What they're talking about ... a recruiting battle with USC. More specifically, a recruiting battle for five-star defensive tackle Jacob Daniel. Daniel visited Oregon over the weekend, and though the California product had long been considered a future Trojan, he told Duck Territory that the visit to Eugene gave him something to think about.
"It's down to Oregon and USC," Daniel told the site. "This trip made my decision that much harder. I thought I was close to deciding before I visited Oregon but now I'm not sure. Oregon really impressed me and definitely made up ground."
And the only thing a college football message boarder needs is the slightest glimmer of hope. Once they get it, anything is possible, right?
What they're saying is ... they're still not all that optimistic. I know, I was surprised too. I've had to look at a lot of message boards while doing this feature, and the general rule of thumb is that a message board poster can convince themself that anything is possible even without a tangible reason to do so.
That didn't really happen here. For the most part the posters on the board think it's cool that Daniel is now considering them, but don't think it's going to happen. Here are some examples of the things being said. Be warned: they are all entirely reasonable.
-- "Would be a huge pull for us. Seems like it'll end up being SC though."
-- "This is a huge test of Aiken's recruiting ability. He still sounds like a slight USC lean so hopefully we can make the final push. We NEED THIS KID. Cannot afford to strike out on a west coast DL with this kind of interest in us."
-- "Sounds like we're the bridesmaid once again. Would be nice to snag a big time DT away from SC."
-- "Going to be tough to beat out a semi-local, elite program that happens to be a childhood favorite. Would be a tremendous get though."
-- "Uhhhhhh I want to believe we have a legit shot, but honestly can't convince myself we'll pull him away from SC. If we have a stellar season with an aggressive D-Line, and SC struggles, we might have a shot...fingers crossed but it's not sounding likely."
Then a poster from a USC board came over and said all the same things the Oregon posters said, just with a bit more conviction. You know, the "he's definitely coming to USC" kind of conviction. And when somebody from another message board comes around and basically agrees with everything you're saying, there's only one thing that can happen.
A flame war.
Yeah, they all then spent a few pages bickering back and forth about whose team is better and how much the other team's coach sucks.
What we think is ... honestly, we're starting to worry about Oregon fans. I've gotten this sense about Oregon since the end of last season that the air has been let out of the bag. It started when Chip Kelly left, and while things got off to a good start under Mark Helfrich, the mood changed following another close loss to Stanford and a blowout loss to Arizona.
I'm telling you, I don't remember a fan base seeming more down over an 11-2 season than I felt Oregon fans to be last year. And now this message board is only serving to convince me further that Ducks fans need a self-esteem boost.
I mean, here they are talking about this kid like they have no chance to beat USC for a California kid, even if the Trojans are coming off several mediocre seasons and a coaching change. Have these Oregon fans already forgotten about winning recruiting battles with USC for kids like De'Anthony Thomas and Arik Armstead (just to name a couple)? It's not like it's never happened before.
You're coming off an 11-2 season, nobody died. Shake it off, Ducks fans. You're going to be just fine.