College football is one of the best sports to watch and wager one because it changes so drastically from year to year. Players get cut or move on to the National Football League and this leaves the team scrambling to fill a void with recruiting or other means to make sure that they field a championship team on a regular basis.
With that in mind there are certain teams that have the best chance of winning now, before they have to once again turn to recruiting with hopes of making another run at the title. One of those teams is the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks have been a championship contender for several years, but it seems like if they are going to win a title, the best chance to do that would be this year.
It all starts with returning players. Oregon isn’t falling into the Pacific, but immediacy has been created by the surprising decisions two Ducks standouts made to return to school. Quarterback Marcus Mariota and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu were projected first-rounders, but now they’ll be veteran leaders on their respective sides of the ball. (Center Hroniss Grasu also would have been an early-round pick and returned.) That gives this team a good core of players back in the fold for a contender.
To make matters worse, the Ducks are starting to slide in recruiting. After averaging the 18th-best class in our recruiting rankings from 2010 to ’12, the Ducks dipped to 26th in 2013 and 27th in 2014. That doesn’t suggest failure, but they’re no longer bringing in top-20 classes. Helfrich and new defensive coordinator Don Pellum are products of their predecessors. That’s the Oregon way. But it still evokes question marks until you see the results. This could mean that if the Ducks do not succeed this year they could dip into several years of tough seasons as they try and rebuild their team despite a subpar recruiting record.
It could even be argued that the top recruits that they did grab have not been living up to the hype. Running back Byron Marshall and receiver Bralon Addison figured to be the team’s most established playmakers, but then Addison tore his ACL this spring. The defensive front is comprised of ’12 signees Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Alex Balducci. Yet up to this point there has been a failure to win a championship.
The time is now for the Oregon Ducks. If they don’t win now, there is a good chance that it will be another long time before they are ever on top of the college football world again. The Ducks will field their best team in years but if they fail to succeed it could be the end of one of the best programs in college football.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.