Oregon vs. Alabama: Can Ducks swim against the Tide?

Chris Dufresne takes time out (he gets three per half) each Friday during the season to answer questions on college football. This week's topics include a possible BCS championship matchup, USC's struggling offense and Notre Dame's resurgence.

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Unbuckling the mailbag:

Question: Get with the program. You really think Alabama's offense can go round for round with the Ducks' offense?

Darren Spicer

Answer: You may have not heard about my recent religious conversion to SEC-anity. I actually cut myself shaving today and bled Crimson.

Look, I was thoroughly impressed with Oregon's demolition of Arizona State on Thursday night. The Ducks could have scored 100 on the Sun Devils.

But I am hardly ready to drop Alabama from No. 1.

Given that the Southeastern Conference is 8-1 in Bowl Championship Series title games, I would still pick Alabama over Oregon if the schools met this year — and boy wouldn't that be better to watch than Alabama-Louisiana State.

Alabama would not try to go "round for round" with the Ducks' offense. That would be dumb and Coach Nick Saban is no dummy. Rather, picture the Crimson Tide orchestrating 10-play, 11-minute scoring drives.

The best way to beat Oregon is to keep its offense off the field.

Alabama's defense is certainly good enough to keep any game in the 20s.

Look at Auburn two years ago. The Tigers slowed Oregon down just enough to get out of Arizona with a 22-19 victory in the national title game.

Q: Curious where you see Alabama exploiting Oregon?


A: I was thinking in South Florida, site of this year's national title game.

Perhaps you meant "how" do I see Alabama exploiting Oregon?

Oregon's biggest enemy in the postseason is time. The Ducks don't like to wait around for anything. They are the most impatient offense in college football and I think the long layoff between the end of the season and the bowls gives good coaches like Saban time to game plan.

Time certainly helped Ohio State prepare for Oregon in the Rose Bowl and Auburn to prepare in the BCS title game.

Oregon won a shootout against Wisconsin in last year's Rose Bowl but Wisconsin's defense in no way compares to Alabama's.

Honestly, I might give Oregon the edge in any BCS title game played Dec. 15, with the odds decreasing steadily after Jan. 1.

Championship games tend to slow down. The timeouts seem longer. The defense gets more time to rest.

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