Sorry about not getting a Civil War post up until now, but it has been a busy weekend.
You all watched the game and there’s not much I can add to all the coverage you’ve seen. But there are a few things I wanted to mention:
- I don’t think even the Oregon players — let alone a lot of their Johnny-come-lately fans — realize how hard it is to go 12-0. Man, it may not happen in Eugene again in our lifetime.
- Kudos to Chip Kelly on so many levels. First, the obvious. The Ducks are so disciplined in what they do and execute a complicated system extremely well. At the same time — and it isn’t pointed out often enough — from what I saw, that team was extremely well-behaved on the field. I didn’t see a lot of chest-pounding, posturing and trash-talking throughout this season. It was an extraordinary group of players who represent their university and the state very well.
- I give Kelly credit for something else: When he got the head coaching job he could have blown up that coaching staff. It’s what a lot of coaches do when they get that first big job. They bring in their buddies, in many cases. But Kelly held on to a lot of quality coaches who’ve been together for a long time in Eugene and it paid big dividends.
- Speaking of that, I couldn’t be happier for Nick Aliotti. The guy has paid his dues and is just now being recognized as a terrific defensive coordinator whose unit has been the unsung heroes of this season. But more than that, he’s a great person and a huge asset to the university. I cannot tell you how many former Duck defensive players have told me over the years that that felt as if Nick was a second father to them. They love the man.
- Yeah, I guess Darron Thomas was the right choice as the starting quarterback this season.
- Big praise to Oregon State for its actions on Saturday. It was a disappointing season but in a rivalry that often hasn’t been all that civil, the Beavers allowed the Duck fans on the field and let them celebrate on their field. There have been times during this rivalry that would never have happened. And it was a classy move.
- If I were Oregon, I would wear their great-looking throwback uniforms in the championship game. Not only do they look cool, it would be a great way to pay tribute to all the players, coaches, boosters and fans who have been a part of supporting and building this program over the years.
- I still have to say one thing: as someone who has grown up in this state, I still cannot believe I’m seeing one of our teams play for a national championship. I mean, come on — some idiot once wrote a column many years ago advocating that school just drop out of the Pac-10 and find a conference like the Big Sky where it could actually have a chance at a championship. I wish I could remember who wrote that junk.
- And seriously, at the time — that column was justified.