The I-5 Corridor Mailbag: Should the Ducks want that smoke?
With Oregon sitting at No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings, one reader asks: Do the Ducks really want Georgia? Plus: Oregon's airing it out and what is Jimmy Lake doing?
(Graphic courtesy of the College Football Playoff)
Who would have thought Fresno State would get Oregon kudos?
It happened Tuesday night after the first College Football Playoff rankings were announced. Oregon came in ranked No. 4 — ahead of an Ohio State team that every pundit seemingly placed ahead of the Ducks — and when queried about UO, College Football Playoff chairman Gary Barta gave the Bulldogs a shoutout.
“Oregon at 7-1 was ranked in large part because of its win earlier in the season against Ohio State,” Barta said, adding “but also a good win against a 7-2 Fresno State team.”
Shout out Oregon AD Rob Mullens for shelling out the $950,000 to schedule that one back in 2016. It helped.
So, as it stands right now, the Ducks are in. Georgia is one, Alabama two, Michigan State three and then Oregon, in the top four of the rankings for the first time since reaching the Playoff in 2014. But we begin today’s I-5 Corridor Mailbag with a question about the presumptive matchup against the No. 1 Bulldogs.
“Am I crazy,” Michael Hoag asks, “for preferring a Rose Bowl berth to the Playoff? I’d rather beat a Big Ten team than get splattered against Georgia’s defense.”
Maybe I’m a sap for the pageantry of Pasadena, but I would never call someone crazy for preferring a Rose Bowl berth. It’s a premier game with a large television audience and, in the case you’re referring to, likely an opponent the Ducks are better suited for. Oregon can hang with almost anyone in the country. I, like you, have my doubts as to how they’d hold up against No. 1 Georgia or No. 2 Alabama.
As Georgia coach Kirby Smart said this week: “There’s no coach out there who can out-coach recruiting. I don’t care who you are.”
And while Smart was talking after beating Florida and not sub-tweeting Chip Kelly, it’s a point Mario Cristobal has embraced since he arrived at Oregon.