- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
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The Oregon program went without a bowl appearance from 1963 until 1989. After back-to-back appearances in 1989 and 1990, the Ducks made just one more bowl until the 1994 season. But since then, bowl trips have been a regular thing for Oregon, Overall, the Ducks have been to the postseason in 16 of the last 18 seasons and 19 out of 24.
The Ducks made back-to-back trips to New Year's Day bowl games, going to the Rose Bowl after the 1994 season and the Cotton Bowl after the next season. Oregon missed the postseason in 1996, its only miss in the 10 seasons spanning 1994-2003.
After that disappointment, the Ducks began to establish themselves as a legitimate program by improving their win total by one every season from 1997-2001. With that increased win totals came better bowls and more exposure for the program.
1997: (7-5) Las Vegas Bowl
1998: (8-4) Aloha Bowl
1999: (9-3) Sun Bowl
2000: (10-2) Holiday Bowl
2001: (11-1) Fiesta Bowl
After the remarkable run that put the Ducks squarely on the map, the Ducks stumbled from 2002-2004, missing the postseason in 2004 after back-to-back losses in the Seattle and Sun Bowls the previous two seasons.
2005 was a fresh start for the Ducks as they finished 10-2 to provide only the third double-digit win total in program history. The Ducks started 2006 with high hopes but faltered to a 7-6 finish. In 2007, the Ducks again started out on fire and rose to No. 2 in the polls before injuries decimated the team. The Ducks still finished 8-4 and in the top 25 for the second time since 2001.
Since the bittersweet 2007 season, the Ducks have been on a tear, finishing no worse than No. 11 in the final polls in every season since.
2008: (10-3) Holiday Bowl
2009: (10-3) Rose Bowl
2010: (12-1) BCS National Championship Game
2011: (12-2) Rose Bowl
Four straight double-digit win seasons has the Ducks on the cusp of becoming one of the true powerhouse programs in college football. Anything less than a season of 10-plus wins in 2012 would be considered a huge disappointment for Oregon. Since Chip Kelly became the head coach, the fortunes of the Ducks football program have changed dramatically after intermittent success the previous two decades.
Oregon by the numbers in the Chip Kelly era:
Overall Record: 34-6
Home Record: 21-1
Road Record: 12-2
Neutral Site Record: 1-3
BCS Appearances: 3
BCS Record: 1-2
Pac-10/12 Titles: 3
Top 25 Rankings: 3
Top 10 Rankings: 2
Top 25 Recruiting Classes: 3
Record vs Top 25: 10-5
Record vs Top 10: 5-3
Losses to Non-Ranked Teams: 1 (2009 vs. Stanford)
Oregon's losses in the Kelly era have to come at the hands of:
2009: Boise St and Ohio St (The Broncos and Buckeyes finished at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively.)
2010: Auburn (BCS champions)
2011: LSU and USC (LSU finished No. 2 while USC was No. 6 in the AP poll)
In total, five of the six losses in the Kelly era have come to teams that finished in the top six in at least one of the polls. The other came on the road to a Stanford team that rose as high as No. 14 in 2009.
After years of going back and forth with their two biggest rivals, Oregon State and Washington, the Ducks have won the last eight games involving the Beavers and Huskies. The current four-game winning streak against the Beavers is longest by either team since Oregon won four straight from 1994-1997. The Ducks have beaten the Huskies eight straight times, with the closest contest coming last year at Husky Stadium. The Ducks won 34-17 to continue their dominance in the series.
The Oregon program went without a bowl appearance from 1963 until 1989. After back-to-back appearances in 1989 and 1990, the Ducks made just one more bowl until the 1994 season.