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Strength Of Schedule Hurts Ducks Now, Helps Ducks Later

Can the Ducks really impress the BCS?

With an average margin of victory of over three scores (26.5) in their last two games, the Oregon Ducks have been rewarded by the ever-popular BCS Ranking system by dropping from second to fourth [in the BCS rankings] over the past two weeks. While the second-ranked Florida Gators (for now the second week) and the newly third ranked Kansas State Wildcats have “on computer,” played a tougher schedule (both with an average Strength of Schedule (SOS) of 38.75; Oklahoma leads the nation with an SOS of 42.4) Duck fans have been left to wonder what the Ducks need to do satisfy the BCS polls, and not drop a spot to the Irish next week.

This is where we get back to the ever important “strength of schedule” of which the BCS rankings holds in the highest regard; an area where Ducks fans need not fret. The Ducks' second half of the season has been dubbed a “back-loaded schedule,” with three of their last four opponents currently ranked in the top 20 (Stanford, USC and Oregon State), and two of which are currently ranked inside the top ten (USC and OSU). These opponents will undoubtedly satisfy the BCS computer “eye-test” as two of the three games will be played away from the comforts of Autzen. If the Ducks can remain unscathed and finish with a perfect 13-0 record (PAC-12 Championship Game included), they should be rewarded with a trip to Florida come January 7th of 2013 - no matter their margin of victory.