No. 12 Oregon isn't out of the College Football Playoff race -- but it will be if it can't beat Washington on Saturday in what is arguably the most impactful game of Week 8. Since a season-opening loss to Auburn, a 27-21 nail-biter, the Ducks have fallen out of the national spotlight, along with the entire Pac-12, but Oregon has quietly gotten better each week. The Ducks are off to their first 3-0 start in league play since 2013. They have the No. 3 scoring defense in the nation. They lead the nation in points off turnovers. Quarterback Justin Herbert has thrown one interception in his past 239 pass attempts.
The preseason expectations were soaring -- and then Auburn converted a fourth-and-3, by the nose of the ball -- and the entire narrative changed.