Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said he isn't concerned with the BCS Standings and he proved it on Sunday night.
When the standings were announced and Oregon moved up to No. 2, Helfrich was sitting courtside at an exhibition men's basketball game with his family on the eve of his 40th birthday. Earlier in the day, he made it clear that he would not be watching television to see the standings unveiled.
"All those numbers will change," Helfrich said. "This slot will slot in and slot out based on what everybody else does. We just need to worry about ourselves."
Oregon was third behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida State in the first standings released, but a win over No. 12 UCLA on Saturday vaulted the Ducks ahead of Florida State to No. 2.
As Helfrich pointed out, those standings could continue to change as Florida State plays No. 7 Miami this week while Oregon is on a bye, so a win for the Seminoles could push them back to No. 2. The following week, Oregon faces No. 5 Stanford, so a win there for the Ducks could flip things again with the Seminoles.
Most BCS prognosticators believe that if Oregon wins out, its strength of schedule ahead will assure it of finishing second in the final standings, earning a slot in the BCS national title game.
That is the kind of talk that Helfrich is trying to get his team to ignore.
"The biggest part is trying to eliminate all the noise out there," Helfrich said. "The talk about this poll and that poll and something else that doesn't matter and focus on ... everything on our side of the equation that we can control. Sometimes that's easier than others.
BYE WEEK MISSION: Coach Mark Helfrich said it will be "an improvement week and a get healthy week" as the Ducks prepare to face Stanford on Nov. 7. Oregon will practice three days during the bye week before taking Friday off and then Saturday is the start of a normal game week with its showdown against the Cardinal scheduled for a Thursday night. The most important injury to get healed is running back De'Anthony Thomas, who missed three straight games with an ankle injury before returning against UCLA. However, his ankle injury flared up again and he sat out the second half. "We've got a bye week so I'm going to try and take advantage of that and get back out there next week," Thomas said.
--CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football. He is the second-leading tackler for the Ducks with 44 tackles, including 25 solo tackles. He has two tackles for loss and two interceptions in eight games. The junior is considered the top cornerback prospect in the NFL Draft next year if he chooses to leave school early.
--QB Marcus Mariota has thrown a touchdown pass in all of his 21 starts and has a 20-1 record as a starter. He has not thrown an interception all season, a streak of 293 passes dating back to last season which is a Pac-12 record.
--RB Byron Marshall has run for at least 100 yards in five straight games. He started four games at running back in place of De'Anthony Thomas and ran for at least 106 yards in each game, including a career high 192 yards against Washington State. Thomas started against UCLA, but Marshall came off the bench to run for 133 yards and three touchdowns. Marshall has run for at least two touchdowns in four of his last five games.
--DE Tony Washington has five sacks in his last five games, including at least one-half sack in each of those games. He leads the Ducks with 7.5 sacks on the season.
--WR Josh Huff has 38 catches for a career-high 703 yards and six touchdowns in eight games this season. No Oregon receiver had even 500 receiving yards last year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I feel like a lot of people follow in our footsteps. We have been dominating the Pac-12, we've been to a lot of BCS games, and we are just a successful team. People will try and emulate our program, but we are the top dogs." -- Senior LB Boseko Lokombo.