Team preview: Oregon
Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2005 college football season, exclusively on Insider.
Oregon coach Mike Bellotti is the dean of Pac-10 coaches. He took the reigns of the program in 1995 and this will be his 11th season. He has won 67 percent of his games, 80-of-120, and played in eight bowl games. And for a while there, life was pretty good in Eugene.
At least until last year. And while it wasn't a train wreck by any means, after seven straight bowl appearances, it always hurts to lose the season finale at Oregon State. It hurts tenfold when that defeat drops your record to 5-6 and the streak of bowl bids come to an end.
"I've had a couple games over the years that were more disappointing, but not many," Bellotti said. "Overall, the season was very disappointing. We were just so inconsistent, we started off poorly, stepped up and looked like a good football team and then slipped up again. But in my mind, what hurt most was the frustration of playing your natural rival and knowing that a win means a bowl game and just not having the energy to win.
"Those types of games should be fun. Something wrong's when your team isn't fired up for a game like that. I looked at myself and asked, 'What did I do wrong?' On the flip side, that loss, that feeling is part of what is fueling us this off-season."
It was a pretty eventful off-season for Oregon. While the Ducks stayed away from the police blotter, unlike some other Pac-10 programs, Bellotti did revamp his staff. The highlight of that revamping was offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig departing for a similar position at Utah and former BYU head coach Gary Crowton succeeding him.