The Oregon Ducks had a rather rough start to the 2019 season after handing a victory to the Auburn Tigers, but they managed to get back on their feet with an impressive 77-6 win over Nevada at home on Saturday.
The Associated Press apparently found it impressive as well, as they have moved the Ducks up a spot in the AP Top 25, to No. 15.
While the move might not seem too significant, the Ducks are now the second-ranked team in the Pac-12 — behind Utah at No. 12 — after the Washington Huskies were upset by Cal in the middle of the night during a game that ended in the early hours of Sunday morning due to a weather delay. Washington fell from No. 14, all the way back to No. 23 after the loss.
More important, though, than the AP Poll, is the Ducks rise in ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI), which measures teams on performance and strength of schedule. The Ducks moved up to No. 6 on the FPI, and they are by far-and-away the highest-ranked one-loss team.
Oregon did exactly what was asked of them on Saturday, putting up an impressive display of offense that saw 11 different players score touchdowns, and the offense matching the school record for most points in a single game (77).
The defense was also dominant, managing to keep the Wolf Pack out of the endzone entirely, and coming up with a couple of turnovers along the way.
The No. 15 ranking doesn't mean much, but ESPN's FPI is much more significant; it shows that the nation still recognized Oregon as one of the best teams in all of college football, despite a slight misstep in Week 1 against Auburn.
On Saturday, the Ducks proved that they are who everyone expected them to be this year, it just took them a week longer than we had hoped for them to realize it.