10-2 overall, 7-1 conference, 2nd Pac-10
Against the spread
7-4 (4-2 home, 3-2 away, 2-2 grass)
6-5 (3-3 home, 3-2 away, 1-3 grass)
+1.08 per game
2005 Season Summary
After a 2001 season in which they went 11- straight up and 7-5 against the spread, the Oregon Ducks picked right up where they left off in 2002 with a start of 6-0 straight up and 4-1 against the spread as they hosted Arizona State as 10-point chalks. Oregon bolted out to a huge lead as the screaming sell out crowd was thinking Rose Bowl, only to lose 42-45 in a game that had defined them ever since.
That loss to USC was the start of a shocking 1-6 slide both straight up and against the spread in which Oregon never recovered from. In 2003 they finished 8-5 both straight up and against the spread, good for many schools, but down significantly from what was expected at Eugene. In 2004 the Ducks crashed to a 5-6 straight up mark, but amazingly covered 7 of 11 games as the mainstream gambling public soured on them.
Better value than advertised
Oregon had a bad reputation with the gambling public based on the straight up results that followed the 2002 debacle against Arizona State and that image actually helped their numbers against the betting board as they were a better value than advertised and had just completed their third season out of four in the black in 2004.
Defense would be the key question for 2005
While the natives were growing a bit restless at Eugene, head coach Mike Belotti, who was facing his share of heat, began trying to fine tune and tighten up his sieve like defense, which as the main culprit to Oregon’s woes since the 2002 slide. On the positive, former BYU head coach Gary Crowton, who also had experience as an NFL offensive coordinator, would take over Bellotti’s offense for the 2005 campaign and was expected to give it a jolt. With Crowton calling the plays the defense would be the key question for 2005.
Oregon remained a quiet value
Oregon began the 2005 season on Thursday Night ESPN TV at Houston as an 8.5-point chalk, getting the cash in a 38-24 win. This was followed up with a home opening win over 1-AA Montana 47-14.
The “anyone, anytime, anywhere” Fresno State Bulldogs were next to visit and Oregon was a small 2.5-point chalk based on Fresno’s reputation as “giant killers.” The half point was the difference as the Ducks covered in a 37-34 win.
In their next game, however, Oregon was overpowered at home by USC in a 13-45 loss as 20-point chalks, which served to turn some of the betting public against them. As 6-point chalks at Stanford the Ducks rebounded with a 44-20 win and cover. This was followed by an impressive 31-17 “upset” win at Arizona State as 10-point chalks as Oregon remained a quiet value.
Reached their peak
At home the following weak against rebuilding Washington, the Ducks scored a 45-21 win as 16.5-point chalks to stand at 6-1 straight up and 5-1 against the spread as they reached their peak against the sportsbooks for 2005.
Up and down
In their next game at Arizona as 11-point chalks, the Ducks escaped with a 28-21 win but failed to get the cash. As 2-point chalks at home against California, the Ducks bounced back against the betting boards with a 27-20 win/cover.
At woeful Washington State the Ducks were 4.5-point chalks and barely escaped with a 34-31 win as the Cougars paid off gamblers. In the “Civil War” finale at home against archrival Oregon State, the Ducks scored an impressive 56-14 blowout win and cover.
Oregon was disappointed in having to settle for the Holiday Bowl instead of a BCS bid, and it showed, as they lost 14-17 against Oklahoma as a 3-point chalk to finish the season in up and down fashion.