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Home arrow Opinion arrow Jeff Petersen: ON SECOND THOUGHT arrow Nobody remembers Horned Frogs


Nobody remembers Horned Frogs

“There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game and that is first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay and I never want to finish second again.”

— Vince Lombardi

Nobody remembers who finished second? Good, because the TCU Horned Frogs finished second in the final BCS, or Bites Chunks of Spinach, college football poll.

With all due respect for the late great Coach Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers, I would say the University of Oregon Ducks finishing third is fine, except for the fact that the BCS should be outlawed and give way to a national tournament, like in every other division of football and the NFL

What’s more, second place isn’t always a death knell.

Singer and songwriter Adam Lambert finished second on “American Idol” and is now a worldwide star.

The Boston Red Sox with left fielder Carl “Yaz” Yastrzemski and junkball pitcher Bill “The Spaceman” Lee finished second to The Big Red Machine in 1975  and came roaring back to win the title in 2004.

Finishing second is not the end. It’s the beginning.

As you probably know if you have a pulse, the University of Oregon lost the Bites Chunks of Spinach national football title game Monday, falling to Auburn 22-19.

A loss on a last-second field goal knocked the Ducks down to third place in the final poll. The reasoning? TCU finished the year unbeaten and had beat Oregon State 30-21. Oregon had only beaten Oregon State by a 37-20 margin.


Well, the BCS isn’t perfect.

The real victory for the Ducks is character. Thanks to head coach Chip Kelly, the fastest talking coach in major college football history, the boys do know how to make their beds — and pick up their own trash following a press conference. An observer said Auburn players failed to do the same and left the stage looking like a superfund cleanup site.

It’s not that Kelly is a stickler for bed making. He just wants the boys to pay attention to the small details that add up to big results.

And it’s not just about winning either, although wins will probably result from this attention to detail. It’s about doing the right thing.

Kelly has probably read how UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who won 10 NCAA basketball titles in a 12-year period, emphasized that the players tuck in their shirts during practice.

Wooden also taught the Bruins how to put on their socks without wrinkles and how to tie their shoes to avoid hot spots and blisters.

Small details. Big results.

Wooden never talked about winning or titles. He just talked about doing your personal best.

I’m not sure if Kelly is a Wooden protege.

I do know that Kelly will help players reach their personal bests whether in football or in life.

Yes, there have been some slip-ups. Quarterback Jeremy Masoli’s troubles with the law and subsequent transfer to the University of Mississippi is a case in point.

Overall, though, the Oregon program is on the right track. The Ducks will be back.

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