Washington. So shut up.
"Oregon payed players." No. They didn't. Read the NCAA report.
"Oregon got a benefit on the field from its crooked recruiting activities." No. It didn't. Read the NCAA report. That, and it's just flat fact that nobody recruited in a way that the NCAA ruled against saw the field.
No, all of the above is weak, desperate crap from fans of a team that has hit real hard times for 10 plus years now. If UW was a very good football team OR if Oregon was not, these same UW fans would not be reacting nearly the way they are today. No, the sad truth for them is that their team has been average at best since the mid-1990s and pretty much in the tank over the last 5-6 seasons. And THAT is the true root of the comments today.
I for one am REALLY looking forward to the game in Seattle this coming season. Will the UW rise up and win a surprise upset? Or, will the Ducks steamroll the Dawgs for the 10th year in a row?
My guess. Neither. UO will win, but it'll be close. We'll see.