Sunday could also find the Ducks ranked second in the nation behind Miami in the ESPN/Coaches and AP polls. The Ducks are currently ranked third in both polls and that is the highest ranking ever for a University of Oregon football team.
For Duck fans the past week has been particularly special. First the Ducks defeated arch rival Oregon State in the 105th annual Civil War. The win cemented Oregon's Pac-10 Conference championship the third since 1994. The Ducks played Penn State in the 1995 Rose Bowl. During this week Head Coach Mike Bellotti was approached by Notre Dame for the head coaching position, however Bellotti spurned the Irish's advances saying he was happy and content at Oregon. More prestige was headed the Ducks way when Harrington was invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation, signifying one of the four top players in the country.
Significantly, the stadium roof for Autzen Stadium was removed in preparation for construction that will expand the size and capacity of Oregon's home field. The project is expected to be complete by the start of the 2002 season next August.
A few years ago even the most fervent Duck fan may have had a hard time believing that the Ducks would have a player considered for the Heisman Trophy, the team in contention for the a national championship and the head coach turning away Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC. Alas it is all true and Duck fans couldn't be happier.