Sure, the Ducks should be better in 2017. But 10 wins? No way.
Yes, Willie Taggart has brought the enthusiasm, the recruiting magic, the superb coaching staff and the Harbaugh moxie (Jim took Michigan from 5-7 to 10-3 in his first season). He may well be the next “it” coach. But it sounds as if the overly optimistic author of this article has been drinking a little too much of the Taggart Kool-Aid – along with whatever 80 proof distilled spirits he’s mixing in with it.
Multiple prognosticators have the Ducks going 9-3, with all of them predicting that the Ducks will lose to Stanford, UCLA and Washington. Which, if you’re a robot, makes complete sense. This preseason the Ducks are ranked higher than nine of the teams on their schedule and lower than three, so 9-3 it is.
Nine wins would be great; most Duck fans would be happy as pie with nine. But if the Ducks can get to nine, and remembering that “greed is good,” why not get to 10?
Let’s be fair, the Ducks have a relatively easy schedule. In non-conference, Nebraska looks tough on paper, but the Huskers aren’t that good. And as far as PAC-12 play goes, the Ducks have favorable misses against defending PAC-12 South champ Colorado, and USC. Nice.
Another thing the Ducks have on their side is history. Say what? Yes, history. So, without further ado, let’s take a little trip back in time…
2005 was the last time the Ducks entered a season having missed out on a bowl game the year before.
The 2005 team was a good – not great – team that finished the regular season 10-1. The Ducks of 2017 can also be a very good team, but they won’t be great (check back in 2019 for that, assuming Justin Herbert stays). There are too many questions marks. Of main concern, the depth and talent on the defensive front seven.
But here are three similarities between then and now:
Coaching Changes: We all know what’s gone on the past several months. During the 2005 offseason, Mike Bellotti parted ways with…