What am I trying to say? That I've exceeded my quota of patience regarding the time leading up to this game, "experts" opinions of how this game will play-out, and the cerebral civil war between the emotional and rational sides of that mush between my ears.
It's been a long 8 months since the BCS Championship game and if you're anything like me, it's seemed more like 8 years. From Will to Kiko and throughout the most important/least important traffic stop in the history of moving violations, I've admittedly wilted under the hyper-concentrated spotlight our media has left fixed on the Oregon football program for the better part of this offseason. I've heard enough about that linebacker's slightly over-the-top night out, more than enough about a handful of kids exceeding the speed limit, and far too much about a mentor in Texas who if seen standing backstage at any of a handful of notable rap concerts could easily be mistaken for Suge Night. This wait is killing me, and softly is not how I'd describe it.
After-all, under the best of circumstances the months leading up to any season's opening game drag like a Friday afternoon before a two week vacation, but these past few months have taken the cake. If you're a diehard fan of the Ducks, semi-interested party to the Ducks or bystander Oregonian with allegiance to our state through no particular shade of glasses, you're probably "ready for some football!" It's time for slants and posts, blitzes and stunts, and outs and ups. I want the zone read, triple option and end-around. Man coverage, zone blitz and Tampa-2. And touchdowns, field goals and even a safety or two…and I'm done with everything else; enough with the off-the-field distractions and fluff leading up to and surrounding this game. Yes, I'm familiar with Jordan Jefferson, Jarrett Lee and a bar named Shady's. Yes, I'm familiar with the five consecutive BCS Championships the SEC has won and that they did so with five different teams. And yes, believe it or not I'm also familiar with Oregon's young offensive line, inexperienced receivers and a suspended defensive back named Cliff.
Let's watch the game.
For weeks now I've listened to television and radio hosts tell me what's going to happen: "LSU's defensive line is too big and strong for Oregon's inexperienced offensive front." "Oregon will miss defensive leaders the likes of Casey Mathews and Brandon Bair." And Jordan Jefferson will or will not be missed based on which radio station you're listening to, newspaper you're reading, or day you're either listening or reading on. But these people don't really know, nor do you or I.
All we really know is that both teams have a lot of talent, both teams have had more than their share of outside distractions, and both teams will be playing their first game of a season in-which they've both been glossed contenders. And those things are enough for me.
Sure, I'm not immune to an opinion or two based on things I believe about this game, problem being I'm having a hard time deciphering between which of those beliefs to buy stock in, and in-which I'm far less confident. I like Oregon's skill players, am weary of a couple unknowns and know what I saw from a seemingly similar defensive line, against a more experienced Oregon offensive line last January. But that doesn't mean any or all of the aforementioned will play a positive or negative role in who comes out on top Saturday night. I also know Oregon is fast, LSU is and has been – with or without Jefferson – a bit shaky under center, and that Les Miles has been known to make a questionable coaching move or two. But that doesn't necessarily assure a positive or negative outcome.
I guess what I'm saying is; I'm glad this game is here, I don't really have a clue what's going to happen and if I never here another radio segment beginning with, "Joseph on a cell phone, what do you think is going to happen in this game?" It will be too soon.
I wish the Ducks well tonight and sincerely hope Sunday morning that I'm reading and hearing that Oregon has taken its first step towards another memorable season. I hope that knowns such as Thomas, James and Boyett did their thing, newcomers such as Mitchell, Lyerla and DeAnthony Thomas opened some eyes, and that the Pac-12 sent a shot across the bow of the SEC to send the message that it can play with the "premiere" conference in the college game. But the only thing I really know for sure; I don't know what's going to happen, and I'm tired of others trying to tell me they do.
Game Day: What does anybody really know?
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