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Quacked Up

by Robb Reel

If it looks like a duck, if it sounds like a duck, if it acts like an undisciplined team of ducks...

The University of Oregon started this football season flying high.  Both the preseason AP and Coaches Polls ranked the Ducks #3 behind Alabama and Ohio State.  There were aspirations for a national championship.

The season unfolded -- the way seasons always do -- and Oregon stumbled along the way.  A loss at Stanford put the title hopes on ice.  Still, the Rose Bowl -- "The Granddaddy of 'Em All" -- was not only within reach, it was within the Ducks' control.  Yet several high-profile players scoffed at the idea, saying it was "not a big deal" to play at the Tournament of Roses.

They didn't have to worry about it for long, as a loss to Arizona took Oregon out of the Pac-12 title game and a run for the roses.  That put the Ducks in a much different pond, eventually resulting in a bid to the Alamo Bowl to face equally-troubled Texas.

Then THIS happened:

Let the record show, Your Honor, that I said plenty of stupid things and did plenty of stupid things in my youth.  However, I never endangered others in such a manner.  This goes beyond the pale of college shenanigans.

The lack of discipline at Oregon has been noted many times.  So have the [ahem] less-than-rigorous academic standards at the university.  Oregon has a bad reputation already; this will not help.

If it walks like a Duck...