Embracing the ‘O’: Why Oregon’s Football Success Is Good For Everyone

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It’s clear in looking at other conferences that this kind of dynamic is necessary for a team like USC to be able to back its claim of being the top dog. The SEC has proven that a strong conference can overcome just about any obstacle en route to a National Championship. Hell, you don’t even have to win your division in the SEC (We’re looking at YOU, Alabama!).

Jokes are made about the SEC, but there’s no denying the fact that they have found a legitimate path to the NCAA title game year after year. The reason the SEC & Big XII have featured prominently in BCS title games is because their regular season is filled with games between ranked teams. A loss to a ranked opponent is looked at more favorably by voters than a loss to an inferior opponent, and USC has often been on the losing end of that situation.

Conferences featuring multiple blue-bloods are looked upon with a greater sense of worth. The Big XII’s biggest rivalry is the Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas. You can’t talk about the B1G without mentioning The Game with Ohio State and Michigan. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party between Florida and Georgia is one of the greatest spectacles in all of college football. Auburn & Alabama brought the Iron Bowl back to the front of everyone’s mind when they squared off with the National Title game on the line. Even Harvard-Yale captures the nation’s attention when they play.

Looking back to Oregon, the Ducks have what it takes to have an LSU/Bama-esque relationship with USC. The image of a fun, exciting, different, and athletic team is an image Oregon has been building for years and its here to stay. The fact that they will develop into an on-going contender is a bonus for the Pac-12. Especially during years that USC and Oregon do not meet in the regular season. USC fans might not care right now, but when the season is winding down and the Trojans need a quality win to put them over the hump, a loaded Oregon team with more wins than losses won’t look too bad.

Fans need to realize that the game only gets better when you have someone to consistently play against. The sad reality of college football is that not every program can be a Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, or Michigan. In fact, very few teams even stand much of a chance of approaching their level, but Oregon has all of the pieces in place for future sustainability. This is a program that appears to be built to win now and in the future.

Oregon needs to continue to thrive because it supports the Pac-12 moving forward. If the Trojans pick up where they left off and the Ducks continue to win, the conference will only receive more respect from the media. Multiple top teams in a conference have never hurt the conference moving forward. The fans get better games. The conference gets more recognition. The athletes get better and more teams get an opportunity to play in the post-season.

And isn’t that really the one thing that Trojan fans want?