Maybe this will shut up some of those football fans who keep trying to claim Oregon never plays anyone good in nonconference games.
The Ducks have a home-and-home agreement with Ohio State for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, further backing up Chip Kelly's contention that he wants to play a BCS-quality team during the nonconference portion of each season.
The first game is scheduled for September 21, 2020 in Eugene, Oregon, and the second one for September 11, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.
Oregon has been oft-criticized for playing a "soft" nonconference schedule, mostly by people who don't actually follow the Ducks. Because if they did, they'd know that Oregon has scheduled games against the likes of Kansas State and Georgia in recent years, only to have those schools pull out of the agreements later.
In fact, the Ducks were supposed to have played K-State to kick off this season, and a quick glance at the BCS Standings right now suggests that football fans missed out when Bill Snyder backed out of that one. Snyder is known for preferring a steady diet of cupcakes before the regular season, and in this particular case, his fear of playing big-time competition early on might have paid off for his Wildcats, who certainly wouldn't be sitting one spot ahead of the Ducks in the BCS Standings, in third place, if they'd lost to Oregon in the opener.
Ducks fans appreciate that Kelly, rather than hide from tough competition early in the season, seeks it out. Even when Oregon has suffered a couple of tough losses as a result of that scheduling philosophy, the team has wound up better for it. In 2009, the Ducks opened with a tough-to-forget loss at Boise State, and in 2011, they fell by 13 to LSU; the Ducks finished both of those seasons in the Rose Bowl.
But as Oregon has improved on the field, becoming a regular contender for spots in BCS bowls, finding top-notch competitors who'll agree to home-and-home deals for nonconference games has become increasingly difficult. So Tuesday's announcement was good news for the Ducks and their fans, and even better news was the tidbit about a buyout clause -- it'll cost $1 million if either team wants to back out of this one.
So if, by chance, Snyder is coaching the Buckeyes by 2020-21, he's either gonna have to pony up some big bucks to duck Oregon again, or he might actually have to play a tough game in September.
Sources:Three future games, including the KSU series, are off
Adam Sparks has been following Oregon Ducks football since 1990, and has written about the team as a freelancer since 2009.
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