On Saturday, the Buffs will try to upset the Oregon Ducks in Autzen Stadium. Oregon is quite easy to dislike, as many fans across the country would attest. The Colorado faithful have more than enough reasons to root against the Ducks, but if you need more, that’s what this article is for.
While Dan Hawkins captained Titanic-level disasters, Chip Kelly brought the Ducks from the misty depths of mediocrity to the bright lights of national championship contention. Once in the spotlight, everything suspect about their rise came under close inspection, starting with their most famous booster, Phil Knight, the founder of Nike.
These neon-clad upstarts seemed to use Nike money to buy recruits (not literally) like Pablo Escobar used cocaine money to buy Colombian soccer. Oregon is, after all, Nike incarnate. With Knight donating the most lavish of gifts, their football became a Nike product in itself. As a result, everything about Nike (everything) is embodied by Oregon every time they take the field in their newest and flashiest uniforms.
Speaking of their uniforms, Oregon has shown off incredible sets, but has all too often ditched school colors to provide concept uniforms that fell flat on the field. When your team switches uniforms every single game in an attempt to always show something new, your motivations begin to feel phony.
Oregon gained elite status in the 2010 season when they made it to the BCS National Championship where they lost to Cam Newton’s Auburn Tigers. In the five succeeding seasons, their fan base has acted like they’ve been at that level for their entire existence and that they’re owed excellence. There are reasons why many in college football consider Oregon fans to be the worst in the country. Let’s go through them real quick.
- Back in 2004, Oregon beat Colorado (led by David Harrison!) in the first round of the NIT. Their fans stormed the court.
- When an Oregon native spurns the Ducks for an out-of-state rival, the fans lambaste them with vile remarks when they return home.
- They act like football glory is deserved and that their recent dynasty will last for as long as football is still a sport.
- They cheer when an opposing player is injured. (UPDATE: It's come to our attention that this doesn't actually happen and that this source is less than credible.)
- Even the Oregon players hate them. Seriously, these fans were screaming at Marcus Mariota of all people.
- Most damning of all, Oregon inspires bandwagon fans to come out to all their away games and infiltrate the host’s support. Not that away fans are inherently bad, but there is no way there are that many actual Oregon fans.
Once we get past the despicable fans, recruiting violations (not that athletes shouldn’t be paid), a former head coach who may or not may not be racist, and whatever this is, we have to look at the on-field product. It’s on the field where Oregon believes they can annihilate CU without even trying.
The Buffs have played the Ducks five times in five years since joining the Pac-12. The Ducks have scored 257 points, or 51.4 per game. The Buffs have scored 66, or 13.2 per game. The closest game was a 17-point margin (41-24) in last season’s upset bid in which the Buffs had the game tied at halftime. In the past, the Buffs have shown the ability to be competitive with the Ducks for only the first quarter or two before getting blown out.
But the tides have changed once again. These are not the same Ducks and these certainly are not the same Buffs. CU is in prime position to beat the Ducks in their own environment and silence their deplorable fans. This is the next step of The Rise.