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Civil War 2012: Oregon's Last Hope at a BCS Title

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 17: Running back Kenjon Barner #24 of the Oregon Ducks  looks for some running room as linebacker Shayne Skov #11 of the Stanford Cardinal and safety Jordan Richards #8 of the Stanford Cardinal close in during  the third quarter of the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. Stanford won the game 17-14 in overtime. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Allan BrulettCorrespondent IINovember 23, 2012

No. 5 Oregon could still play for the BCS National Championship.

They would, granted, need a lot of help—but it's possible.

The one thing the Ducks can do?

Lay the wood to No. 15 Oregon State Beavers this week.  Big time.  Demolish them.  Lay out a butt-whipping.  Like 49-13 bad.   

It's plausible.  Kenjon Barner needs to impress Heisman voters. A big day from him, an airshow from Marcus Mariota and a couple mistakes by the Beavers that lead to defensive or special teams touchdowns...that'd do it.  It's not even that unrealistic.

The Beavers are pretty well-regarded.   A beat-down of the No. 15 team would go a long way in the BCS rankings.   

(Except it shouldn't be as close as that score would indicate.)

If that happens, and if:

  • USC beats Notre Dame at home;
  • Georgia Tech beats Georgia;
  • Florida State beats Florida;
  • UCLA beats Stanford (giving Oregon the Pac-12 North);

Oregon backs into the national title conversation.

One assumes Alabama will beat Auburn, though one also assumed they would beat Texas A&M.  Come to think of it, one further assumed Kansas State would have no trouble with Baylor.  The lesson here: Sports are weird, and, as the saying goes, that's why they play the games.  

It's far-fetched, I grant you.  And, of course, if any two of the three top teams—Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia—win out, it doesn't matter if the Ducks win 184-0 Saturday.   

But that's one of the best things about sports. As long as you can still concoct elaborate but possible scenarios under which your team can win a championship, you still have hope.

It all starts with blowing out the Beavers.

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