Even though I'm from California, I've had a good time watching the Oregon Ducks play this year. They have a ridiculously innovative offense, they can score seemingly at will, and Dennis Dixon has been way better than advertised. But all that changed on Thursday night. As soon as Dixon made that cut halfway through the first quarter and crumpled to the ground, literally everything about the Ducks vanished into thin air. No high-powered offense, no national title, no Heisman. And that's a killer, not just for fans of Oregon, but for fans of college football. Had Oregon won out along with LSU, we would have gotten a dream national championship. A high-powered offense with the Heisman front runner against a supremely talented defense. Now all we can hope for is Kansas to beat Mizzou and Oklahoma. And frankly, that doesn't seem real likely (although I'll be pulling for you Kansas).
What this also shows though is how flimsy a football team's hopes are every year. One seemingly innocuous play - like a roll out scramble - can instantly end your team's chances of contending for a national title. Hell, the same maxim holds true in the pros as well. One play and Tom Brady or Peyton Manning could go down, their teams hopes of a Super Bowl with them.
And something about that seems wrong. I honestly can't think of a position in team sports as vital as the quarterback. If you lose him, 99% of the time you're dead. Rare is the Tom Brady or Derek Anderson who instantly comes in and saves a season. In fact, if you watched any of the Oregon/ASU game, where Dixon initially injured his knee and Brady Leaf was forced to come in, then you knew Oregon was done once Dixon went down against Zona. Leaf just isn't very good and it's difficult for Oregon to revert to an entirely different offense.
Considering quarterback depth is a weakness that most football teams have, it's amazing coaches don't just send bench players out on the field to light up 1st string quarterbacks all the time.
And one last thing. It's ridiculous to say that Arizona upset Oregon in this game. And that's not because I think Arizona is good (even though they sorta are). Oregon lost because Brady Leaf had to play 3 and a half quarters of this game. In fact, I'll say this - it would have been an upset had Oregon won this game with Leaf at the helm.
But anyway, if you hate the BCS, and lord knows I do, then strap yourself in, because unless Kansas wins out, there's going to be one hell of a mess to sift through.