When is a win not a win? When a team has been rolling all season, regularly scoring over 40 points and blowing out opponents, a close win isn’t enough in the eyes of the voters. That’s exactly what happened to the Oregon Ducks this week after a 15-13 win over the Cal Bears. It was clear many AP voters weren’t impressed and the Ducks were penalized for it.
After securing 49 first-place votes last week, the Ducks lost 11 votes, redistributed to the Auburn Tigers and Boise State Broncos. The expectations that the Ducks are invincible and will continue to run opponents off the field is both unrealistic and, perhaps, unfair for Oregon. Sure, they’ve won with plenty of “style points” this season, but they’ve also shown they can win ugly, taking care of business when it’s needed most.
At the end of the day, the AP Poll doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s not part of the BCS Rankings and will likely have little impact on the Ducks’ quest for a National Championship. The fact that Oregon won a close, hard fought game is a great step for a team that needed to be tested late in a game and will come in handy down the stretch. It is, however, somewhat hypocritical that Auburn picks up votes for grinding out a win against a 5-5 Georgia team that put up a fight early before faltering down the stretch on Saturday.