College Football Rewind: 5 most important games from 2001 season

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SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 06: The Oregon Ducks mascot “Puddles” celebrates with a rose in his mouth while the Ducks were defeating the Utah Utes 37-15 in the Pac-12 Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium on December 06, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

5. Stanford 49, (5) Oregon 42

A full decade before this would be the premier game every season in the Pac-10 with Chip Kelly and Jim Harbaugh as the coaches, this was just another regular season obstacle for the fifth-ranked Oregon Ducks to get through as they tried to achieve a perfect season and possible national championship berth.

This game was back-and-forth up until the third quarter when Oregon took a 42-28 lead and headed into the fourth quarter, appearing to have the game in hand. Stanford then went on to score 21 unanswered in the fourth quarter to seal a huge victory in Eugene.

This game ranks only fifth and the reason why is simple: I think that Oregon should have been in the national championship regardless of this game. While they certainly would have been in if they had beaten Stanford, Oregon had a case to be in the championship over Nebraska.

Oregon wound up winning the Pac-10 and then crushed Big 12 champ Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl 38-16. Stanford was not a weak loss either, as they would finish the season ranked 16th in the AP Poll. Nebraska did not even win their own division and were crushed by Colorado earlier in the season.

There were just so many reasons for Oregon to be in the championship game, even if Miami would have probably dismantled them.

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