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(All information as of June 20, 2007)
COACH AND PROGRAM
In 2006, for the second time in three years, Oregon's season ended in disappointment. Actually, there may be a stronger adjective to accurately describe the program's 0-4 finish that included three defeats of at least 25 points.
A season removed from winning 10 games and barely missing out on a BCS invitation, the Ducks jumped out to a 4-0 start and appeared a team of destiny after a controversial defeat of Oklahoma, 34-33, in the "Instant Replay Game," on Sept. 16. (There's no reason to rehash that one again; more than enough spoken and written words have already been wasted on the incident.)
After a bye week, Oregon avoided any letdown from that game and defeated Arizona State, 48-13, on the road. While the win wasn't stunning -- Oregon was 7-1 in the conference in 2005 -- the margin of victory most certainly was, and suddenly, it appeared the Ducks were once again among the nation's elite.
A loss at Cal followed by an impressive defeat of UCLA did nothing to lesson that sentiment, as the Bears were a top-10 caliber team as well. Even a road loss at Washington State was quickly followed by two more wins, including an easy 34-14 defeat of Washington, and Oregon stood at 7-2 with three regular-season games remaining.