With just minutes to go before tonight's battle between top-ranked Oregon and 21st-ranked Arizona, we will take a look at what our SBNation blogs are saying about the big game. The BCS rankings nearly experienced a huge shake-up this afternoon, but Auburn was able to avoid the upset against Alabama. Can Oregon do the same tonight?
First, lets see what AZ Desert Swarm has to say:
Arizona matches up better than any team Oregon has faced so far. Arizona has faced two option-style teams this season already, and had the luxury of winning while learning the most important defensive factor when facing an option offense. Discipline. Stick to your man. Don't leave him, ever. If you don't move over to help someone else, you won't bite on the fakes. True, the option teams that Arizona has faced were less than imposing. However, that simply allowed the Wildcats to learn from their mistakes and correct them in-game. Not on film the following week.
And don't forget those monster DEs, Ricky Elmore and Brooks Reed. They'll have something to say about that big, scary, Oregon rushing attack. If they're successful in limiting the outside runs, Oregon will be forced to pass more than they like to. Sound familiar? Then you probably watched the Iowa game, and watched Arizona completely shut down the run, and force the Hawkeyes to pass much more than they liked to. In fact, forcing opposing offenses to pass more often has been the best aspect of the Arizona defense all season long.
What about Addicted To Quack, our UO blog?
First and foremost Oregon has to want it more than Arizona. I don't mean in the cheesy Craig James "commentator speak," but instead I mean in realizing what is at stake in this game. For Arizona this is really just a game to try and knock off #1. They aren't moving up or possibly down from #3 in the Pac, so for them this is a chance to lead off SportsCenter, upset the BCS apple cart and be a typical thorn in the side of the Ducks. For Oregon the stakes are much higher.
For the entire team the National Championship game is close enough you could reach out and touch it. There is one home and one road game standing in the way. The mantra of "this week is our National Championship Game" is never more appropriate. This game is our Home National Championship Game. Every guy has to realize that and play like there is no tomorrow.
Basically, Arizona fans want to defeat the top-ranked team, while Oregon fans want the team to realize just how essential victory is in this situation. Exactly what you'd expect from such excellent, well-written blogs.