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WildLyle's blog

We are here to discuss all the major sports stories and fun things about the games we love. From the Heisman trophy winner to the NBA Finals, you'll be able to get informative news

College Football Championship Saturday: Who will join Oregon?

Oregon Ducks are PAC-12 Champs and are the first team locked into the College Football Playoff. Who will join the high flying Ducks? Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oregon Ducks are PAC-12 Champs and are the first team locked into the College Football Playoff. Who will join the high flying Ducks?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Championship weekend did not get off to a rousing start on Friday night. Well, for the Oregon Ducks it did. Without a shadow of doubt, Oregon stomped all over the Arizona Wildcats to redeem their past two failures. Oregon outscored Arizona 51-13 to earn the first PAC-12 Championship game on a neutral site. Now they are locked into the College Football Playoff top four. That means there are only three spots remaining.

With Oregon’s dominating performance, they deserve real consideration to be the No.1 team in the country. If the committee thinks so highly of Alabama, and won’t reward Florida State as presently constructed, there’s no reason not to have the Ducks as the No.1 overall seed when the announcement is made on Sunday.

Northern Illinois also won their MAC Championship game in a rout. The Huskies dumped Bowling Green 51-17 to reestablish dominance in the Mid-American Conference.

No.3 TCU is ready for their season finale against Iowa State, but one wonders if their spot is a tenuous situation. Like every other College Football Playoff hopeful today, TCU has to win, and they might have to win impressively. The Horned Frogs also have to wary about Baylor’s performance on Saturday.

The No.6 Baylor Bears host Kansas State in what could be the best and most important game of the game. If Baylor wins, they’ll clinch at least a share of the Big 12 title, but it might not be enough to earn a trip to the College Football Playoff. Baylor will have Bryce Petty after he was cleared to play on Friday. 

The aforementioned No.1 Alabama Crimson Tide face off with No.16 Missouri Tigers. Alabama is a double digit favorite, and that’s mainly due to Missouri’s lack of an explosive offense. This is Missouri’s second SEC Championship game in a three year span.

The Big 10 Championship will be decided by No.5 Ohio State and No.13 Wisconsin. Ohio State will unleash their third string quarterback, Cardale Jones for the first time. Wisconsin is the slight favorite entering Saturday, but they’ll need plenty of help to even be considered for a top four playoff spot. Many think an impressive showing by Ohio State will earn them a playoff spot for sure. However, it could be at someone’s expense.

Finally, we get to the ACC Championship game. No.4 and undefeated Florida State look to keep their championship hopes alive against the No.11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Jameis Winston and the Seminoles have survived everything this season, but they will be without running back Karlos Williams due to a concussion.

There is sure to be plenty of starting at the top of the afternoon, and it should continue throughout the day. We leave you with this one College Football Playoff poll.  

Can Oregon Ducks avenge their losses to Arizona Wildcats?

The Oregon Ducks celebrate a touchdown during a blowout of Oregon State - Marcus Mariota blossoming down the stretch Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
The Oregon Ducks celebrate a touchdown during a blowout of Oregon State - Marcus Mariota blossoming down the stretch
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The last two times Oregon faced off with the Arizona, the Ducks were on the receiving end of a loss. Although Arizona is known for their offensive prowess, it’s been the defense that has stifled the Ducks in their past two meetings. Oregon has combined for 40 points in the losses, and they’ve simply been outplayed up front. For some teams, 20 points a game might be enough to win in this atmosphere, but for an Oregon team that averages 45.9 points per game, they simply can’t handle the pressure of a low scoring game. 

Oregon thrives on starting quickly. If the opponent is not careful, the Ducks will score a touchdown, and go for two early in the first quarter. It’s more of a ploy to demoralize the defense, and prove Oregon can take whatever they want offensively. However, that has not been the case during the first quarters of the past two match-ups.

Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks have scored a total of three points in those first quarters. In addition, Oregon combined to only score two touchdowns in the first half of those games. Therefore, if Arizona stymies the energetic offense early, the plans for an upset will be in motion.

Since Marcus Mariota has become the starting quarterback in 2012, Oregon has lost four games. In reality, the Ducks have lost to two programs. The first two losses came to Stanford, and the last two came to Arizona. In those games, the Oregon Ducks averaged 18.5 points per game, with a high score of 24 points against Arizona earlier this year.

After each loss, it seemed like the end of the world for the Ducks. Little did they know, Oregon would have plenty of opportunities to get back into the national title hunt. Yet, here they are in 2014, with a College Football Playoff berth on the line. Will Oregon fall prematurely once again?

San Francisco's rough and rocky road to the NFL playoffs

Colin Kaepernick stands in the pocket and delivers a strike to Michael Crabtree
Colin Kaepernick stands in the pocket and delivers a strike to Michael Crabtree

Every year around this time, the NFL season tries to put certain teams out to pasture prematurely. With four games remaining for the (7-5) San Francisco 49ers, the third place NFC West team has control of their playoff lives. Basically, if San Francisco wins their remaining games, they’ll earn at least a wildcard playoff berth. In the best case scenario, San Francisco could end up winning the division on the last day of the NFL season.

However, NBC Sunday Night Football analyst, Tony Dungy believes that San Francisco will have a tough time making the postseason. During his weekly interview on the Dan Patrick Show, Dungy stated that it would be tough for a “(10-6) team in the NFC West” to make the playoffs. Currently, there are six teams in the NFC with better records than San Francisco. That’s why San Francisco’s best, and maybe only chance to make the postseason is to sweep the month of December.

The good news is that San Francisco has already beaten the (9-3) Eagles, and the (8-4) Cowboys earlier this season. Therefore, San Francisco will win the tie-breaker over any of those teams vying for the wildcard. The NFC East is coming down to a two team race, and Philadelphia has a home game against Dallas left. If the 49ers have anything to say about it, they’ll appreciate the Eagles a bit more with a sweep over Dallas. On the surface, it looks like Dallas has a ridiculously tough schedule in December. With three road games left, and a home game against the Colts, the Cowboys could fold down the stretch again. However, the 2014 Cowboys haven’t lost on the road this season.

Besides Arizona and Seattle in the NFC West, San Francisco’s biggest competitor for the final wild card spot might come down to the (8-4) Detroit Lions. The Lions face the Buccaneers this week, and finish the season with three straight NFC North opponents. Their final game is on the road at Green Bay. There’s a chance that NFC teams could win the division title or miss out on the playoffs entirely.

When it comes down to the San Francisco 49ers, their schedule can be navigated quite easily if they play well. Two of San Francisco’s opponents hail from the AFC West, while the two division foes are directly ahead of the 49ers. In those situations, San Francisco has the chance to kill two birds with one stone.

Their impending game is against the Oakland Raiders on the road. First and foremost, San Francisco needs to come out strong and demolish the Raiders early. They need to show a semblance of the Super Bowl contenders from the past three years.

Then San Francisco travels to Seattle to redeem their effort from the Thanksgiving night debacle. It’s already been confirmed that Seattle can be beaten at home, but it’s not certain that the 49ers have the ability to get the job done this year. There’s a chance that San Francisco could bypass Seattle with a win. After all, Seattle travels to Philadelphia this week.

The 49ers finish up their remaining schedule with two home games. There’s no question that San Francisco must win the final two games of the season. So far, San Francisco is a .500 team at home, and they’ve already given away a couple of games in dramatic fashion. If the 49ers just had one of those wins, the whole tenor of the conversation would take on a different tone. Yet, there’s no time to look into the past.

The first home game is against the San Diego Chargers. It’s likely that San Diego will still be fighting for one of the coveted AFC playoff spots. Therefore, San Francisco will not have an easy path. If the 49ers are coming off of a second loss to the Seattle, the entire structure of the organization is on the line. With Michigan making their decision to fire Brady Hoke, some pundits believe the Wolverines will go heavy to bring Jim Harbaugh in. If this is remotely true, San Francisco’s season could be done before their final home game.

San Francisco’s season finale is with the oft injured Arizona Cardinals. Although the Cardinals still lead the NFC West, their two game lead over San Francisco might be by the wayside before the week 17 match up.

When it comes down to it, San Francisco must win out. We just have to find out if their winning days are over. Once that’s the case, the 49ers should start anew with another regime. Let’s see if they can make a postseason run before that happens.