Over the last decade, Oregon has completely reinvented itself — with
a little a lot of help from Phil Knight — to become a college athletics paradox. It’s a program that’s built a tradition of not having much of one to begin with. Instead of honoring the past, the UO’s tradition is about doing the next best thing.
Looks like the Ducks’ in-state rival, Oregon State, could be taking a similar approach. Per the Oregonian, OSU is in the middle of a rebranding project with Nike to unveil a new brand and logo next fall. “The review will look at all parts of the identity package from color schemes to the OSU font and Beaver logo,” said OSU athletic director Bob De Carolis in a department release.
More from the Oregonian:
“There are some schools that are tradition-rich, nationally known and have a true brand,” said Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s vice president of design and special projects. “Then there are other universities that aren’t quite as known, and those are usually the kind of universities who are more interested in working with us to improve their recognition, visibility and presence.
“We wouldn’t attempt to rebrand Alabama or Texas or Miami, for example, because they’re already super strong and visible. But other schools — the University of Oregon has been one in the past, and now Oregon State — would love to improve their success rate in recruiting all students, and that can happen with rebranding.”
There seems to be a lot of that going around in college football. Unless you’re one of about a dozen programs, change to a logo, jersey, etc. is inevitable.
Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.
As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.
“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”
“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”
Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.
“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”
With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.
The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.
Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.
And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.
That group breaks down as follows:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:
- Ohio State
- Boise State
Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.
None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.