Originally written on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 1/16/14
Sliding is fun when you’re a child, but for a top Division I basketball team, slides are an anathema. The Oregon Ducks are on one crazy skating trip right now, losing their last three games after opening the season 13-0. With this losing streak, the Ducks have effectively clipped their own wings when it comes to winning the Pac-12’s regular season and shot down my claim that they’ll win the Pac-12 Conference. None of Oregon’s losses are to teams outside the top 53 in ESPN’s RPI (Rating Percentage Index, a formula based 25% on a team’s wins, 25% on opponents’ wins, and 50% on the opponents’ strength of schedule). Granted, the RPI is not particularly useful until midway through conference season after more data has been accumulated, but it is indicative of a team’s relative standing. They do not have any particularly “bad” losses, but the Stanford defeat is worse than it appears—Stanford this year just is not a good team, regardless of their RPI (see previous comment). Californ
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