Sunday Practice Notes

After a wild Saturday of college football where the nation saw the No. 1 team fall on the road for the second week in a row, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and his team had the luxury of sitting back and letting the chaos unfold this weekend. As fate would have it, the Ducks are now the top ranked team in the country in both the AP and Coaches' Polls heading in to this upcoming week.

Sometimes being a spectator has its advantages. Just ask Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, whose team was elevated to No. 1 in the country in both the Associated Press and Coaches' Poll late Sunday morning after former No. 1 Ohio State fell to the No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers Saturday night in Madison. For the first time in school history, the Ducks will now assume both the excitement and the burden of being the nation's top ranked team. How they handle prosperity remains to be seen, however if Sunday morning's practice was any indication, Kelly and his team hasn't let the accomplishment go to their heads.

"That's awesome. I'm fired up," Kelly playfully mocked when notified by members of the media of his team's ranking this morning.

"What I'm really fired up for is 49 days from today, because that's the only time when it really counts. On December 5, if you're one or two then it's really relevant. Today it's obviously an honor for these guys, but if it's 49 days from today, then we'll be jumping up and down."

When asked if the number one ranking comes with an additional target on his team's back, Kelly was quick to shoot down that notion, saying that nothing should change with regard to opponents preparation for Oregon.

"I've never believed in that," said Kelly. "UCLA is not going to practice harder because we're No. 1. We were No. 2 a week ago, so all of a sudden people are going to get healthy and are going to practice because they've got a shot at No. 1? We were the Pac-10 champs last year and everyone we played we got their best game from them. It's the same exact thing here."

The Ducks look to continue their winning ways this upcoming Thursday night as the UCLA Bruins (3-3 overall, 1-2 conference) visit Autzen Stadium. The game can be seen nationally on ESPN/ESPN 3D. Kickoff is set for 6:00 pm.

Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney


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