The Oregon Ducks are a 52.5 point favorite in their opening game against South Dakota Saturday night. And that may be understating things a little. But Dale Newton–a big Oregon fan at Duckstopshere.com is going to enjoy the game anyway. (Though he does recommend that Ducks fans watching at home split-screen the Wisconsin-LSU or the Florida State-Oklahoma game.) Newton’s formula for enjoying what’s likely to be a blowout? Keep a different kind of score.
Rate each play on categories like Discipline, Execution, Cohesion and Focus. Putting aside the fact that these are precisely the things that might be difficult for the team to maintain when things get lopsided, Newton has a great point. Parity isn’t part of NCAA football. So how to judge your team’s performance when it’s playing below its level? Newton offers a helpful idea: “Results can’t be perfect, but effort should be.” The Ducks need to set a standard they can draw upon when the opponent is a bit more formidable.