Originally posted on The Duck Stops Here  |  Last updated 11/1/13
The Ducks don't play until Thursday, so today's prediction contest takes the long view. With four games left in the regular season, Oregon is in reach of all of the goals fans envisioned at the start of the season: They are 8-0 and in contention for the national championship. Marcus Mariota is the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy.   The offense is prolific and exciting to watch. Playcalling hasn't suffered under Scott Frost; it has flourished, with a greater variety in the attack and more willingless to switch things up and vary the mix of run to pass, an improved intermediate and deep passing game, and an awesome diversity of weapons. The defense has proven deep and resilient, turning in their best performance in the win over UCLA. The first team defense, at times, has been stifling, a turnover machine that prevents big plays and gets stops that allows the offense the opportunity to score points in flurries. Oregon's won every game by three touchdowns or more, shutting down the offense early in most of them, getting chunks of time for the reserves. Reserve quarterbacks Jeff Lockie and Jake Rodrigues have appeared in 6 games, an investment in the future and a hedge against disaster. There have been moments of doubt and quibbles, a couple of anxious quarters, but fans couldn't script a better outcome to this point of the season. The Ducks handled every test, even the ones that were downgraded after they passed them. Oregon is 8-0 going into the road game at Stanford on national TV, Thursday night in prime time on ESPN. With all these opportunities and possibilities still alive, what do see happening for the Oregon Ducks in the next two months? Mike Bellotti used to like to say, "The games they remember are played in November."  The worth of everything Oregon has done to this point hinges on how they finish the job. At Stanford, hosting Utah, at Arizona, the Civil War in Autzen: what is their final regular season record? What is the key to winning all four of those games? Who is your emerging star/breakout player for the last quarter of the season? What is the matchup in the PAC-12 Championship Game? Name the three finalists for the Heisman Trophy and the order of finish. Where are the Ducks playing in the post season? Do they make a BCS bowl? The Rose Bowl? The National Championship on January 6th? Who is their bowl opponent, and how do you see that game shaping up? Can the Ducks hang with Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State or Baylor? Where is Scott Frost coaching in February? Which Ducks, if any, declare early for the NFL draft? Who are Oregon's five biggest gets on National Signing Day? Who is the Webfoot starting quarterback next year, and why? What kind of a team will Oregon have next fall, and will they remain in the mix for the PAC-12 title and the national Top Ten? Or is there a little fallback in year 2 of Mark Helfrich? Do they become more of a running team, a passing team, more defensive-oriented? Who are the leaders and stars? Which three young players are likely to emerge next fall in bigger roles? Feel to weigh in on these topics, or introduce one of your own. The winner of this prediction thread will be chosen after the bowl game, based on the most complete and accurate answer. Bonus points for thoughtfulness and humor. Decision of the judges is final. Reader rgyle is working on The Duck Stops Here on-line store and we'll be unveiling it later this weekend. The hats will be especially cool, and he's cleaned up the design. Winner of this prediction thread wins a $10 merchandise certificate at the site. The url is secured but it will be announced when the page is up. Thanks to everyone for participating and helping to make DSH a great addition to the Oregon fan experience.
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