Wow! What a Rose Bowl...at least if you're an Oregon fan like me.
I did predict the Ducks would win and I predicted it'd be close for the first half and into the third quarter. And I did predict that the Seminoles would move the ball pretty well between the 20s.
But that's about where my powers of prediction stopped. I could not have seen Oregon's defense stopping FSU on a goal line stand, holding them to filed goal attempts a few times and forcing so may turnovers. And yes, they FORCED those turnovers rather than benefiting from Florida State players just making a mistake.
Throw in a great game played by Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, RBs Tyner and Freeman, WR Carrington and TE Baylis...and well, it turned into an epic butt whupping.
59-20 people. 59-20.
And with that, Oregon is the 2015 Rose Bowl champion. This is no small matter. Yes, they will now move onto the National Championship game against Ohio State. But, before getting into that, I don't think the Rose Bowl win should be overlooked. That by itself is a huge deal...and in particular it should be to Oregon fans. After all, we haven't been there too many times - six in total. And now they are 3-3 in the game all time. The Oregon Ducks, Rose Bowl Champion. I love it! And, it's the second Rose Bowl they've won in four seasons. In between they won the Fiesta Bowl and an Alamo Bowl, so the Ducks are 4-0 in bowls over the past four seasons.
I'll chime in with a prediction on the big game against the Buckeyes before the game. But before all that, lets do a re-cap of Oregon's season and contemplate that even if they lose the title game it could be their best season ever.
OK, lets start with the obvious. Oregon ran up a 12-1 record in the regular season. They've only ever had one undefeated regular season (2010), and only a few one-loss campaigns. So, yes, this year's record is great and up there with their best ever.
Next, who did Oregon beat in piling up those wins? Highly ranked Michigan State, ranked UCLA and Utah (both on the road), a top 10 ranked Arizona (Pac-12 title game), a ranked and difficult to beat Stanford squad who had UO's number over the past two seasons, hated rival Washington (for the 11th year in a row) and in-state rival Oregon State (for the seventh year in a row).
All great! In fact, I'd say that combination of satisfying victories in 2014 puts the season very high on the all-time great years for Oregon football...call it Top 3 at worst.
Addressing the one loss they had, it was against Arizona back in October and they avenged that quite nicely in the Pac-12 title game by wiping the Wildcats out. Again, quite satisfying.
OK, what else?
Oh, Oregon's QB won the Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football this season. No University of Oregon player had ever won it before.
In summary, I'd say that the combination of their overall record, who they beat, by how many points, the post-season awards picked up by various players and the Rose Bowl win makes 2014 the Ducks best football season ever right now...even before the National Title Game.
What will happen next? Come on back to this blog in a few days and see what I think. I've been pretty dang accurate predicting Oregon and Pac-12 games this season, so I may just know what I'm talking about.