Ducks are champs*

The U of O football team beat USC last night, 31-24, in the Pac-12 championship football game. 

It's not as high an honor as it might have been under normal circumstances. The season was abbreviated to start with, and then the Ducks were designated to play for the title, even though they came in second in the league's North Division, only because the first-place school, Washington, had too many Covid victims to muster a team.

But hey, they played the game, and the trophy is in Eugene (or on its way there), and so good for the Ducks.

USC didn't deserve to win. Although previously undefeated, they played like they were in a mental fog most of the evening. There are several teams in the league who could have beaten that performance.

The Trojan quarterback, Slovis, always has this disinterested look on his face, but in this game, he came out with body language saying that he didn't even want to be there. He dug his team a 14-0 hole with two early interceptions, and they never climbed out of it. Slovis wound up with three interceptions on the night, and he came up short with scoring opportunities in plain view. The USC kicker also missed a field goal that he should have made, just before halftime.

The game was played in the L.A. Coliseum, but there was no real home field advantage for USC. The stands were empty, and besides, half of the Oregon athletes are from southern California, many just a short drive from the Coliseum. So for them, it was kind of a home game anyway. 

To have the 76,000-seat stadium completely empty for the night game must have been a bit spooky for everyone who was present, no matter which side of the field they were standing on.

So now what? Are there going to be bowl games? I hear the Ducks get to go to the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. Will they go?

And what about the other West Coast teams – USC, for example? If they play a bowl game in one of the stupid states that allow spectators, will a legion of their fans travel there and bring home the 'rona?

Speaking of money over life, while last night may have decided the conference championship, the Pac-12 still has six teams playing against each other today. Why on earth? The Benjamins, of course.

But what the heck, I'll play along. Stanford at UCLA could be kind of interesting.