5 nationwide, according to ESPN estimates for 2021. The Oregon Ducks, the two-time defending Pac-12 champions, are placed fifth in the USA by ESPN's SP+ rankings, which are created by staff writer Bill Connelly. The Ducks are ranked behind Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Michigan.
Oregon last won a national title in 1982. The team is led by head coach Andy Avalos, who was hired in December 2017 after the retirement of Willie Taggart. Former Florida Gators quarterback Danny O'Neil is the offensive coordinator and former UCLA Bruins quarterback John Morton is the running backs coach. Defensively, it is led by longtime coordinator Nick Aliotti, who replaced Galen Scott after he took over at Arizona.
The Ducks have appeared in the College Football Playoff each year since 2013 when they were known as the Fiesta Bowl. They are one of four CFP participants from California (California, Stanford, USC) and one of five from Oregon with Washington also joining them as a sixth member state. The Ducks are coming off their third consecutive 10-win season and second straight bowl appearance. They will face off against LSU in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 21.
In 2016, the Ducks finished the regular season 12-1 and earned a spot in the playoffs where they lost to Alabama in the semifinals.
The Ducks are coming off their first losing season since 2004, when they went 3-9.
This is the first time since the inaugural 2007 season that the Ducks have been outside the top 10.
They'll look to rebound from a disappointing 7-6 season last year that was cut short due to injury. QB Marcus Mariota and the rest of the offense were unstoppable in 2015, scoring 49 or more points for the third straight year while also completing 65 percent of its passes. However, without those stars, along with several other key players, this year should be much easier for opposing defenses.
Mariota is one of only three quarterbacks in NCAA history with at least 200 passing yards and 20 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons (the others are Peyton Manning and Drew Brees). He's already joined that elite group.
However, despite all the talent on this roster, there are still many questions surrounding the Ducks. Most notably, who will replace Mariota at quarterback next season? While junior Justin Herbert has shown some potential, he's not even guaranteed to be back for his senior year at University of Oregon.
The Ducks participated in the Pacific-12 Conference's North Division. Oregon began the season with a neutral-site game against Auburn in Arlington, Texas, where they were defeated, 27-21. The Ducks won their next nine games until being beaten on the road by Arizona State, officially eliminating them from College Football Playoff contention. They finished the season 11-3 (6-2 Pac-12).
The Oregon Ducks play their home games at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. The stadium is known as "Eugene's World-Class Facility" and it has been called one of the best stadiums in all of sports by some people.
The Ducks' regular season schedule was announced on April 20, 2017. Oregon will play eight regular season games, three at home and five on the road. The away games will be played at Arizona State, California, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
They will open up the season at home for the third consecutive year against Auburn on September 2. The game will be broadcast on ABC at 7:30 PM PDT.
After opening up with two home games, the Ducks will go on the road for three straight seasons ending up in Tucson, Arizona for the annual Civil War rivalry with Arizona State. The game will be televised by ESPN on November 18th at 3:30 PM PST.
The meeting with the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 12th will be Oregon's second chance to win a national championship this decade, with the Ducks losing to Auburn 22-19 in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. Keep an eye on our Oregon Ducks team page for the most recent Oregon football news!
In addition to their title game loss to Auburn, the Oregon Ducks also lost to Ohio State during the 2008 season, falling 42-14 at home before going on to finish 10-3 that year. The loss to OSU was then followed up by another trip to the championship game where they fell short yet again, this time to Alabama. After losing three out of four games by multiple points each, it finally came down to Florida State vs. Oregon in one of the most controversial endings in college football history. In what has been called by some "the greatest college football game ever played", No. 1 FSU beat No. 2 Oregon 27-20 in overtime to claim its first national title.
Looking back at those seasons, the Oregon Ducks were undefeated until they played Ohio State in Columbus. The victory over OSU was then followed up by a loss to Auburn in the title game. During the same period of time, Oregon also lost to Arizona State, Illinois and Colorado. However, due to various reasons (some serious, some not so serious), all of these teams were allowed to play in Lane Stadium during regular season games against Oregon.
The Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers have met 123 times on the football field. The Ducks lead the all-time series 66-47-10 and have won 11 of the previous 12 meetings, including a 24-10 triumph in Eugene last season.
The last time the two teams met was in 2015. Oregon State defeated Oregon 21-19 in overtime at Reser Stadium. OSU quarterback Jake Locker went down with an injury late in regulation and didn't return. Brett Rypien replaced him and threw for 203 yards and three touchdowns in relief. Chris Johnson had one of those scores. He caught a 19-yard pass from Rypien early in OT.
This year's game will be the first meeting between the schools since 2014. That year's game was played in Corvallis due to construction delays that forced the contest out of Eugene. It was the second time in three years that the two schools had played a non-conference game outside of Oregon. The other was Arizona in 2013 when both programs were members of the Pacific 12 Conference.
Oregon is 9-3 against Oregon State under head coach Willie Taggart. The Ducks' only losses during that period came to Stanford (44-31) and Clemson (29-28). They also lost to LSU (20-19 in overtime) during Taggart's first season at Florida State.
The Ducks have appeared in the NCAA tournament 17 times and have won eight conference titles. The inaugural season of the University of Oregon men's basketball team was in 1902-03, with Charles Burden as the head coach. That season, Oregon played only two games, both of which they lost. The Ducks' first winning campaign came in 1903-04, when they went 13-1-0.
The most recent edition of the NCAA Tournament came in 2019. With a win over South Carolina in the second round, Oregon became the first No. 15 seed to beat a four-seed since 2005. In that year's national championship game, Louisville defeated Michigan State 78-77 in overtime to claim its third title in four years.
The eighth-seeded Ducks will face either Kansas or Virginia in the Sweet 16 on Thursday, March 7. They are looking to become just the fourth 10-loss team to advance to the next stage. The last time this happened was 2013, when Kentucky reached the final four after losing 20 games straight up prior to the tournament.
Oregon is one of nine 10-loss teams remaining in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The other eight are: Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Gonzaga, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, and Ohio State. Only five of these teams can make it into the 2020 NBA Draft; the others are Baylor, Florida, Gonzaga, Iowa, and North Carolina.