- Brad Edwards, ESPN Insider
With a win over Stanford on Saturday, the Oregon Ducks would clinch the Pac-12's North Division title and host the conference championship game on Nov. 30.
That would put Oregon one win from a rare accomplishment in the history of major-college football -- capturing four straight outright conference titles.
The word "outright" is the key. That means unshared. It means winning the conference championship game if there is one, and in the absence of a title game, it means having sole possession of the best record in league play.
The Ducks had the best conference record in the Pac-10 in 2009 (8-1) and 2010 (9-0), and then last season they won the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game. If they can win that game again this season, they will join John McKay's USC teams from 1966 to 1969 as the only groups in the history of that conference to win four consecutive outright titles.
Yes, that means Chip Kelly is on the verge of doing something that Pete Carroll never did in his near decade of dominance at USC. It's also something that Bobby Bowden never did at Florida State despite losing only two conference games in his first nine seasons in the ACC. And the Butch Davis/Larry Coker-led Miami Hurricanes didn't do it while going 27-1 through the Big East from 2000 to '03. In fact, one school winning four straight outright conference championships has never happened in the ACC, Big East, Big 12 or Big Ten -- and the Big Ten has been competing for more than 100 seasons.
Brad Edwards writes that the Oregon Ducks and coach Chip Kelly are on the verge of winning a fourth straight outright conference title, something only seven other teams have done.