Oregon put the Pac-12 on its back and stomped its way into the playoff discussion with a conference-defining 35-28 victory over the Buckeyes in Week 2. It was the much needed non-conference win the Ducks and the Pac-12 had been seeking for years.
After climbing all the way to No. 3 in the AP Top 25, Oregon was then shocked by the Stanford Cardinal just three weeks ago in Palo Alto. To make matters worse, the Ducks aren’t necessarily passing the eye test thanks to a few lackluster wins over Arizona, Cal and UCLA. Ohio State, meanwhile, keeps getting better and better and looks like a playoff team.
So here’s the question in the inevitable (if necessary) Oregon-Ohio State playoff debate: should the Ducks’ loss to Stanford matter more than their win over Ohio State? That’s the question Joel Klatt posed on Saturday night.
We are going to start having my least favorite conversation in CFB!
– Oregon beat the Buckeyes?
– Oregon lost to Stanford?
Games matter…the question is which one? Head to Head has to matter more, right??
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) October 23, 2021
As you probably expect, Oregon fans aren’t happy.
Did the Ducks’ beatdown of the Buckeyes really count for nothing?
Winning (without the best defensive player in CFB) matters https://t.co/Vqr7sDJxdG
— Grey (@greypre) October 24, 2021
– @ The Shoe
– Noon kickoff (it matters)
– No KT, No Flowe
– 14 point dogs
– Oregon dominated up front
Has to weigh more than a close OT loss at Stanford without the OC calling plays (didn’t travel) and starting center (late scratch)
Why schedule big games? https://t.co/3xxvb01pNB
— DJ. (@DKlaas10) October 24, 2021
Ohio State fans, on the other hand, think the Buckeyes have a leg-up because of the eye test.
It should also matter how you are playing. The Buckeyes since that game have gotten better and better whereas Oregon hasn’t. https://t.co/ugcaqQEDhA
— RustyRagesRegularly ⭕️🅾️ (@RustyRages) October 24, 2021
Ohio State would beat Oregon by 14 if they played tonight https://t.co/sIVaR5Lf4n
— Mark_26.2 (@markwade351) October 23, 2021
The reality is Oregon beat Ohio State this season. The Ducks shouldn’t be penalized for how much better the Buckeyes have become since then.
The good news for both Oregon and Ohio State is they probably control their own destiny. Win out and you’re in (probably). That is, unless Cincinnati ends up playing spoiler.
Hopefully this debate is all meaningless by season’s end. If not, it’s going to be fascinating if the playoff committee has to decide between Ohio State and Oregon. Expansion can’t get here soon enough.